2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review: Climbing Over Pavements On The Cheap

by Jared Rosenholtz

Mitsubishi's entrant to the highly competitive subcompact SUV class comes in the form of the Outlander Sport; an inoffensive looking thing that sits high off the ground and has all the necessary requirements to be called a car. But what else is there? Powering the Outlander Sport is a set of four-cylinder engines producing between 148 and 168 horsepower. An impressive warranty, decent features list, and a low starting price of only $20,945 might seem attractive, but the car is let down by its underwhelming range of engines, so-so build quality, and questionable road holding. Competitors such as the Toyota C-HR and Hyundai Kona offer more in almost every way, including superior safety levels and increased interior space. 2020 brings a redesign that should make Mitsubishi's subcompact SUV more competitive, but until then, we're stuck with old bones dating back to 2011.

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Outlander Sport?

The Outlander has been with us since 2011, so to say that it's getting on in years would be an understatement. Mitsubishi has done its best to keep things fresh for 2019, with the most significant change being a reshuffling of trim levels and the addition of some much-needed driver safety assistance tech. SE models now include lane-change assistance, blind-spot warning, and rear-cross traffic alert as well as a set of power-folding wing mirrors. The SEL trim, previously the top of the range model, is replaced by the GT, which boasts standard rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated seats, forward collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, and more, as well as a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

Pros and Cons

  • A good amount of standard features
  • One of the best warranties around
  • Standard 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Functional interior
  • Not as expensive as some rivals
  • Some interior materials feel cheap
  • Can get bumpy over rough road surfaces
  • Not a lot of power on tap
  • Engine and road noise is intrusive

Outlander Sport Exterior

Let's be honest; you're not going to be buying an Outlander for its stunningly good looks, you're going to buy it because it's a practical appliance that can carry stuff and drive at highway speeds. That being said, the Outlander Sport has a certain innocuous charm to it that suits its family-friendly persona. The honeycomb front grille and headlight combination hints at the Outlander's adventurous side, but the side profile and rear end give away its humble intentions. Standard exterior features for 2019 include color-matched and heated power-folding side mirrors - with black items on the LE and SP trims - color-matched door handles, and 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 225/55R18 all-season tires. Lighting is taken care of via a set of halogen headlights in all but the top trim, as the GT trim comes standard with auto on/off HID units. Fog lights and LED daytime running lights are standard on all models except the ES, while LED rear combination taillights are stock across the range. A roof spoiler tops off the exterior features for each variant, except the SP trim, which swaps it out for a large rear spoiler instead.

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Front View Mitsubishi
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Rear View Mitsubishi
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Front Angle View Mitsubishi
See All 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Competing against the likes of the Nissan Rogue Sport in the subcompact SUV class, the Outlander Sport measures in at a class average, but impresses with its off-road capable ground clearance and relatively short overhangs. Overall length is measured at 171.9 inches and maximum height is 64.8 inches, making it 2.3 inches taller than the Nissan, while at a width of 71.3 inches, it's an inch narrower than the Rogue. The Outlander Sport rolls on a short 105.1-inch wheelbase, which, combined with an impressive ground clearance of 8.5 inches, should allow this Mitsubishi to handle light offroad work without any significant hiccups. The Outlander Sport, in its base form, weighs only 3,032 lbs in FWD format, but steadily gains weight throughout the range, topping out at 3,258 for the 2.4-liter AWD GT.

Exterior Colors

The manufacturers of the new generation of urban living artisanal subcompact crossover SUVs will have you thinking that by driving one, you are immediately transformed into a gentrified Steve Irwin, who dominates the local rock climbing scene, or whatever. Where this is most evident is in the seven-color palette for the 2019 Outlander Sport: colors like Pearl White (which costs $295 extra), Alloy Silver Metallic, and Mercury Gray Metallic are all perfectly good colors that suit the edgy lines of the Outlander, but the Octane Blue Metallic and Quartz Brown have obviously been included for those who want to look like the people in The North Face catalogs. Mind you, those are our two favorite colors. Rally Red and Labrador Black are two additional no-cost metallic options.

