Mitsubishi’s best-selling model received several major enhancements for the 2015 model year.

For the sake of clarity, there are two Outlander models. The Mitsubishi Outlander is a 7-passenger crossover utility. The Outlander Sport is a 5-passenger compact crossover.

This review will focus entirely on the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, the top-selling model in the Japanese manufacturer’s lineup.

With a base price starting around $20,000, the Outlander Sport is available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations.

The Outlander Sport is not a bad vehicle. It’s not the best in the segment, but the improvements made in the 2015 greatly enhance its stature in the marketplace.

Namely, the new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and the Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) enhancements — along with a new electric power steering system — have improved ride and handling, performance and comfort over previous models.

Powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine delivering 148 horsepower and 145 lbs.-ft. torque, Mitsubishi has an exceptional engine under the hood with plenty of torque for quick acceleration that can get up to speed quickly.

Available with either a five-speed manual or the new CVT, the new CVT (which mimics a 7-speed automatic) makes all the difference in the world. Not only does it improve performance, but also fuel economy.

The 2015 Outlander Sport uses regular unleaded gasoline and now has an EPA fuel economy rating of 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models (24 mpg and 30 mpg respectively for all-wheel drive models).

The Outlander Sport is also rated as an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “Top Safety Pick” and is loaded with standard safety features including active stability control with hill start assist, traction control logic, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, seven airbags and a tire pressure monitoring system, to list but a few.

It also comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a transferable 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty with a 5-year/unlimited miles roadside assistance program.

For 2015, the Outlander Sport is available in ES and SE trim levels.

Standard equipment on the base ES includes 140-watt, 4-speaker audio system with FUSE Hand-Free Link, heated sideview mirrors, remote keyless entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, air conditioning with pollen filter, tilt and telescopic steering column, full-color display and anti-theft alarm system.

The SE adds a lot more features.

As I mentioned earlier, the Outlander Sport is not a bad vehicle. It has a roomy cabin, nice features and the new CVT significantly improves performance and fuel economy. It’s worth a test drive.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts

MODEL:

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

5- seat compact crossover utility vehicle  

Front-, or all-wheel drive

Trim packages:

ES, SE

PRICE RANGE:

$20,000-$32,000

ENGINE:

2.0L I4 (148 hp/145 T)

TRANSMISSION:

5-speed manual or CVT

EPA: 25/24 mpg city, 32/30 mpg highway (FWD/AWD w/CVT)

FUEL: Regular unleaded

STABILITY CONTROL:

Active stability control with traction control

BRAKES: ABS

LENGTH: 169.1 inches

WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.

WIDTH: 69.7 inches

HEIGHT: 64.2 inches

WEIGHT: 3098-3274 lbs.

TRACK: 60/60

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 15.3 gallons

TIRES: 18-inch

CARGO: 21.7/49.5 cubic feet (behind 2nd/1st row).