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2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by john

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Reviewed: 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

4dr SUV 148-horsepower 2.0L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Why the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport?

Exterior styling

One of the best looking small SUV's on the market enhanced by the offering of handsome 18" wheels as standard across the line. The rally red paint accentuates the car's character lines and prominent fender buldges.

Interior styling

Functional yet boring interior with a blended use of high quality and low quality plastics. Seats are comfortable and have good adjustability.

Powertrain performance

The engine is coarse and unpolished at higher rpms yet smooth and queit at lower revs and when not pushed. It is very relaxed at highway cruising speeds (65-75 mph). The shift action of the manual transmission is smooth and precise complimented by very good clutch take up and engagement. Rev matched downshifts are super smooth and easy. Power is what to be expected from a 148hp engine. Off the line acceleration is lazy but there is adequate passing power at speed above 3500 rpm. The trade off for the lack of performance and engine refinement is of course excellent fuel economy. Most of its competitors offer more hp but keep in mind this vehicle is among the lightest in its class and undercuts them in price by $2-3k. If you can spend the extra $ then a Mazda CX5 would be the better choice in terms of refinement.

Handling

Reviews have criticized this SUV for not being "sporty" in the handling department. On the contrary, despite its body roll (it is an SUV afterall) grip is excellent and steering despite having no road feel, loads up well. Coming from a VW GTI, I can tell you this vehicle has excellent grip. The OEM Nexus tires are excellent offering both grip and low road noise. Highway stability is excellent. Again, coming from a GTI and other past German cars, high speed stability is excellent for this class of vehicle. Sadly, much of the vibration from the powertrain is tranmitted through the steering wheel which starkly contrasts its very smooth ride and overall moderately quiet NVH.

Fuel economy

I will be periodically posting my mileage in the fuel section. But out of the gate the Outlander Sport has been returning excellent numbers. In cold weather and with only 10 miles on the engine, I was seeing a respectable 32-34 mpg on rural back roads. Highway at 65-75 MPH has seen a consistent 29-31 mpg.

Why Not the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport?

Powertrain performance

The engine is unrefined and surprisingly so for a Japanese engineered four cylinder. If you choose not to push it and keep the revs low it can be "smooth" and definately acceptable as a daily driver. I understand Mitsu added balance shafts to the engine but only when paired withe CVT. I would be curious to see what the CVT owners have to say.

Exterior styling

The American assembly plant really need to get a handle on the panel gaps. Other wise, it appears to be screwed together well.

Controls and instruments

The HVAC postion dial does not seem to line up with the icons or at least appears so from the angle of the driver.

Interior styling

Lacks details to make the interior "pop" a little. Some bezeling around the vents would help.

Handling

Steering has no road feel what so ever yet transmits all the harshness from the engine.

Conclusion

My criteria for choosing a small suv may differ than most. The absolute first priority for me is a manual transmission. This leaves you with the OS, Forester, Tiguan and CX5. Price and reliability eliminates the Tiguan. Standard features eliminates the Forester. Now you are down to the CX5 or the OS. Why would any sane car enthusiast choose the OS over the CX5? It all comes down to affordability and the Mitsu can be had for $3k + less and a 10yr/10k mile powertrain warranty. This makes sense for someone like myself who drives 30k miles per year.

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