2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: ...With a Paddle
April 25, 2011
I'm not a big fan of our Outlander Sport. Like our TSX Sport Wagon, I don't think the Mitsubishi deserves the "Sport" in its name. With a bovine groan under weak acceleration and lazy handling, this is pretty much the antithesis of sport in my book. But commend the manufacturer for adding the paddle shifter, which I think is one of the best executions of this type.
Mitsubishi nailed it with the dual-clutch transmission in the Evo. Now, I know the Outlander Sport's is a CVT with simulated gears, but the paddles are the same. Note to all car manufacturers: Mount the paddles to the steering column, the right paddle is an upshift and the left is a downshift. I absolutely hate paddles that are mounted to the wheel, primarily because it keeps you from selecting a gear mid-turn. As a shuffle-steer driver, the Mitsubishi's paddles are always in the perfect spot.
Some might contend that a car like this doesn't need paddle shifters, and I agree. But at least they did it right. On a few downhill grades, this option certainly came in handy. Too bad there's no rev-matching, though.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor