I've come to the conclusion that the Outlander Sport is great for running errands around town. This update comes to you after numerous trips to IKEA and about every furniture store in Southern California. Let me tell you what I managed to fit in the back with the rear seats folded down (max cargo volume 49.5 cubic feet): one television media center, a nightstand, two floor lamps, a 27x39-inch framed print of New York City, and room to spare in front for three drink containers. Not bad for a compact crossover. From a practical standpoint, I'm happy with the Outlander. The navigation system located all the furniture stores, the 710-watt sound system kept me entertained on the way, and the interior is a pretty nice place to –occupy. It’s just a shame that the driving experience is not what it could be.

As I've mentioned in earlier updates, the woefully underpowered engine is such an overwhelming factor that, however good everything else is, it just leaves me questioning why I would ever buy one. Strong words, I know. But it’s that bad. I'm not sure which is worse, the lack of power or the horrible screamy engine note. It sounds bad even under moderate revs. How difficult can it be to put the right engine in a “sport” compact SUV?

And how difficult can it be to make a comfortable seat? The ones in the Outlander are too firm. The back seats don't give nearly enough support under the passenger’s legs because the seat isn't long enough. Every one of my friends who’s sat in the back reported this, and since the seating position is too upright, there's no way of adjusting that. I guess this is a direct result of the engineers chopping off 14.6 inches from the overall length of the standard V-6 Outlander, which has heavily compromised rear-passenger comfort.

On a positive note, the four-cylinder engine gets pretty good gas mileage, averaging about 25 mpg city on my furniture run. Can’t complain about that.


Our Car
Months/miles in service 8/9668
Avg econ/CO2 22.5 mpg/0.86 lb/mi
Energy cons 150 kW-hr/100 mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0