2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Big Lancer or little Outlander?

WE LIKE: Quality interior and good looks.
WE DON'T LIKE: Gutless engine, body roll.

Shorter than a Honda CR-V or Nissan Rogue, the compact Outlander Sport rides on the same wheelbase as its larger sibling, the 183.7-inch-long Outlander. The Sport's shorter overhangs reduce overall length by 14.6 inches over its seven-passenger big brother. Its smaller size-and lighter weight-also mean the Sport can be powered by a lower-horsepower engine, which improves fuel economy.

The only engine choice is a 2.0-liter, 148-horse inline-four with variable valve timing, backed by either a five-speed manual or continuously variable trans. Our topline SE had AWD (the only model available with it) and the CVT. At 3362 pounds, it was one of the lightest vehicles at this year's SUOTY. Despite that, it also felt like one of the slowest. It took 10.1 seconds to hit 60 mph, which was nearly 1.5 seconds slower than the Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage. Making it less entertaining was that it felt floaty, there was body roll, and the stability control intervened way too much.

But what the Sport lacks in performance thrills, it makes up for in feature content. Standard equipment on the SE include 18-inch wheels and tires, hill-start assist, tire-pressure monitoring, climate control with pollen filter, auxiliary jack, and tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped wheel with stereo controls. Ours also came with a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo with six-disc player and subwoofer; Sirius Satellite Radio; 40GB music server and navigation; and rearview camera. These options brought the Outlander Sport SE Navi to $27,540; those who want a base model Sport can pick one up for as little as $19,240.

In our tester, the interior features gave the look and feel of a vehicle that's more upscale. The in-dash display, paddle shifters, and backup camera got thumbs-up from the judges. The front seats didn't offer much lateral support, and the rear seats were somewhat cramped, but the generous sunroof provided a lot of visibility. For those who want plenty of features in a value-packed crossover, this is a good one to consider. But there are competitors that do this better, at about the same price. - Allyson Harwood

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Base price $19,240-$23,740
Price as tested $27,540 (SE AWD)
Vehicle layout Front engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 2.0L/148-hp/145-lb-ft DOHV 16-valve I-4
Transmission Cont-variable auto
Curb weight (f/r dist) 3362 lb (58/42%)
Wheelbase 105.1 in
Length x width x height 169.1 x 69.7 x 64.2 in
0-60 mph 10.1 sec
Quarter mile 17.7 sec @ 79.4 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph 125 ft
Lateral acceleration 0.76 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight 28.9 sec @ 0.56 g (avg)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 24/29 mpg (est)
CO2 emissions 0.75 lb/mile
INTERIOR/Functionality ***
VALUE ****
Lancer-like crossover is decent value, but not best in class.