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Test Drive: 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE

Greg Zyla More Content Now
Posted: Jan. 14, 2019 8:02 am

Entry Price: $20,495
Price as Tested: $26,415

This week, we’re reviewing the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport outfitted in SE trim. Four models are available for 2019, from entry ES with manual transmission ($20,495); to automatics including LE ($23,145); SE ($23,545); and GT ($23,545). These prices are for front drive models, so if you want the 4x4 All-Wheel-Control (AWC), add an additional $1,500.

An entry ES with the CVT automatic is $22,145. Notable is that the new GT model, which disappeared in 2018 is back again for 2019, replaces last year’s top line SEL. The GT is powered by a bigger four-cylinder engine and all of today’s high-tech safety features are standard.

Each and every Outlander Sport is a near identical twin mechanically to Mitsubishi’s larger format Outlander. Both cruise the highways on the exact same underpinnings and utilize similar four-cylinder engines and transmissions.

The 2019 SE models now offer more standard safety features, while the entry ES and second tier LE do not. Our SE featured blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist. The GT adds emergency forward collision braking, lane departure warning and automatic high beams. Thus, if safety is a premier motivation, the SE and GT trims feature lots of higher-tech safety. Hopefully come 2020, Mitsubishi adds more safety to the lower level Sport models.

Perhaps the biggest difference when comparing the layouts of Outlander Sport and big brother Outlander is Sport’s smaller five-passenger format, which is 14.6 inches shorter and 400 pounds lighter than Outlander. Bigger Outlanders also offer three-row, seven-passenger seating which is rare in the smaller SUV/Crossover classes. Nice looks and roomy interiors are highlights of both.

Under the hood, the ES, LE and SE are powered by 2.0-liter inline-4 engines that put out 148 horsepower and 145 torque while the GT is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that generates 168 horses and 167 torque. When mated to the CVT six speed Sportronic automatic expect 24 city and 30 highway MPG estimates for the 4x4 and front-drive Outlanders. If you choose the ES Outlander with the smaller four, front-drive and the manual transmission or the GT trim, 23 city and 29 highway are the expected results.

The 4x4 unit features electronically controlled active front differential with a push-button activation that engages all the wheels. The ride is average to good, overall, but not outstanding.

Outlander SE standard features include an SE badge, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, halogen headlamps, rear LED taillights, 18-inch Nexen tires, nice alloy wheels, tilt and telescopic steering, push button start, climate control air, power heated mirrors, cruise, all the powers, heated seats, high contrast instrumentation, six-speaker stereo, 7.0-inch display, Sirius/XM, two USB ports, HD radio, Bluetooth, and two 12-volt outlets. There are numerous additional standard features your Mitsubishi dealer is waiting to explain.

On the safety side there are pluses across the board, such as crash worthiness, with four and five star government safety ratings most notable. Standard features from ES to GT include seven airbags, stability control, traction control, hill start assist, ABS four wheel disc brakes, electronic brake force, enhanced rear safety camera and more.

Important numbers include a wheelbase of 105.1-inches, 3,142 lb. curb weight, 8.5-inch ground clearance, from 21.7 to 49.5-cu. ft. of cargo space, and a 16.6-gallon fuel tank.

Noteworthy is how well the Outlander did in Consumer Reports (CR) magazine’s “Best & Worst” 2018 auto issue, where 255 vehicles were rated and reviewed. Being that both Outlander and Outlander Sport have identical mechanicals, the Outlander big brother not only ended up with an overall positive CR rating for compact SUVs, it was one of only seven that had a better than predicted reliability ratings and ended up higher in overall score than Hyundai Tucson SE and Value, GMC Terrain, Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Compass.

Our 4x4 SE Outlander Sport came in at a $25,045 base and added optional carpeted floor mats for $135 and a tonneau cover kit for $190. These options brought the final retail to $26,415 with $1,035 delivery included.

Combined with Mitsubishi’s best-in-class 100,000 mile, 10-year limited powertrain warranty, this info deserves note as Mitsubishi has been on the receiving end of too many written word negatives the last few years.

In summary, these Outlanders are solid, low cost alternatives in a highly competitive small SUV class. They may not be the top contenders, but their discounted prices and good reliability make them desirable vehicles to park in your driveway. And thanks to excellent pricing and dealer incentives, you owe it to yourself to check one out be it leftover or brand new as it’s clearly one of the most affordable compact SUVs out there today.

Likes: Price, standard features, looks, reliability, warranty.
Dislikes: Could use more horsepower, full throttle engine noise, higher-tech safety not available on entry models.
Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at greg@gregzyla.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.

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