2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT 2.4: Small Crossover is Large with Extras

By Mike Blake - Carlisle Events
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mitsubishi’s top-selling vehicle is the Outlander, a small crossover for soft-road and around-town utility. Outlander represents Mitsubishi’s attention to an all-season vehicle with good fuel economy and compact size. Carrying the Outlander badge, but in a smaller, sportier and more affordable configuration, the Outlander Sport, debuted in 2011, and has earned its own following.

Outlander Sport remains mostly untouched for 2017. Sport powered up last year with the introduction of a larger and more muscular engine, a 2.4-liter MIVEC 4-cylinder engine that delivers 168 horsepower and 167 lbs.-ft. of torque to join its economical 2.0-liter offering, and those power trains remain intact for 2017. Additionally, following the 2016 additions of Outlander Sport’s “Dynamic Shield” front design concept, 18-inch alloy wheel design and lip wheel moldings, and power folding side door mirrors with turn indicator lamps that contribute to the sleek new architecture, and various cabin and infotainment enhancements, the 2017 editions stands pretty well pat and gains a standard shark fin antenna, standard automatic climate control and upgraded interior seat fabric.

Outlander Sport is rounded and aggressively forward-leaning, utilizing an aerodynamic, low-drag body design with a clean, sloping demeanor, a short hood, raked windshield, angular corners and the “Dynamic Shield” grille bisected horizontally by a thick black centerpiece. Side action lines are sculpted in and the rear employs a front-focused stance.

The 2017 Outlander Sport in GT configuration (as was my test drive) is light at 3285 lbs. (curbweight with the 2.4 engine and AWD) and measures 171.5 inches long, 71.3 inches wide and 64.8 inches high on a 105.1-inch wheelbase. Ground clearance is 8.5 inches,

Sport power comes from either a 2.0-liter engine that provides 148 horses and 145 lbs.-ft. of torque, with an estimated 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway for 2WD models and 23 city/29 highway for AWD; or the 2.4-liter MIVEC 4-cylinder engine which is estimated 23/28 2WD and 22/27 AWD. Both engines are set up with a 5-speed manual or Sportronic® continuously-variable transmission. My test ride, an Outlander Sport GT, was outfitted with the 2.4-liter powerplant that is less noisy than the smaller engine, but while quicker than the 2.0, it is not a fast accelerator. You get steady and predictable speed increases, and uphill grades are easily and successfully traveled, but passing at speed takes some strategy and track tests showed a plodding attack at 8.9 seconds for a zero-to-60mph run and a 17.0-second quarter-mile journey. A week of mixed-use tests on snowy and slick surfaces yielded an average of 24.2mpg.

Behind the wheel, there is a compact sedan feel rather than a sports-ute experience, though the electric power steering often lacked focus. Driving in town was fun, as Sport easily maneuvers into tight spaces and around obstacles, making it better suited for urban than off-road scenarios -- Sport is more pleasant and friendly than it is rugged. The MacPherson front struts with stabilizer bar and multi-link rear with stabilizer bar deftly leveled minor road and highway bumps and gave good road feel, but soft-road seemed about its upper level.

The Outlander Sport cabin is driver and passenger friendly and is brimming with expected tech and infotainment. With the Panoramic Roof above, the interior provides 39.4 inches of front headroom with 37.9 inches for row two. Legroom is comfortable up front at 41.6 inches up front, but tighter in the rear at 36.3 inches. Shoulder room is 56.2 inches in row one and 55.5 inches for the rear seats.

In addition to the plethora of standard cabin amenities across all trims, my Sport GT came standard with a 6.1-inch Touch panel display audio system, 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with 6 speakers, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with 3-month subscription, Digital HD Radio®, FUSE Hands-free Link System® with Bluetooth® technology, USB port, and steering wheel controls, Color Multi-Information Display, Rearview camera system, FAST-key passive entry system with panic feature, One-touch Start/Stop engine switch, automatic air conditioning climate control, heated driver and front passenger seats and much more.

For comparison, the full-size 2017 Outlander starts at $22,995 for the ES trim and tops at (before options and add-ons) at $30,995 in GT trim. The smaller 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport starts at $19,595 for the 2WD ES 2.0 trim with a 5-speed manual transmission, while the automatic version bases at $20,795. All-wheel drive takes the base 2.0 to $22,195. With 11 trim levels offered across the Sport line-up, the 2.4 engine model begins at $22,495 in manual 2WD and tops at $25,395 for the 2.4 Sport in all-wheel-drive automatic. Moving up to the GT 2.4, pricing starts at $25,995 for 2WD, automatic while the GT 2.4 I tested in all-wheel-drive and standard black leather interior starts at $27,395.

The Navigation Package added $1800; The All-Weather Package 2 added remote engine start and front and rear mudguards for $595; the Exterior Package added $515, for a large rear spoiler, alloy fuel door and front and rear undercovers; the Interior Package added $200 for Piano Black gear shift panel and black leather/aluminum gear shift knob; Rear Park Assist Sensor Package added $350; and Destination and Handling added $895 for a sticker-as-tested of $31,750.

Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.

Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.

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