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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Loses Very Important Option

Transmission / 9 Comments

One we bet you didn't even realize it had.

Among the cars revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the facelifted 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was one of the more quiet debuts. The Outlander Sport, also known as the ASX and RVR in other markets, received a major exterior update in the form of Mitsubishi's signature Dynamic Shield grille along with a more rugged look. Although the exterior is vastly different, Mitsubishi didn't change what's under the hood.

Buyers will have a choice between two carryover engines, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 148 horsepower and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder producing 168 horsepower. Both engines send power out through a continuously variable transmission to front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, which is where we reach one very important change.

We like to think we are pretty in-tune with which new cars still offer a manual transmission, but the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport somehow avoided our radar. The outgoing 2019 model was available with a five-speed manual transmission only on the base ES trim with the 2.0-liter engine. We assumed the manual would carry over into the 2020 model year but Mitsubishi decided to discontinue it.

Speaking to Autoblog at the car's US reveal, Mitsubishi said only 2% of Outlander sales were manual so it didn't make sense to continue building it. Honda made a similar decision with the HR-V, which no longer offers a manual option in the US. While we are a bit sad to see one less manual transmission in the world, we doubt too many enthusiasts would have flocked to the base engine Outlander Sport just so they could row their own gears.

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At the launch event, Autoblog was told by Mitsubishi director of product planning Nate Berg not to expect any performance SUVs in the same vein as the discontinued Evo. Berg also said the company was "studying" the viability of a pickup truck for the US market but didn't provide any further details. Mitsubishi, at least for now, just wants to sell cheap and cheerful crossovers.