  • Pearl White
  • Quartz Brown Metallic
  • Octane Blue Metallic
  • Rally Red Metallic
  • Mercury Gray Metallic
  • Alloy Silver Metallic
  • Labrador Black Metallic

Outlander Sport Performance

Don't let the word "Sport" fool you into thinking that the outlander shares some of its DNA with a Lancer Evolution, because the 2019 Outlander Sport is far removed from anything associated with Mitsubishi's rich and proud motorsport heritage. As a subcompact crossover SUV, the Outlander Sport will spend most of its time running errands in town, or maybe taking the family across state to visit the family who has a smallholding, and for that purpose, it's quite suited; but don't expect more, and you won't be disappointed. There are two naturally aspirated four-cylinders on offer, a 2.0 and 2.4-liter making 148 hp and 168 hp respectively. The latter is capable of coaxing the Outlander Sport to sixty in around 8.5 seconds, which isn't too bad for its class. In-town the Sport is nimble enough but doesn't like to be hurried on the open road. All models are available in either FWD or AWD configuration as well, but due to the diminutive size and feeble powertrain options, Mitsubishi hasn't rated the Outlander Sport for towing capacity.

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Front View Driving Mitsubishi
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Rear View Driving Mitsubishi
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Engine Mitsubishi

Engine and Transmission

Mitsubishi offers the 2019 Outlander Sport with two engine and two transmission options. All models barring the top-end GT make use of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with the entry-level ES 2WD fitted with a five-speed manual transmission as standard (which isn't the worst we have ever test) - the remainder are kitted out with a CVT transmission. The 2.0-liter four-pot produces an asthmatic 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque and doesn't respond well to quick jabs of the throttle pedal. GT models get the bigger and more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which pushes out a more respectable 168 hp and 167 lb-ft. Mated to the standard CVT auto transmission, the GT delivers an unconvincing performance, which is mostly due to an overly sensitive gas pedal that makes acceleration difficult and the CVT doesn't help matters. Sadly, GT-buyers can't bypass the CVT and have to make do with the less-than-ideal setup.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas, 2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    5-Speed Manual, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

What do you get when you combine a short wheelbase, high ground clearance, and skinny all-season tires? The short answer is you get a car that doesn't instill confidence when going around corners. In the case of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, body lean is pronounced and the vehicle is easily unnerved when taking evasive action. The steering plays a big part in the Outlander's unpredictable handling characteristics: there's a noticeable delay between steering input and an actual change in direction, and on-center steering feels vague to put it lightly. Under hard braking, body instability becomes even more noticeable, and apart from the nose diving in dramatic fashion, side to side movement makes hard braking a nerve-wracking undertaking. The Outlander Sport is at its best driving at the speed limit, where it does a fine job of soaking up mild road imperfections; it does tend to get choppy at lower speeds.

Outlander Sport Gas Mileage

One of the most important considerations when buying a compact city dwelling SUV is how far it will get on a gallon of gas, which poses a slight problem for the Outlander Sport with gas mileage figures falling below the class average. The 2.0-liter FWD Outlander will manage 24/30/27 mpg city/highway/combined, dropping to 23/29/26 mpg in AWD configuration. The 2.4-liter engine is a heavier drinker and will manage 23/29/25 mpg in as a FWD, with all-wheel-drive losing one point on the highway cycle. The Sport is fitted with a 16.6-gallon fuel tank, which will give it an estimated range of between 415 and 448 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    16.6 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 23/29 mpg
* 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.0 ES Manual

Outlander Sport Interior

Step inside the 2019 Outlander Sport, and you'll be greeted with a cabin that offers a simplified and uncluttered experience. This should be a boon to young families or those who live a more active lifestyle: the interior chooses function over form and should stand up to long-term abuse. Controls are easy to reach from the driver's seat, and getting in and out of the Outlander is just as easy, thanks to a higher ride height and large door openings. Visibility out the front and sides of the Outlander is good, thanks once again to its lifted ride height, but you'll struggle to see out the back. Thankfully there's a reverse camera to assist in tight situations. Standard interior features include single-zone automatic climate control with micron air filtration, two 12-volt power outlets, heater floor ducts for back seat passengers, and a day/night rearview mirror. SE and GT models get Mitsubishi's Fast-Key entry system with push-button start and emergency panic button, while an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink is exclusively available on GT models.

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Dashboard Mitsubishi
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Dashboard 1 Mitsubishi
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Dashboard 2 Mitsubishi
See All 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Space matters, especially when you're talking about an SUV. The Outlander Sport offers seating for five and will do so with enough space to keep a small family comfortable on short to medium-length road trips. The driver gets a six-way adjustable seat while the front passenger gets four-way adjustability. The front seat design isn't overly sporty, but offers more than enough support, even when undertaking quick maneuvers. The driving position is rather awkward in the way that the driver is forced to sit in an uncomfortably upright position, despite the available seat adjustment. The front seat legroom is 41.6 inches, and headroom measures 39.4 inches, while passengers in the rear get 36.3 inches of legroom and 37.9 inches of headspace. These numbers are comparable with those of the Nissan Rogue Sport, which offers more front leg and headroom, but offers much less rear legroom at only 33.4 inches.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The materials used inside the 2019 Outlander seem outdated and cheap, but fitment and finish are good and should stand up to years of abuse. While most of the interior is made up of a collection of soft feel and not-so-soft-feel plastics, a nice touch we picked up on was the metal shifter paddles that have a nice weight and positively adds to the overall driving experience, something you don't often see in this class. There are three upholstery materials on offer, although plain black cloth is the standard fare for the base models; black or gray sports fabric, which features a mid 90s office furniture theme is available from mid-range, and then a combination soft-touch surfaces interior with black fabric, which is available on GT trim cars exclusively.

Outlander Sport Trunk and Cargo Space

Usable cargo space is one of the main reasons people look at SUVs instead of the more traditional family sedan, so the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport fits the bill then, right? Wrong. Compared to the five-seater Nissan Rogue Sport, the Outlander offers the least amount of space by quite a large margin. Total cargo space behind the second row is 21.7 cubic feet, which is 1.4 cubic feet less than you get in the Nissan, but one-ups the Hyundai Kona by a couple of cubes. Things don't improve much when the rear seats are folded down: available cargo space grows to 49.5 cubic feet, but the Nissan offers 10.6 more. Thankfully the Outlander Sport redeems itself with plenty of small-item storage, which includes roomy door pockets, ample cupholders, and small nooks to store a set of keys and a phone.

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Trunk Space Mitsubishi
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Side View Mitsubishi

Outlander Sport Infotainment and Features

Features

All models across the range share a set of LED taillights, heated side mirrors and 18-inch wheels on the outside. On the inside, all Outlander Sport SUVs get a six-way driver and four-way passenger adjustable seats, automatic climate control with micron air filtration, as well as remote keyless access and two 12-volt power outlets. Top-end models get push-button start additionally. Higher up in the range, features such as heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shift knob, as well as an auto-dimming rearview mirror, become available. Hill start assist, blind-spot monitoring with lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert are stock features, while GT models get forward collision warning, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams as well. The standard features list on the 2019 Outlander Sport is decent and offers more than what you'd get in the base model Nissan Rogue Sport, but the Rogue makes up for that gap with more standard safety features.

Infotainment

The entire range makes use of a seven-inch infotainment display, but the base model gets a stripped-down system that can only control functions such as radio and Bluetooth control. The SE and GT trim cars get a system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, at least. The base model gets a single USB charging port, while the SE and GT models get two, as well as a three-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, and steering wheel-mounted voice control. Sound is channeled through a standard four-speaker audio system on the three bottom trims, with the SE and GT sporting and additional two. The infotainment system on the 2019 Outlander Sport works well enough, the only issue we had was the need to tap on the screen continuously to tune the radio, but this is made easier with the steering wheel controls. The optional nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system has been dropped for 2019, and no add-ons packages were made available in its place.

Outlander Sport Problems and Reliability

Although J.D. Power gave the 2019 Outlander Sport a middling score of 73 out of 100. It's worth noting that three recalls have been issued in the last year, mostly for minor defects: the first two were released in September of 2018 for an issue with the active driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, as well as a software issue that would force the car to brake longer than necessary when the collision avoidance system was to be activated. One of the Outlander Sport's biggest selling points is its class-leading warranty: you get a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, a seven-year/100,000-mile corrosion warranty, and a fantastic ten-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty plus five-year roadside assistance plan.

Outlander Sport Safety

People looking for a family orientated small SUVs will often times base their purchasing decision on how safe a car is, and that spells trouble for the Outlander Sport. The small Mitsubishi SUV has been tested by both the IIHS and NHTSA and has been found wanting by both agencies. On the NHTSA rating scale, the Outlander Sport managed four out of five stars, mainly due to poor performance in the front collision category. The IIHS test revealed the same issues: the Outlander Sport performed badly in the front overlap tests as well as in the headlight category.

Key Safety Features

Standard safety features across the lineup include hill start assist, cruise control, tire pressure monitoring, and a reverse camera. The airbag system consists of a driver's side knee and dual-stage front system, which seems inadequate when compared to most other rivals, but is fitted to all models. Blind-spot warning, lane change assist and rear cross-traffic assist comes standard on SE and GT models, while forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and auto headlights are only available on the GT. The lack of optional LED headlights is one of the major reasons the Outlander Sport received criticism from the significant safety rating agencies.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport a good SUV?

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was designed to live in the city, where its wobbly road holding and uninspiring engines wouldn't be as noticeable, and in that sense, it delivers. Still, the subcompact SUV shows its true colors when you look everywhere else. The Outlander starts with a low asking price, but as they always say, you get what you pay for. The engines fall flat when cruising on the open road, as does the steering feel and brake response. The interior, which is more functional than form, does the basics well but feels outdated and cheap when compared to rivals from Korea. The interior space is cramped, and total cargo space is left wanting. When it comes to standard features, the Outlander Sport stacks up to most of its rivals, but the options list is noticeably short, especially when it comes to active safety features. The Outlander Sport's one redeeming feature is its class-leading warranty that is sure to give peace of mind to buyers. There are many similar offerings out there that do it better in the same price range.

What's the Price of the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport?

An attractive feature to some will be the Outlander Sport's low starting price of only $20,945 for the base model 2WD 2.0 ES with the five-speed manual transmission, while opting for the CVT transmission will see that price increase to $22,145. To have the bottom-rung model in AWD adds $2,700 to the base price. LE models start at $23,145 and go up to $24,645. Mid-range 2WD SPs start at $23,545 and top out at $25,045 for the AWD model. Nearing the top-end of the range, the 2WD SE CVT starts at $23,545, followed by the AWD version at $25,045. The top of the range 2.4 GT AWD will set you back $26,545, with the 2WD version costing around $1,400 less.

Although the Nissan Rogue only starts at $25,020, it comes with more tech and safety features, as well as a more efficient and powerful engine.

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Models

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is available in five trim options, namely the ES, LE, SP, SE, and GT. All trim levels are available with either FWD or AWD, and all trim levels are available with a CVT automatic transmission, barring the entry-spec which has a five-speed manual stock fitted.

Standard features on the ES and across the range include LED taillights, heated side mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels as well as a rear-view camera, single-zone climate control, and cruise control.

LE trims get fog lights, LED daytime running lights, black folding side mirrors, black-painted alloy wheels, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shifter knobs, as well as the improved infotainment system.

One model up gets you a rear spoiler on the SP trim, as well as a black tailgate protector, a black rear undercover, and special edition badging.

