Long Term Update 2: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Getting Back in the Swing of Things
My take on the Outlander Sport comes from a layman's point of view. Before joining the Motor Trend art department, I hadn't driven a car in about two years and, strangely enough, my last car also was a Mitsubishi, a 1995 3000GT.
Unlike our test editors, who have driven hundreds of new cars, I don't have much of a yardstick by which to measure the Outlander. However, I did get into some cars while we were testing contenders for the Car of the Year award, and I can tell you straight away the Outlander seats are not that comfortable in comparison. And if you're 6 feet or more, like one of my colleagues, you have to angle your head to sit in the back. Compared to the full-sized Outlander, the sport version is about a foot shorter with the same wheelbase, and the height in the back slopes quite dramatically, providing a less-than-comfortable experience for our taller friends.
Living with the Outlander Sport every day hasn't really brought any niggles to light--in fact, quite the opposite. It's so easy to live with. Because it's high off the ground you can slide in and out with ease and, once you're in, it's a nice place to be. It does feel premium. The dash/doors are covered with a nice fake leather textured surface that scuffs really easily, especially on the front door just below the window. Even so, a quick rub with a damp cloth does the trick.
There are a number of options on our loaded Sport SE AWC. The things that I like: panoramic glass roof with LED illumination, 710-watt stereo, Sirius radio, rear view camera, the infotainment system with a really good navigation system that also can play CDs/DVDs. All sorts of info can be accessed from the touch screen, from maintenance timing alerts to GPS satellite vehicle position, altimeter, barometer, and it's all intuitive to use.
From a practical point of view, the liftgate reveals a good-sized cargo area and with the back seats folded down I managed to get my full-size bicycle in the back without taking off the front wheel, so for daily practical use, it's great.
I do have issues with the lack of power from the 2.0-liter 148-horse engine. Every time I have to enter any freeway on-ramp I feel nervous getting up to speed quickly enough to enter the flow of traffic safely. A more powerful engine would really transform the whole driving experience.
|Months/miles in service||3/4281|
|Avg econ/CO2||23.6 mpg/0.82 lb/mi|
|Energy cons||143 kW-hr/100 mi|