Drive a new car off the dealership lot in 2011 and no matter the make or model, you're almost certainly in a car that's safe, reliable, and competent on the road. We live in a time in which "bad cars" are practically extinct, and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a prime example of that. Mitsubishi's compact crossover is a brand-new vehicle with a design that's years fresher than many of the segment's stalwarts. Despite that, it stumbles to the back of the pack right out of the gate. There's nothing perilously wrong with this Mitsubishi, but neither does it really sell itself. While its long-term reliability is untested, the Outlander Sport definitely suffers from the perception of low quality. The cabin creaks and rattles, the suspension occasionally crashes and clunks, and the interior feels decidedly cheap. Engine vibrations are evident at higher rpms, which you'll often see in efforts to get this 3040-pound vehicle moving with 148 hp. All that is a shame, because the Outlander Sport steers nicely and looks pretty sharp among some stodgier competitors.
- Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor
Besides the fact that its name is confusing (see Mr. Tingwall's initial review of this car), the new Outlander Sport is a nice small hatchback. It's nothing fancy, but perfectly fine, especially when you consider the car's $19,275 base price. Our test car-with its wheel covers, stick shift, and cloth seats-was a bare-bones, no-options model, a rarity among press cars but somewhat refreshing nonetheless. As Eric mentioned, though, the Outlander Sport's lack of refinement is plainly evident. I, too, liked the car's looks and steering, but I was unimpressed by its extreme amounts of body roll during cornering. The tradeoff, of course, is ride quality that's much more tolerable than that of, say, a Lancer Evolution.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor