Mitsubishi unveiled its entry-level crossover for the first time in the U.S. The company didn't refer to it by name, because that hasn't officially been announced yet, but from what we hear, it'll be called Outlander Sport when it goes on sale here in September of this year.
It will be available in two trim levels--SE and ES--and, even though it shares the same wheelbase as the rest of the Outlander line, its overall length is more than a foot shorter. Power comes from a 148-horse MIVEC four backed by a five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed CVT with titanium paddle shifters will be optional on ES models and standard on SEs.
To reduce weight, the Outlander Sport's front fenders are made from recycled plastics; other fuel-saving measures include use of regenerative braking and electric power steering. Fuel economy is said to be 31 mpg on the highway. Seven airbags come standard, as do stability control, hill-start assist, ABS, and iPod jacks.
The SE model adds heated driver and front-passenger seats, automatic climate control, one-touch start, and 18-inch wheels and tires. Navigation and satellite radio are premium options.