2020 Mitsubishi Outlander SportShould you buy? Find out below..
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Compact crossover SUVs continue to increase in popularity. One reason is consumers have shifted their driving requirements. They want to cruise in an automobile more exciting than a minivan. Yet, they don't want to spend the money for a full-size SUV.
Hence, the invention of compact SUVs like the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Redesigned in 2018 and refined in 2019, the Outlander Sport is part of Mitsubishi's goal to reinvent itself. But has it done it by updating this compact sport utility vehicle?
What's New in 2020?
As in the last two model years, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport received another refresh on its exterior. Inside, there's a larger-size touchscreen for the ES trim while the mid-level SE receives more safety features as standards.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – The Pros
1. Peppy Turbocharged Engines
When a compact SUV is designed, one of the guidelines to follow should be connected to the power of its engine. With its size, the vehicle must have a comparatively perky powertrain so urban adventurers feel strong when crossing metropolitan terrains.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is an example of this consideration. The ES, SP, and SE trims come with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine while the GT trim gets one that's 2.4-liters. All are equipped with the company's version of variable valve timing -- the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC). The component maintains an equal amount of open and closed valves to increase fuel efficiency.
These powertrains produce between 148-168 horsepower and 145-167 pound-feet of torque. All engines are tied to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that prevents gear slippage during acceleration.
2. All-Wheel-Control Availability
Every trim on the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport can be upgraded from front-wheel-drive to the company's version of four-wheel drive. They call it all-wheel-control (AWC). Drivers are able to switch between FWD and AWC by a switch on the gear shift.
There's an additional cost get this upgrade. Nevertheless, those who want to spend more time off-road may find it useful to purchase at the time of the sale instead of enhancing the drivetrain at a later date.
3. Comparable Starting Price
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport wants to draw consumers away from their competition as much as possible. Besides redesigning the SUV, another way they do this is to offer the base trims as a competitive price point.
Of the four trims, the ES is the least expensive at a starting MSRP in the $22,000 range for front-wheel-drive. The ES with AWC is $2,000 more. top-level GT is between $2,000 and $3,000 higher depending on the drivetrain. For consumers, the minor price differences could make the GT their top consideration.
4. Good Highway Fuel Efficiency
The 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross does well when it spends more time on the highway than in the city. On average, all trims get 30 mpg with front-wheel-drive. The efficiency for all-wheel-control models drops a mile or two.
5. Comfortable Interior with Front Row Space
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport does well with its interior design and front row roominess. While cloth seats are the standard, consumers can upgrade to leather upholstery on power-adjusted driver's seat with an optional heating element. A leather-wrapped heated steering wheel is also an available upgrade.
Head room for the driver and passenger is close to 40 inches while the maximum leg room is 41 inches. The 56 inches of shoulder room in both rows means up to five occupants won't feel cramped in the space.
6. Heated Side Mirrors
Customers who live in areas with frequent snow and ice no longer need to worry about damaging their side-view mirrors while cleaning. The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes standard with heated driver and passenger side mirrors. Along with this, high-level trims offer windshield wipers that automatically start when precipitation is detected.
7. Larger Infotainment System
Having a simple-to-use infotainment unit is important to the safety of the driver and passengers. More complicated systems cause the driver to take their focus away from what's happening in front of them. Even a one-second glance can result in a major accident.
The infotainment system on the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has been refined so it's much easier to use than previous models. Granted, drivers still can't link their Bluetooth up while the car is moving. However, once this is done, other items can be integrated. This includes access to various smartphone apps via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay compatibility.
8. High Crash Test Ratings
A four- to five-star crash test rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a good sign the car is designed well enough to withstand collisions at most speeds. The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport received an overall four-star rating for its performance, particularly with side impacts.
9. Standard Driver Aids on High-Level Trims
The SE and GT trims of the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport have several driver aids available as standards. Examples of these include alerts for blind zone and lane changes, warnings about oncoming rear cross traffic, and forward collision mitigation. All of these are required to ensure the Outlander Sport helps reduce the overall amount of automobile collisions.
10. Warranty with Long-Term Coverage
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is shielded by an extensive warranty that covers large swaths of years and/or miles. Like health insurance, it's an extra layer of protection for the vehicle and its passengers. However, unlike health insurance, drivers don't have to pay extra.The limited warranty covers the whole vehicle for five years or 60,000 miles, much higher than other policies in today's market. The powertrain gets a 10-year/100,000-mile cover. In addition, Outlander Sport owners receive five years of roadside assistance with unlimited mileage.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – The Cons
1. A Bumpy Ride
For some, the name Outlander Sport is a misnomer, because the SUV's handling and suspension not sporty at all. In fact, the ride is quite firm without much flexibility. Plus, the compact SUV has problems dealing with the smallest bumps on any surface.
In the end, the Outlander has a hard time staying on curvy roads and pothole-strewn city streets. The bumps and jolts are really felt when the Outlander Sport picks up speed on the highway.
2. Driver Aids Not Available in Lower Trims
The safety elements that minimize the risk of collisions on the SE and GT trims are not even considered optional upgrades for the ES and SP versions. Yes, they have standard items like HD rear-view cameras, ABS, and traction control. However, that only gives drivers a small percentage of what they should be able to see around them.
3. Poor Rear Window Visibility
Due to a smaller window and large roof pillows, visibility is severely reduced on the Outlander Sport. Those who have the upper trims are not affected as much by this. They have the necessary driver aids to help. However, owners of the lower trims will find this a hassle in both highway and city driving.
4. Lack of Sound Absorption
A quality of a good vehicle is the way it can absorb environmental and traffic sounds. The Outlander Sport does not have that capability. All occupants can hear the drone of the transmission as it shifts between gears. This is rough on the ears of sensitive passengers.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition
There are several crossover compact SUVs on the market that compete with the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. While there are some situations where this SUV comes out head, more times than not it either ties or falls short in power and performance.
Take the Nissan Rogue as an example. It has a quieter transmission than the Outlander Sport, a larger cargo hold, and more standard features across all trims. Another popular small SUV, the Ford Escape, has gone through a complete redesign for the 2020 model year. It now has a friendlier design and better handling on- and off-road.
What about the Kia Sportage versus the Outlander Sport? Like the Escape, the Sportage has been redesigned for 2020. It now boasts more standard tech and safety features across all trims along with a quieter ride. The only win for the Outlander Sport is a lower base MSRP.
To paraphrase a popular movie quote, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is probably not the compact SUV you seek. Though it has a good-enough powertrain and pleasant interior, there are too many problems with the vehicle to make it a good investment. Even at the lower price point.
In the end, both handling and suspension are below-average. Furthermore, AWC doesn't come standard on any trim. Thus, anyone who wants to go off-road is going to need to purchase an upgrade.
Another disadvantage to the Outlander Sport is the lack of driver assist aids at the low-level trims. There's only a $4,000 price difference between the ES and the GT trims. Do the safety aids cost so much that the company can't add them to the base trims without losing money?
There are better crossover SUVs that cost about the same Outlander Sport. However, they have more power, technology, and driving capabilities. In the end, only a close examination and test drive can determine if the Outlander Sport is right for an individual.
• Why buy a 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport? w/ pros vs cons