November 28, 2011
Having wrapped up our L.A. to Monterey road trip, we have just a few more notes on the Mitsu and the trip itself.
-- On the sparsely populated, unlit mountain roads the standard xenon headlights were much appreciated as they cast a powerful, wide swath of light with a well-defined cut-off.
-- We averaged a respectable 24.8 mpg over 818 miles of mostly highway driving.
-- The nav system needs to mute the stereo more when it gives voice prompts. Sometimes it was as if Lady Monotone was trying to rap along with the music. And yes, we had the prompts volume set high enough.
-- Another high-tech bugaboo is that when you're using the Bluetooth phone hook-up, there's a low but still annoying fax machine-like noise that accompanies the call.
-- As I've said before, the Outlander Sport's a snap to park with its pug nose styling, clipped tail and rearview camera.
-- Trip highlights included the charming Centrella Inn bed and breakfast (shown above) in Pacific Grove as well as the incredible Monterey Bay Aquarium, (the sea otters are a riot).
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 19,794 miles.
November 22, 2011
I like the looks, size and nimble nature of the Outlander Sport. And the heated seats and navi also get it brownie points. But that laggardly powertrain! Unless you work the paddles and keep it on the boil (and hurt the fuel mileage), you best plan your merging and passing maneuvers well in advance. Ok, enough caning an expired equine.
Mitsubishi is bringing out its all electric "i" for 2012. Toyota's bringing back an all-electric version of the RAV4 next year. Think about how much better Mitsu's truly compact SUV would be with either an all-electric or hybrid powertrain. Zippy performance and much lower "fuel" costs. Works for me. There was some buzz back in July about Mitsu bringing out a plug-in hybrid version of its truly compact SUV in 2013, but we haven't heard anything since.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 18,886 miles.
October 26, 2011
Our longterm 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE served as transportation, food service station, storage, clothesline and mobile changing room over this past weekend's 24 Hours of LeMons race at Infineon Raceway.
Though not at it's best as a mile eater -- too much road noise, tepid acceleration, sometimes choppy ride -- its alert steering and comfy seats are welcome in this class of vehicle.
One minor bummer -- where's the flip-down tailgate? I really liked that feature in the non-Sport Outlander. Good for loading, good for sitting. Ah well.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 16,627 miles.
October 13, 2011
Today three of our long-term cars will be driven from Santa Monica 325 miles north to Monterey, CA for the Porsche Rennsport Reunion. Kurt Neibuhr will drive our 1985 911 (duh!), Michael Jordan will pilot our new long-term Audi A8, which arrived yesterday, and I'll be in our Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
Why did I choose the Mitsu?
Simple, I like it. It has everything my dad and I need for a successful road trip, including a nice ride, comfy seats, strong air con, sat nav, sat radio and plenty of room for two big strong Oldham men and our luggage.
It also gets good mileage. 29 mpg on the highway according to the EPA.
I can't wait to get on the road. Check back here early next week for an update on the Mitsu and our road trip.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
October 10, 2011
I've spent a lot of time in our 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport recently. In my single days the positives of this SUV outweigh the negatives easily. This is a car that I would consider spending my own money on if not for one thing. I'm not single anymore...
September 15, 2011
First the good news. Our long-term 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE is great for around town. Running errands, short trips, and going out: it's good for all that due its manageable size, decent handling, and good utility. The Outlander Sport has a good-sized storage area, is easy to park, and you can squirt around traffic -- if you use the paddles. And I think it looks great too.
However, I wouldn't want to take it on long trips or a road trip. The suspension is OK, but the ride is a bit choppy, due in part at least, to the short wheelbase. And the engine is anemic and emits a droning noise. Sure those nice magnesium paddles keep the revs up and make things somewhat interesting. But I wouldn't want to climb the I-15 grades to Vegas in this thing. You would get squashed by the big rigs.
How about your ride? Is it better around town or on the open road?
Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~14,000 miles
August 10, 2011
I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Not with that engine and transmission I'm not. Seriously, I'm quite confident that my 16-year-old blender would be more successful at propelling this thing. But that's not the point I'm making here. Instead, here's something I like about this little utility vehicle
Look at that panoramic sunroof and more specifically its sunroof shade. Most jumbo sunroofs come with a sliding shade that utilizes thin vinyl or headliner-like materials of varying thickness. Oh, and then there's the useless meshy stuff that gives you more sun than shade.
August 09, 2011
I just returned from road-tripping our 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. No, it was nothing like Phil's rock-crawling adventure in the Juke. Instead, my trip was exclusively paved. Nearly all freeway for 1000 miles, give or take, from Los Angeles to Thunderhill Raceway in lovely Willows, CA, and back.
There are a few things that stood out, both good and bad.
May 19, 2011
The seats in our Outlander Sport have three different types of fabric with three different textures. For some reason, when I look at the the nubby, blue-specked fabric that covers most of the seats, I think of these things...
