2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Long Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Long-Term Road Test

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Nav Traffic?

November 16, 2011

NavTraffic-1600.jpg Who is this helping? Really.

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 18,634 miles

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Mysteries of the CVT

November 15, 2011

Chrysler-Mitsubishi-Nissan CVT.jpg
Since there are fewer moving parts inside a constantly variable transmission than a manual transmission (or so I’ve heard), I once asked an engineer to explain the CVT to me so I’d know how it worked. He said it was dumb of me to think I could even begin to figure out the CVT, especially since I was so terrible at figuring out almost everything else about cars already.

First of all, he said, the whole idea of the thing goes against the laws of physics, since the key component is a chain (or belt) that you push instead of pull. If you start out by trying to push a length of string across a table instead of pulling it, he said, then the CVT must be living in an alternate universe.

Plus, he added, a Dutchman invented it.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 18,322 miles

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: Bluetooth More Distracting Than Nav?

October 25, 2011


This is the message I get when I try to connect my iPhone via Bluetooth to our 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. OK, no biggie. I see that a lot. Not many cars allow the driver or, in this case, the passenger to program Bluetooth or a destination via nav while the car is in motion. But...

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Radio Design Flaw

October 06, 2011


This is what the screen in our 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport becomes when the satellite radio expires. It is a useless, frozen readout that makes life extremely difficult were you interested in renewing the subscription. We figured it out eventually, but it wasn't easy...

In order to activate Sirius radio the rule is "tune to channel 184" and give the radio a few minutes to populate each station. That is not possible in the Outlander being that the channel controls stop working the moment your plan expires. We purchased a renewal plan and sent out the signal online just like we've done a thousand times before. But it didn't work this time.

We had to call Sirius, wait 20 minutes on hold, then identify ourselves via 50 different personal criteria before our conversation with a real person began. The operator was patient and courteous (we have to give them credit) while she ran through the troubleshooting list with us. A combination of turning off the car and restarting it ultimately solved the issue. Now we are up and running with all channels.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: Audio Packaging

October 04, 2011

IMG_3071.jpg The 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE has a Rockford Fosgate system that's identical spec-wise to the system that was in our former long-term 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: nine speakers (including a 10-inch subwoofer) powered by 710 watts. The two systems should also sound the same (hence no audio review on the Sport SE) but they look very different.

The tweeter pictured above is from the Outlander Sport SE, and it's pretty generic compared to the silver-highlighted tweeter in the Rockford system in the Outlander GT.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Center Arm Rest Goes The Distance

September 06, 2011

mitsubishi outlander sport arm rest.jpg

The center arm rest in our Outlander Sport slides fore and aft and it extends by a relatively significant amount -- it sticks out far enough to allow me to rest my elbow even while my hand is still on the steering wheel. This comes in handy during mellow stretches of freeway travel and helps make the cabin an even more comfortable place to be.

Now if only the arm rest had a bit more padding it would be perfect. Banged my elbow on it a couple of times. Ouch.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 13,890 miles

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: Now That's Just Goofy

August 17, 2011


There's a reaon why I prefer navigation traffic systems which simply color code the road rather than using arrows to display congested areas.

This is it.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Remembers

June 09, 2011


Sometimes, I put aside the show tunes and plug in the iPod Touch. Last night, I chose "Songs" then "Shuffle" then plugged in my iPod. The Outlander's audio system started playing all of my songs alphabetically. This seemed appealing so instead of fiddling with it, I let it play. You get a very interesting mix of music when you start with songs that begin with the letter A. And boy, do I have a lot of As.

When I got home about an hour later, I was still in the early stages of B. It was playing "Ben" by Michael Jackson, of which I have two versions. (It's not repeating in the picture.) I unplugged my iPod. Later than night, I was listening to a specific album on my iPod and had it hooked up to my speakers in the house.

Next morning, I connected my iPod to the Outlander and again chose "Songs" and "Shuffle." I expected it to start over and I was going to choose a different letter. I'm digging the whole alphabetical thing. It continued where it left off the night before, right in the middle of the Bs, and it was kind enough to start "Ben" over again. It remembered where I had left off even though I had used my iPod differently in between.

Also interesting, is the Outlander's audio system alphabetizes differently than my iPod. It skips songs that begin with articles such as "The" so "The Beautiful Strangers" and "The Best of Times" were skipped.

