Mitsubishi to Update the Outlander Sport for 2020
Major Styling Overhaul, But Changes Appear to Be Only Skin-Deep
Mitsubishi is bringing a revised 2020 Outlander Sport to the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show next month, but those expecting an all-new product will be disappointed. The new Outlander Sport will receive totally new exterior styling and a few updates, but by and large, it will be the same as when the current generation was introduced for 2010. The vehicle in Mitsubishi’s press photos is actually a global-market ASX, a cosmetic twin for our Outlander Sport.
The revised styling includes a totally new front clip, incorporating Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield design language—two C-shaped pieces of shiny trim slash through the front fascia, separating the headlights and grille from the rest of the bumper cover. A bolder front grille and redesigned headlamps give the SUV more aggressive styling than the slightly cutesy vehicle it replaces. A clamshell hood caps off the front end, eliminating an unsightly seam between the hood and bumper cover on the current vehicle. The side profile is largely unchanged, although a faux fender vent (boo!) calls attention to the current model’s upswept character line rising from the front fenders to the taillights.
Around back, there’s a reshaped rear bumper with a few more fake vents, but its squared-off corners do look more rugged and ready for action. New LED taillights modernize the rear end, and some of the tailgate’s chrome trim has been jettisoned. From the rear, however, you’d have to really squint to notice too many differences between old and new Outlander Sports.
Inside the SUV, it’s the same old interior that looked respectable in 2010 but is pretty dated in 2019. The most significant alteration is a new Smartphone-link Display Audio infotainment system, with its screen size increasing from 7 to 8 inches for 2020. Furthermore, the center touchscreen can play videos from a USB drive when the vehicle is stopped. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any materials changes for 2020, which is a shame. The current Outlander Sport’s interior feels very cheap and flimsy.
Mitsubishi is blessed with low overhead compared to other manufacturers, which allows it to sell fewer cars and still remain profitable. But the downside to that is reduced budget for vehicle development, which is why the company is still marketing a 10-year-old product that’s seen three facelifts since its most recent redesign. And while we like the 2020 Outlander Sport’s aggressive new styling, we’re not sure it’s enough to keep the compact SUV relevant against competition that includes the fantastic Honda HR-V, funky Toyota C-HR, youthful Nissan Kicks, and rugged Subaru Crosstrek.