Relativity often influences critical opinion. Just as Happy Gilmore could be seen a cinematographic masterpiece compared to, say, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is worlds better than classic automotive stinkers such as the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. Undoubtedly, the Outlander Sport will safely get you to where you need to go. But compared to its modern competition, this pint-sized Mitsubishi falls short in nearly every category.
We say "nearly" because there are a couple bright spots to the Outlander Sport. The main one is value. It's one of the least expensive crossover SUVs you'll come across, yet Mitsubishi has managed to pack it with most of the features you'll likely want. Mitsubishi's warranty coverage is also better than most, which could further the financial appeal of the Outlander Sport if you plan to own it for a long time.
But for everything else we evaluate vehicles on, the Outlander Sport brings up the rear. It's noisy and slow when accelerating, uncomfortable and harsh-riding over bumps, and not overwhelmingly versatile from a utility standpoint. In general, the Outlander Sport is ineffective at convincing you that you bought anything other than basic transportation.
Like a plucky Happy Gilmore winning a golf tournament to save the day, we'd like to see the plucky Outlander Sport rise to greatness. For now, however, we think you'll be much happier with rival crossovers such as the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and Mazda CX-3.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV that can be seen as the little brother to the three-row Outlander. The entry-level ES and LE are motivated by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (148 horsepower, 145 pound-feet) that is a bit slow. The SE and SEL are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (168 hp, 167 lb-ft) that feels more potent. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional on all trims.
Standard ES features include 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, remote locking and unlocking, cruise control, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a driver information display, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, and a four-speaker audio system with a USB port. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional.
The LE trim adds xenon headlights with LED running lights, fog lights, special exterior and interior styling details, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a slightly smaller touchscreen (6.5 inches) that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
Next is the Outlander Sport's SE trim. It gets most of the LE's upgrades except the xenon headlights and styling changes. It also has the 7-inch touchscreen (now with the Android and Apple phone integration) and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio and an extra USB port.
When you step up to the SEL, you get the xenon headlights plus power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery and a power-adjustable driver seat.
The main factory option for the 2018 Outlander Sport is a Touring package for the SEL. It includes a panoramic sunroof, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and automatic high-beam headlights.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of a 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL (2.4L inline-4 | CVT automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Outlander Sport has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain applicable to this year's model.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
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.