The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has been given several updates for the 2012 model year. Increased sound insulation helps cut down on unwanted noise and vibration, while a recalibrated CVT transmission tightens up throttle response and improves acceleration. The ES gets newly redesigned wheel covers while the top of the line SE gets brand new 18-inch alloys. The SE also gets some chrome accents on the interior and an optional backup camera as part of the Premium package.
The Outlander Sport is an entry-level small SUV from Mitsubishi. Although much of the mechanical structure comes from the already established and larger 7-passenger Outlander, the Sport is distinguished by its more compact dimensions. With much shorter front and rear overhangs, the Sport weighs 400-lbs less than its larger cousin. The front end features Mitsubishi's characteristic large grille, much like the one used on the Lancer Evolution and a taller beltline with a standard rear spoiler--the company claims it has the lowest coefficient of drag of any of the small SUVs in its class.
The only available engine is a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder. Mitsubishi used their MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control) technology, resin-coated pistons and smooth-surface camshafts to help to reduce friction and therefore increase fuel efficiency. The engine is rated at 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. It features an estimated combined fuel economy of 27 mpg for 2-wheel drive versions and 26 mpg when fitted with all-wheel drive.
Two trim levels are available: the base ES and the top-line SE. Each employ front-wheel drive standard, while all-wheel drive is available on the SE. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard on the ES and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. The CVT is standard on the SE and features steering wheel-mounted paddles that when in manual sports mode, mimic a conventional 6-speed automatic.
The electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system, known as AWC, has also been adapted from the Outlander.
Front airbags are standard for both driver and passenger, as well as front side-impact airbags and air curtains. A knee airbag comes standard for the driver. Additional safety features include active front seat headrests, seatbelt pretensioners and 3-point belts for all occupants. An energy-absorbing front bumper has been added to aid in protecting pedestrians in the event of an impact and Mitsubishi's RISE system (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) helps to dissipate energy across the structure of the vehicle in the event of a side or rear impact. A brake override system has also been added, which slows the vehicle to a stop if both the accelerator and the brake are pressed simultaneously.
Standard features include air conditioning, leather wrapped steering wheel, cruise control with steering-wheel mounted controls, power windows and door locks, tilt/telescoping steering column, heated side view mirrors, keyless entry, a 140-watt stereo system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities, a FUSE HandsFree Link system with auxiliary RCA input jacks and speed-compensated volume.
A Premium Package includes a Panoramic Roof with LED lighting, black roof rails, 6-disc in-dash CD changer and 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate sound system with 9 speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer. Three months of Sirius Satellite Radio is included. A Navigation Package is also available, offering 40GB HDD navigation with music server and real-time traffic, rear-view camera system and auxiliary input jack.