Used 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SUV Review
Think of the Outlander Sport as the little brother of Mitsubishi's Outlander, a model that is larger and offers a tiny third row of seating to handle up to seven passengers. "Sportiness" often encompasses compact dimensions and light weight, and that must be what Mitsubishi had in mind when naming the five-passenger Outlander Sport, because its actual performance doesn't really qualify as sporty.
For those whose chief concern is affordability, however, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport delivers, with pricing that undercuts almost every competitor, as well as fuel economy -- up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway -- that's at the top of the class. The Outlander Sport is visibly much smaller than the Outlander and can be some 700 pounds lighter. Lightness is always a good thing.
The Outlander Sport's lightness and smaller size could be expected to translate into a certain agility, but the Sport's suspension tuning is too soft to make handling entertaining and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, borrowed from the Lancer compact car, lacks power, particularly when matched with the Sport's continuously variable transmission. The CVT automatic is a boon to economy, but does no favors for the Sport's already meager engine power, making for lackadaisical acceleration.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is fine for an urban runabout, but those who want more athletic handling will find the Kia Sportage and Nissan Juke more satisfying. If cost is less of an issue and if you'll usually need more cargo capacity than the Sport provides, larger, more mainstream crossovers such as the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V are likely to be better all-around choices.
performance & mpg
Powering the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission offered in the ES is a five-speed manual. A CVT is available as an option and is standard on the SE. For 2013, Mitsubishi says it revised the CVT to improve performance and refinement. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available for either of the Sport's trim levels. As with the regular Outlander, AWD models feature three driver-selectable modes to optimize traction.
In Edmunds testing, a front-wheel-drive Outlander Sport with a manual transmission accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in a respectable 8.8 seconds. We've yet to test an Outlander Sport with the updated CVT, but prior to this it turned in a sleepy 10.3-second time. The payoff comes at the gas pump: The EPA estimates fuel economy at 25 city/31 highway mpg and 27 mpg combined for a CVT front-wheel-drive model. The manual earns 24/30/26 mpg, while automatic AWD Outlander Sports come in at 24/29/26 mpg.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport include front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver-side knee airbag, antilock disc brakes, hill start assist, traction control and stability control.
In government crash testing, the Outlander Sport received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for overall frontal-impact protection and four stars for overall side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Outlander Sport scored "Good" (the highest possible rating) in the agency's frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
In Edmunds brake testing, an AWD Outlander Sport came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for this segment.
It looks sharp enough, but we wish the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport's tidy dimensions and light weight translated to driving dynamics that equate with the name. Actual acceleration is acceptable, but you'll often wish there was at least the feeling of more power available -- particularly with the CVT. There's also too much body roll to make the driver feel confident in fast corners or while running quickly on back roads. The Sport's strong points -- affordable pricing, a lot of content and excellent fuel economy -- mostly involve the pocketbook, but its calm and quiet ride also makes it surprisingly good for highway commuting and longer road trips.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport's interior offers little in the way of visual excitement or impressive materials. Fortunately, front passengers of average size will likely find a comfortable seating position thanks to well-shaped seats, plenty of head- and legroom and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column for the driver. Taller drivers may be a bit squished. The rear seats have slightly less room, but an average-sized adult should be comfortable enough.
The controls are within easy reach and simple to use, while Mitsubishi's well-executed Fuse voice activation system makes some audio and navigation functions a hands-free affair. Even more surprising is that the Fuse system is standard on all Outlander Sports. The Sport's limited cargo capacity -- which stands at 49.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down -- is well short of compact crossovers such as the Honda CR-V and is even less than the like-sized Nissan Juke.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.