March 04, 2011
Our Outlander Sport is a decent urban runabout. But I haven't found it particularly enjoyable for long-distance driving on the freeway. There are a couple reasons. One is noise. Road noise is prominent at times, and the car's big side mirrors kick up a fair amount of wind noise. This isn't to say that the O-Sport is making a racket -- in testing, we measured 69.2 db at 70 mph, compared to 72.9 db for our notably noisy Mazda 2 and 67.1 db for our Chevy Cruze -- but in general I find myself noticing wind, road and engine noise more in our Sport than I do in most other long-term cars.
I also haven't found the driver seat to be all that comfortable -- the cushioning is too flat and firm for my tastes. Oldham wrote he liked the comfort, though, so there would seem to be a divergent opinion here. I do like having a telescoping steering wheel, something our regular Outlander doesn't have.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
February 25, 2011
Since the Outlander Sport is smaller than the regular Outlander, I was curious to find out how comfortable the backseat is. First I compared the two on Edmunds; the Sport measures about 3 inches less in rear legroom (36.3) and just a tad less headroom (37.9). Our Sport does have the panoramic sunroof, so that does take out an additional inch or so.
The rear doors don't open all that wide, so entry/exit is mediocre. Once seated, I found the loss in rear legroom to be minor; there's still plenty of room for adult-sized legs. There's lots of room underneath the front seats to put your feet, too. Headroom is OK, though I'm guessing anyone taller than 5-foot 11-inches will have his or her head rubbing against the headliner.
The main issue is that I just didn't find the seating to be very comfortable. The cushioning is hard and flat, and the seatback is
very fairly upright. There isn't any sliding or reclining action like you get with the regular Outlander. It's a little like sitting on a park bench. This does make it super easy to install a child safety seat, though.
I'm guessing most owners won't be using their Outlander Sports for frequent multi-passenger transportation. So from that viewpoint, the Outlander's backseat is just fine for little kid duty or occasions like taking co-workers to lunch.
Update: fushigi comented that the rear seats do in fact recline, and upon further inspection I realized he's right. I think the rest of my comments still apply, but the more reclined position does help comfort some.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
February 16, 2011
It's February, so as soon as millions of us switched on the car this morning, we went right for the seat heater.
This is not because we are all wimps. (Well, some of us are, actually.) Instead it's because we're sitting in leather-upholstered seats.
And leather is the worst in winter.
Actually leather is the worst in the summer, too. It's freezing in the winter and scorching hot in the summer, and squeaks all the time. As far as the general quality of leather upholstery, it is a throwback to vinyl seat upholstery of the 1950s, when everyone thought that plastic would save the world.
Thanks to the fast food industry, leather upholstery is pretty cheap these days. And also thanks to the fast food industry, the prime attribute many Americans look for in leather automotive upholstery is the ability to execute a quick cleanup when our hamburgers spontaneously disassemble and we spill some ketchup.
As the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport reminds me, cloth upholstery (well, it's actually still plastic) is so much better. It's neither freezes nor scorches, and it grips you securely enough to keep you from sloshing over against the door on the freeway ramp. And it cleans up great. Well, it cleans up great unless you get some kind of camelhair color and then let guys who have been crawling around on hot asphalt take a seat (remember that long-term 2006 Hyundai Sonata LX?).
As much as I enjoy fine leather upholstery, my choice for daily use would always be cloth. Of course, the number of American drivers who pick cloth upholstery because of anything other than an attempt to lower their monthly car payment must be incredibly small.
The Outlander Sport does have seat heaters, by the way.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 4,733 miles.
January 08, 2011
I just spent most of the day driving our long-term 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Nothing too exciting, just running errands and visiting a sick friend down in Irvine, California, about 50 miles south of the Oldham Estate.
And while the Outlander Sport won't be displacing the ZR1 from my Gotta Get One List anytime soon, there is a lot I like about this little crossover. I like the way it rides, I like the way it looks and I really like its seats.
The Outldander Sport's driver's seat is shaped well, sized right and it's not too firm. I find it just right for my 5 ft. 11 in. 180 lbs. bod. I haven't road tripped the Outlander Sport yet, which is of course the ultimate seat test, but I will soon and let you know if I feel the same way about the Mitsu's bucket after a few hours of Interstate.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 3,554 miles
December 21, 2010
First stop on our road trip was Tahoe, and we were lucky enough to be driving our new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. I say lucky because while we were in Tahoe it snowed 6 feet in town and almost 10 feet in the pass on US-50 and the Outlander's 4wd came in handy.
4wd isn't the only reason taking the Outlander on a road trip was great. In fact the best part of our Outlander on a road trip is the flexibility of the media system, it has RCA/Usb ins, CD player, and satellite radio. Virtually everything you could want to keep you entertained for a 480+ mile road trip our Outlander has it, and it's easy to use with a simple intuitive touch screen. The only real negative that we observed was the amount of road and wind noise when traveling at highway speeds.
Seth Compton, Field Producer @ 2589 miles