I'm not complaining, just making observations.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: The Irony

June 02, 2011

Mitsu O-Sport_kanji.jpg

This Japanese small utility vehicle doesn't even recognize its own language. Case in point: some songs loaded to USB thumb drive from a new album by KODO, a Japanese traditional drum corps. The new album, Akatsuki, is full of folk melodies, straight-up bushido spirit and the infernal, thunderous drumming for which this crew is famous.

But the Mitsu multimedia center doesn't even recognize the Japanese characters in the song titles. It just stares quizzically like some two-dimensional electronic Riddler.

Could be a read error in the USB stick's file structure (the contents displayed on computer show up normally). Could be that the head unit - which I'm guessing is not supplied by Rockford Fosgate, but rather a Japanese or Korean OEM - doesn't recognize international characters. Could be that the drumming contained therein simply blew the infotainment system's mind. But the irony is staggering.

Carry on.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Don't Stop The Music

May 24, 2011

outlander sport real time traffic.jpg
The Sirius subscription in our Outlander Sport hasn't been renewed yet (it will be soon), following the end of our free three-month trial. Without satellite radio, it feels like something's missing in the Sport. And this, of course, underlines the fact that a crossover like this is mostly about the music. It was designed to essentially be a boom box on four wheels. And I guess that's not necessarily a bad thing.

With no Sirius to distract me, I paid more attention to the Sport's performance -- or lack thereof. Hit the gas and the crossover whines loudly as it takes its own sweet time getting up to speed. So yes, acceleration is still s-l-o-o-o-o-w.

Oh well. At least I can still amuse myself with the car's real-time traffic. No fee for that subscription; it's free on all Sports equipped with nav systems.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Carpool Lane Navigation

May 03, 2011


The navigation system in our 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has a neat feature I've rarely, if ever, seen before. When selecting a route, it asks if you'll be using the HOV lane, otherwise known as the carpool lane. They call it Diamond Lane Guide but, like all things Mitsubishi, the "Diamond" is a symbol, a one-third chunk of the Mitsubishi diamond-star logo.

This is pretty mega around here because a freeway intersection like the 91 east to the 5 south shown above is a right lane exit if you're in the regular lanes but it's a left lane exit if you've told the nav system you qualify for carpool lanes. This is not a permanent setting, either--it's pretty easy to change the HOV status once you've dropped off your carpool buddy.

Most other systems would direct anyone and everyone at this point to the right lane to take 5 south, which isn't the right way to go if you're rocking the HOV lane. Trust me, no one benefits when tourists knife across 4 lanes of traffic needlessly on their way to Disneyland.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 7,629 miles

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: Back-Up Guidelines

April 12, 2011

2011 Mitsu Outlander Sport Back Up Camera Display.jpg

Our long-term 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE not only has a nice back-up camera display, it also has trajectory and proximity guidelines like many new cars equipped with back-up cameras. I love these lines, as long as they aren't overdone.

It's so easy to back up into a space. Parallel parking is a breeze. And parking at night is so much easier. With many cars it's difficult to determine your range to that next vehicle, but that red proximity line is quite helpful.

Of course, you should not use the camera display exclusively, instead only glancing at it intially and periodically during your backing maneuver.

Yeah, I know that some of you think you can back up fine at 50 mph, while blindfolded and inverted.

But back-up cameras with guidelines are helpful to all decent drivers. Like you and me.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 6,970 miles

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: I Can't Live Without...

March 16, 2011

outlander sport audio.jpg

The free 3-months Sirius subscription on our Outlander Sport ran out recently so I notified keeper of the keys Mike Schmidt, who said he'd renew our subscription. Without the soothing sounds of my decades or classic rock stations coming through the speakers, it was rougher than normal driving in L.A.'s notorious traffic last night. Yep, nearly 1.5 hours to go 21 miles without my iPod nor satellite radio. I found the commercials, yammering DJs and "you're screwed" traffic reports of standard radio so annoying I just shut it off.

When satellite radio first debuted back in the '90s, I remember thinking "Why would anyone pay anything just for more (albeit commercial-free) radio stations?" Now there's not a doubt in my mind that I'd opt for it -- well worth the 13 bucks a month for me.

What say y'all?

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 5,873 miles

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: No Mode but Sports Mode

March 09, 2011

Thumbnail image for Use the paddle shifters.jpg

My colleague Brent Romans said it best in this eloquent post on the necessity of paddle shifters in this crossover. I'll just second his comments here.