The SE comes standard with silver accents on the front bumper, color-keyed power-folding side mirrors, and returns the roof rail that was deleted on the SP. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert are fitted.

The range-topping GT gets exclusive rights to the 2.4-liter engine, auto on/off HID headlights, black roof rails, rain-sensing window wipers, as well as soft-touch seating surfaces and gloss black and silver instrument panel insets. The all-important active safety features are also the exclusive domain of the GT and consist of forward-collision warning, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
ES 2.0
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$20,945
LE 2.0
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$23,145
SE 2.0
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$23,545
SP 2.0
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$23,545
GT 2.4
2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$25,045
See All 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There is a limited amount of optional extras available on the 2019 Outlander Sport. Buyers can fit the $440 LED illumination package, which consists of blue floor lights, a blue tailgate light, and LED interior lights; the $350 LED fog light package on the SP can also be added. Remote engine start is available on lower trim levels for $545. What new owners do get a lot of is appearance and exterior protection packages such as the $510 Protection and All-weather Value package, which adds a hood protector, all-weather floor mats, a cargo tray, and scuff plates. The SE is available with the $370 Chrome Package, which adds chrome side mirror covers as well as chrome door handle covers.

What Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Model Should I Buy?

The truth is that Mitsubishi could've saved themselves the time and trouble by cutting out most of the mid-range models. While the base model represents good value for money thanks to a decent features list and good practicality, it misses out on a lot of tech and safety features commonly found on its competitors. With a price difference of only $5,600 between the base model 2.0-liter FWD ES and the top of the line 2.4-liter AWD GT, it doesn't make sense to go for anything other than the 2.4 GT, even in 2WD guise. Not only does the GT perform better thanks to a more powerful engine, but it includes a host of standard comfort, safety, and other tech features that aren't available elsewhere in the range. Highlights on the GT include auto on/off HID headlights, rain-sensing window wipers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a bunch of active safety features such as forward collision avoidance and lane departure warning. Our advice: take the $5,600 hit and go for the top of the range model.

Check out other Mitsubishi Outlander Styles

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Comparisons

Mitsubishi Outlander Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Mitsubishi

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs Mitsubishi Outlander

Despite the similarities in name, the Outlander and Outlander Sport are very different vehicles, the former occupying the mid-size segment while the latter is a subcompact, two rungs down from the big brother. That means it's a lot smaller inside and out, seating only five while the regular Outlander seats seven. The Sport also has much less storage capacity at 21.7 cubic feet to the Outlander's 34.2 behind the second row of seats. Being smaller, the Sport makes do with a smaller, less powerful 2.0-liter engine on all but the GT trim, which receives the same 2.4-liter motor as the Outlander. This gives it better performance, but despite its diminutive size it's unable to provide better gas mileage. It is, however, better equipped, with more standard safety features, a higher quality interior, and better driving dynamics, but it's lacking in off-road ability. The short and sweet version: If you need seating for seven and go off-road, get the Outlander, but if you have a small city-dwelling family, the Outlander Sport is not only better but cheaper by at least $2,000 as well.

See Mitsubishi Outlander Review

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Between the Outlander and Outlander Sport sits the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross - a recently revived nameplate that's gone against the sporty history of the badge by coming back to life as a compact hatchback. With a starting price of only $1,400 more than the Outlander Sport, the Eclipse Cross gets a smaller, turbocharged engine that develops more power, more torque, and consumes an almost identical amount of fuel to its smaller sibling, although the performance deficit is minimized when the Outlander Sport takes on its GT guise. Despite occupying a larger class than the Sport, the Eclipse Cross is surprisingly tight inside, boasting less front and rear passenger space than the Outlander Sport. It only boasts an extra 0.9 cubic feet of storage in standard form, and with the rear seats folded offers less than the Outlander Sport does. Feature-wise, both are similarly equipped, meaning the Outlander Sport is much better value for money. The only thing going for the Eclipse Cross is a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs.

See Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Review

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Popular Comparisons

$20,945 - $26,545
Price Range (MSRP)
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Popular Tags Cars