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AUTO RECON: An Insider's Guide to New Cars & Trucks

2016 Outlander Sport


Admittedly, in years past, I’ve often found the Mitsubishi Outlander lagging behind other crossover SUVs in its class; but the Outlander was given an overhaul for 2016 and the results are encouraging. Expectations are the operative word when it comes to the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. If you’re looking for an affordable, competent crossover SUV, it won’t disappoint.

Exterior: The Outlander was redesigned with a massive grille and front fascia that looks like it was inspired from “The Transformers” movies. Bold thick chrome starts from under the headlights and juts down to form a shield. From the side, the chrome gives the front end some character and accents the sleek profile. Under the shield, the lower black fascia looks like Optimus Prime is opening his mouth to snarl. The SEL package comes with handsome 18-inch alloy wheels with an elaborate spoke design. Mitsubishi accomplished its goal of making the Outlander Sport look like a bigger “small” crossover.

Under the Hood: Mitsubishi refined its 2.4-liter MVEC SOHC inline 4-cylinder, which puts out 166 horsepower and surprisingly good acceleration, especially in Sport mode. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission, which runs smoother than in years past. A more rigid body and improved suspension makes the ride feel more solid and in control. The vehicle is rater at 25 MPG city and 31 highway, which puts it on par with other small crossovers. If you’re into safety, A nice option package included safety tech that we wouldn't have associated with Mitsubishi in the past: forward-collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning.

Interior: The interior of the Outlander saw significant upgrades during the last re-design.  The cabin is well appointed with soft-touch surfaces, high-quality plastics and black-grained accent trim. In the SEL version, the leather seats are heated and super comfortable, and leather was also extended to the steering wheel and shift knob – making both comfortable and classy-looking. Standard features on all Outlander Sport trim levels include automatic climate control, tilt and telescoping steering wheel and FUSE Hands-free Link System. The cabin is surprisingly quiet courtesy of the acoustic windshield glass and better sound-deadening features. The infotainment system's 6.1-inch touchscreen has both dials and buttons; it is intuitive and easy to use. Second-row passengers have adequate room. The second row folds easily: Just lift the bottom cushion, then fold down the 60/40 split seats. With the second row down, the Outlander Sport has 49.5 cubic feet of cargo area.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Vital Stats:

  • Price: $20,490 base model; $26,290 2.4 SEL AWC
  • Powertrain: 2.4-liter MVEC SOHC inline 4-cylinder, continuously variable transmission, FWD
  • Horsepower: 166 at 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 162 pound-feet at 4,200 rpm
  • MPG: 25 city/31 highway

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