When I jumped into the Outlander Sport, I hadn't done any model homework and I didn't know that it has a continuously variable transmission. Now I know it does and I know I hate how it feels on acceleration. As Brent said, it's only the paddle shifters (and the pleasure of watching gear "shifts" on the display) that make the drive bearable.

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 5,726 miles

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: iPod Connection

March 01, 2011

Outlander_sport_ipod.JPG I tried hooking up my iPod Touch (newest fourth generation) to our Outlander Sport today for the first time and found it wouldn't connect. Unfortunately, I can't remember if ever tried it out in our regular Outlander, which has a pretty much identical sound system. (I'll test it out later this week.) I was able to get my iPod to sync up using the Sport's streaming Bluetooth audio, though it didn't offer full control, only the skipping of songs.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Hello, Mitsubishi?

February 23, 2011


Yesterday I attempted to schedule a service appointment for our Outlander Sport at my nearest Mitsubishi dealer. It's been a while since I've had such an interesting experience trying to get somebody to take my money.

Because I work remotely about 250 miles from our office, I usually drive each long-term car for a two-week stint before coming back to the office. So last week when I swapped into Outlander Sport, car wrangler Rex told me it was due for its first service. "No problem," I said, "I'll take care of it next week."

I live in Fresno, but the local Mitsubishi dealership in Fresno closed a couple years ago. The next nearest dealership for me is Selma Mitsubishi, about 22 miles from my house. That dealership is part of the Selma Auto Mall (Honda, Chevy, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki, and Mitsu). So when you call, you go through a main operator who directs your call. I asked for "Mitsubishi service."

The operator transferred me. The phone rang about four times, and then I got a beep, but no greeting. Hmm. Hung up. Tried again, telling the operator that nobody answered. She said she'd page the service department. OK, great. So the phone rang again for about six times. Then I got disconnected.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: Gotta Keep 'em Separated

February 10, 2011


The Outlander SE has one of my stereo-system pet peeves: adjacent volume up/down and track-skip forward/back buttons on the steering wheel. Few things are more frustrating than, just when you feel like cranking a favorite tune, instead of the hitting the volume-up button a thumb strays over to the track-skip button and -- DOH! -- the moment's over. Call it music interruptus.

I know, I know ... this is one of those nitpicking journalist critiques and you'd probably get used to this after it happens about two hundred times. But you're supposed to be able to operate these buttons by feel, without looking down. And Mitsubishi isn't the only offender that comes to mind.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: SatRad Fail!

February 04, 2011

Outlander Sport-sat rad_01_web.jpg First quality time with the Outlander Sport. Aye. If Mitsubishi is counting on this car to reverse its ill fortune, start buying gold. I'm still processing my disappointment, but the first date did not go well. Had been driving at highway speeds, without music, for about 20 minutes. Reached over to select Sirius. Music, then a gap. Odd, but not uncommon. Then, again. What the..?

Music, cross under an overpass, gap. Sirius must have a four-second buffer, because almost without fail, four seconds after driving under a bridge or overpass, the music drops out for two, sometimes three seconds - just in time to pass under another signal impediment. Best guess is that the antenna is just not picking up the terrestrial repeaters. Have noticed this in the Outlander GT as well, but with nowhere near the consistency as in the Sportif.

Mitsu sat rad antenna = boo.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Busy Audio Interface

February 02, 2011

mitsubishi outlander sport interface.jpg

I don't envy those people who're tasked with designing things like car audio interfaces. Seems like for every benefit that comes with a design choice, there's an equally compelling disadvantage.

Take, for example, the Outlander Sport's audio interface. On one hand, I like the fact that the screen contains tons of information and that you can do so much without having to cycle through a series of screens. Your individual presets are identified by name to make things absolutely clear, and you have your banks of presets listed at the top of the screen. The layout scores high marks for ease of use.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE: Service Reminder

January 27, 2011

service reminder.jpg

Our longterm 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport blinked up this reminder on the multimedia display for about four seconds upon startup. Caught it out of the corner of my eye. If you're not paying attention to the screen, you could easily miss it.

With that prompt, I dug a bit deeper in search of specifics.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Real-Time Traffic?

January 20, 2011


This is the what the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport's navigation display showed this morning as I headed north on the 405 freeway.

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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Sitting To Know You

December 17, 2010


I thought I was gonna get to drive our new 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport this morning. Instead I sat in this red zone. For an hour and ten minutes.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 2,080 miles

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