Mitsubishi’s 5-seat CUV worthy of long test drive

The compact crossover utility segment is one of the most competitive in the industry, filled with outstanding vehicles.

Though it has not yet achieved top of the list status, the refreshed 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is certainly worthy of a long test drive for those in the market for a compact CUV.

With a base price starting at $19,595, the five-passenger Outlander Sport is available in front or all-wheel drive configurations.

Consumers have their choice of four trim levels (ES, SE, SEL and GT) as well as two engine choices, both achieving very respectable fuel economy ratings, making the Outlander Sport one of the more affordable vehicles to operate as well as own.

During my one-week evaluation, I was very impressed with the updated and refreshed Outlander Sport. The ride was extremely comfortable and doing most of my driving in city conditions, I enjoyed its maneuverability (thanks in part to the new electric power steering system) and handling characteristics.

While sporting new exterior styling, most noticeably Mitsubishi’s new “Dynamic Shield” front design concept, there are also a number of interior changes as well making the Outlander Sport much more elegant.

Some of the interior changes include a new leather-wrapped steering wheel design with tilt and telescopic wheel; new and improved seat materials; new panel design for air conditioning; soft-touch instrument panel trim; new audio system with steering wheel mounted audio controls; remote keyless entry, color LCD multi-information display; rear privacy glass and power windows with driver’s one-touch up/down.

The 2016 Outlander Sport is also loaded with safety features, including advanced seven airbag system including driver’s side knee airbag, dual-stage front airbags with occupant seat position sensors, front seat mounted side-impact airbags and front and rear curtain side airbags; anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution; active stability control with traction control logic; hill start assist; tire pressure monitoring system; anti-theft security alarm system and Mitsubishi’s reinforced safety cell body construction.

I was also impressed with the warranty, which includes a fully transferable 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mil powertrain warranty.

While there are models in this segment that are more performance-oriented, more luxurious and certainly more expensive, for those in the market for a compact crossover the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is well worth a long test drive.

 

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