2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport quick take: Feeling a bit old

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What is it: A two-row subcompact crossover for the budget-minded buyer who requires all-wheel drive

Key Competitors: Mazda CX-3, Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Renegade, Toyota CH-R, Chevy Trax

Base Price: $24,390 As-Tested Price: $24,390

Highlights: The AWD button is cool.

2017 Mazda CX-3 review

Our Opinions: On paper, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is the saving grace for Mitsu’s car portfolio problem. Sure, legacy titles like Lancer Evo, Lancer, 3000GT, Galant, Eclipse and so many more have fallen by the wayside, but an aggressively styled compact-crossover could be the right thing to start printing money. In reality, this Outlander feels painfully dated in the hottest spot in the new-car game.

Take, for example, the USB port. While this Outlander Sport has Apple CarPlay, the same as the competitive set, actually plugging your phone into the car is a job tasked for your favorite niece or nephew — it’s a scavenger hunt. Look in the normal spots: the center console, the center stack and on the front of the center console and you’ll see not a lot of anything. Sure, there’s a 12-volt accessory well in the center console, but that doesn’t connect your phone to a media interface. Pop the glovebox open to look for a port — you’ll be disappointed there, too. Now, reach back behind the glovebox door, and you’ll find an extension cable with a USB port on it — that’s the ticket. Now, just don’t plan on closing that glovebox while driving around because there’s a cable sticking out of it.

Minor annoyances like that riddle this Outlander Sport. There’s a strange “cupholder” at the front of the center console that has a molded “not a cupholder” logo, yet it looks designed to fit a cup. Driving it, too, has its quirks. The steering is artificially heavy, which is sad considering how much I champion the Lancer Evo for its perfect steering feel. Driving the Outlander Sport feels like you’re using a Logitech wheel with an older copy of Gran Turismo.

That said, the suspension feels as capable as any other crossover on the market. You’ll cushion over bumps with the prerequisite dips and dives from soft springs. The engine, too, feels peppy despite the low output rating. Tip into the throttle and you’ll move away fast enough to get out of your own way. There are some rattles, and the touch points feel cheap, but for the price, you won’t be too bent out of shape — that is, until you crawl into a Crosstrek, C-HR or even a Chevy Trax. While this Mitsu feels like it should be a hit, it’s still a few years behind the competition. 

On Sale: Now

Base Price: $24,390

As Tested Price: $24,390

Drivetrain: 2.0-liter DOHC I4, AWD CVT

Output: 148 hp @ 6,000 rpm; 168 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,252 lb

Fuel Economy: 23/29/26 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)

Pros: Efficient and sporty looking

Cons: Lots of road and wind noise, and just plain weirdness

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