Mitsubishi Adds Power to 2015 Outlander Sport
Available 2.4L I-4 Adds 20 HP
Mitsubishi introduced a more powerful optional engine for the 2015 Outlander Sport. A newly available 2.4L I-4 will join the standard 2.0L motor, producing 168 hp. That’s a fair improvement over the standard engine’s 148 hp, befitting the little Outlander’s suffix.
As with the 2.0L engine (which gets a little efficiency boost this year), the 2.4L will be available in two trim levels: ES and GT. The Outlander Sport 2.4 ES will cost $21,295 in front-wheel drive, while the top-spec 2.4 GT will ring up for $23,595. Mitsubishi justifies charging the extra coin by fitting the GT with a power driver seat, a leather handbrake lever, aluminum pedals, a black center bumper panel, black roof rails, and side mirrors with LED turn indicators. The GT can also be optioned with niceties like a Rockford Fosgate stereo, a panoramic glass roof, leather seating, and a navigation system.
Mitsubishi will build the larger engine in combination with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (which the company calls “All Wheel Control”), and the 2.4L is only available with a continuously variable transmission. That means that those who want to shift for themselves are limited to the Outlander Sport 2.0 ES, in front-wheel drive only. That’s a bit of a letdown, given the company’s rally-racing prowess. By comparison, Jeep offers the smaller Renegade with all-wheel drive and a manual transmission but only in combination with the smaller 1.4L engine. Nissan builds the Juke with a manual transmission but only in higher-spec Nismo trims and only with front-wheel drive.
Still, most of these Outlander Sports are used as commuters, not sporty hatchbacks. In that respect, the 2.4L exacts a slight efficiency penalty in addition to its sub-$1k price premium. It’s EPA-rated at 23/28/25 mpg city/highway/combined for front-wheel-drive models and 23/26/24 mpg for all-wheel-drive models. That combined rating is three mpg lower compared to the 2.0L engine, whether it’s saddled with all-wheel drive or not. Of note, none of the Outlander Sport models can match the Honda CR-V’s efficiency, but they do compare well to the Toyota RAV4 in terms of fuel economy.
As usual, Mitsubishi’s ace in the hole in this segment is its low price. Even the top-of-the-line Outlander Sport 2.4 GT FWD starts less than a base RAV4, and it’s just $150 more than a base CR-V. It also features cooler, more aggressive styling, particularly when equipped with the 2.4 GT’s black exterior accents.
Mitsubishi needs to keep refreshing its vehicle lineup to stay relevant in today’s auto market, and the Outlander Sport’s newfound muscle should help keep interest in the company’s bestselling vehicle high.
Source: Mitsubishi Motors