Model year 2013 saw a thorough makeover of the popular Outlander Sport that included interior/exterior, chassis and drivetrain enhancements, the popular American-made Outlander Sport crossover gains further updates for the 2014 model year. Among the changes I notice for this sporty styled SE trim crossover is a new audio system head unit, a new engine balancer shaft for smoother revs, a new steering wheel with audio controls, new improved sound insulation materials giving it a quieter ride, new HD radio, new 6.1 inch touchscreen display audio system with a rearview camera, new black leather seating with the SE Touring package and a new power adjustable driver’s seat. More optional additions include a new Premium Package for the SE trim that my test model came with-a dynamic 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with 9-speakers including a 10 inch dual-voice coil subwoofer with Punch Control, DTS neural Surround, PremiDIA-WIDE surround sound and Dolby Volume, an auto-dimming reaview mirror. A new LED Daytime Running Lamps package bundles the eye-catching LED DRLs with special front extensions. Another stand-alone option is the new MMCS navigation system with a 7 inch high-definition touch panel, and the stylish wheel lip arch trim featured on the 2013 Outlander Sport Limited Edition model that celebrates Mitsubishi Motors 30 year anniversary in America.
The new Outlander Sport SE is one of the best looking of crossovers with a bold chrome front grille surround, HID headlamps, foglamps, steeply raked windshield A-pillars, chrome beltline molding, heated/power-remote sideview mirrors with side turn signals, color keyed outer pull-out door handles, black contracting lower bodykit, a rear spoiler, rear LED lamp clusters, a step-up bumper and a single exhaust outlet. It is sleek and stylish with short front and rear overhangs. The flared fenders are stuffed with 18X7 inch alloy wheels wrapped with 225/55R18 Nexen tires for excellent grip and a smooth, quiet ride.
All Outlander Sports are powered by a 2.0 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC inline four-cylinder engine with Mitsubishi’s advanced MIVEC variable valve-timing technology for excellent low-end torque and a new balancer shaft that helps reduce noise, vibration and harshness giving more power for acceleration and a smooth ride. It generates 148hp at 6,000rpm and 145lb.ft. of torque at 4,200rpm. This engine is mated to CVT FWD transmission that is smooth and silent. It also came equipped with magnesium paddle shifters that were fun to use. These paddle shifters really worked. By that I mean that I wasn’t able to shift into a higher gear until a higher speed indicated. I could see the rpm needle drop as I shifted into higher gears. There is an Eco mode that helps enhance fuel mileage. Also available is Mitsubishi’s capable All-Wheel Control (AWC) electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system for maximum traction on roads covered with snow, mud or off-road.
A smoothed, composed and sporty ride comes from the Outlander Sport’s optimally designed four-wheel independent system. Up front is a MacPherson strut setup with 22mm stabilizer bar and a rear multi-link setup with a 16mm stabilizer bar. It gives excellent abilities during cornering keeping flat as I turn and smoothes out the bumps on poorly paved roads. The electric power-steering system is a perfect match with just the right amount of boost when I was looking for a parking spot and quick response to my inputs with cornering.
Quickly slowing the Outlander Sport down from speed are excellent power-assisted steel disc brakes. Up front are 11.6 inch vented discs clamped with large single-piston calipers, and 11.9 inch solid discs clamped by single-piston calipers. Keeping me in control during hard braking are standard ABS, EBD, BA and Vehicle Stability Control.
The interior of the Outlander Sport SE is well appointed, roomy and comfortable. I felt soft-to-the-touch dashboard and door trim panels, and noticed tasteful use of chrome strips and bands around the dials and switches. The thick cloth sporty bucket seats up front are comfortable and cut deep to keep me in place during hard cornering. My seat was 6-way power adjustable with power lumbar support. The tilt/telescopic/leather wrapped steering wheel feels great in my hands and features buttons for the audio system, cruise control and Bluetooth hands-free phone system. The high-contrast rallye gauges are easy to see and understand with all trip information found in the middle of the large speedometer and tachometer. Standard features I found in my SE trim Outlander Sport includes automatic climate control with micron filter, leather-wrapped stick shifter, dual map lamps, dual lighted vanity mirrors, front console with dual cupholder, armrest and storage bin, 60/40 split rear bench seat with a pull-down center armrest and dual cupholders, heated front seats, rear floor heater ducts, floor mats front/rear, 6.1 inch touch screen display, rearview camera system, push button start/stop, auto on/off headlamps, rain-sensing wipers/washers, rear wiper/washer, grab handles above each door, power windows/door locks, power-remote/heated sideview mirrors with side turn indicators, self-dimming rearview mirror, service reminder system, 2-12-volt accessory outlets, rear privacy glass, a deep glove box, storage slots in each door, easy-entry system that unlocks the front doors by simply pushing a black button. The only option that came in my test SE is the 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with 9-speakers, a 10 inch subwoofer with Punch Control and Surround Sound, auto dimming rearview mirror and a power adjustable driver seat all for just $1,000.00.
Standard safety features include advanced dual front airbags, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, driver knee airbag, tire pressure monitor, latch system for child seats, 5-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, anti-theft alarm system, engine immobilizer and Hill Start Assist.
The five-seat crossover segment continues to grow in sales and in competition but the new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is one of the best looking, best equipped and fun-to-drive in the segment.
COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