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The 2021 Outlander Sport is a four-door, sub-compact crossover from Mitsubishi. It was designed to provide more passenger and cargo room without the extra size and weight of a full-size SUV. The driving dynamics are more akin to a compact car than an SUV too. The Outlander Sport has a lot of nice features. Here are some of the best reasons to buy one along with a few reasons why it may not be the right vehicle for you.
What's New for 2021?
The 2020 models of the Outlander Sport received a major redesign with a completely new exterior look. The 2021 models won't be seeing such major changes, but there will be a few new features here and there. Every trim level will now come with more standard safety features. The high beams kick in automatically when needed. There's a lane-departure warning and a front-collision alert that can even detect pedestrians.
The base trim level gets a couple of extras as well. The rear-view mirror will now have an auto-dimming feature. The windshield wipers will engage automatically when sensors detect rain. The base model will now have LED fog lamps. The LE trim gets some cosmetic extras like a blacked-out grille, side mirrors and wheels.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – The Pros
1. Sharp Exterior Design
If you want an attractive car at an affordable price, you can't go wrong with a Mitsubishi Outlander. Redesigned in 2020, the exterior is both sporty and elegant. The front grille and hood have an aggressive edge to them. The car has a nice wide stance to enhance its athletic appearance. LED headlights are standard on all models to give the Outlander Sport an extra touch of class.
2. The Extra Passenger Space
A lot of sedans and coupes only allow for four occupants. The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport can accommodate five people. That one extra seat will could come in handy for a lot of potential buyers. Best if all, Mitsubishi didn't have to expand the overall size of the vehicle to accomplish this.
3. Room for Your Cargo
Extra cargo space is one of the primary reasons why someone would choose a crossover SUV. The Outlander Sport has 49.5 cubic feet of storage space. This is the maximum amount of storage space when the second row of seats is folded down. With those seats in use, you still have a respectable 21.7 cubic feet of room in the back.
4. All-Wheel Drive Is Available
All-wheel drive is available to multiple trim levels. Specifically, you will get All-Wheel-Control, which is Mitsubishi's proprietary four-wheel drive system. This gives the Outlander Sport great handling and good traction on wet or slippery roads. It turns this crossover SUV into a safer all-weather vehicle.
5. A Good Amount of Standard Features
Of course every vehicle will have some standard features, but the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers a lot more than most. It really wins out against its competition in this category. This makes the Outlander Sport a great overall bargain. Two notable standard convenience features are automatic climate control and remote keyless entry. On the outside, you get heated side mirrors, LED headlights and rain-sensing wipers.
6. Good Steering and Handling
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers great steering and handling. The vehicle gets good traction with the AWC models, leading to even better handling. There's very little body-roll when taking on tight corners. The vehicle doesn't feel top heavy like many SUVs do. Steering is accurate with a tight turning radius, making the vehicle easy to park.
7. Impressive Fuel-Economy Ratings
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is easy on the pocketbook when filling it up at the pump. The top-tier engine has a combined fuel-economy rating of 25 miles-per-gallon. The base engine gets between 26 to 27 miles-per-gallon depending on whether the Outlander is equipped with 2WD or AWC.
8. Plenty of Safety Features
There are plenty of safety features here to protect you and your loved ones. There are advanced dual-stage front airbags. The driver and front passenger are protected from the front and sides. The driver gets an extra airbag at knee level. There are also side curtain bags to protect the rear passengers.
Every trim level gets an anti-theft alarm with an engine immobilizer. RISE body construction adds more protection for everyone. There are also numerous driver aids like front-collision detection, pedestrian detection, a blind-spot monitor and a lane-departure warning. Active Stability Control and ABS brakes give the driver more control for a safer experience.
9. A Nice Infotainment System
The Outlander Sport comes with a solid infotainment system. It's several grades above what you normally find in a vehicle at this price point. You get HD radio at every trim level. Bluetooth technology allows for easy device connections and music streaming. Controls are mounted on the steering wheel for convenience and safety.
There are plenty of USB ports for both connection and charging purposes. You get a 4- or 6-speaker audio setup depending on the trim level. There's an 8-inch touchscreen display, rear-view camera and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
10. One of the Best Warranties in Its Class
You will be hard pressed to find a warranty this good on any other sub-compact crossover vehicle. It is easily one of the best in the business. Mitsubishi stands by their work by covering the 2021 Outlander Sport for 5 years or 60,000 miles with the powertrain covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport – The Cons
1. The Base Trim Lacks Driver-Assist Technology
This might seem like nitpicking since the lower trim levels do come with a lot of standard features. That also includes safety features and some driver-assist technology. Unfortunately, some of the better driver-assist features are missing until you get up to the 2.0 SE models. This includes the blind-spot monitor and lane-change assist.
2. The Cheap Interior Materials
This is an affordable vehicle, so costs had to be cut somewhere. The interior design is actually rather nice. The overall build quality as well as the fit and finish are all fine. There are just a few too many cheap plastic parts in the cabin. The upholstery for the base models could use some improvement as well.
3. Stiff and Unrefined Ride Quality
The ride quality could use some improving in the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. It can be downright stiff. You'll notice every bump and pothole that the road throws your way. This is an issue that plagues a lot of sub-compact crossovers in this class. Hopefully, an improved suspension system will be implemented in the future.
4. An Under-Powered Base Engine
The base engine is sluggish and struggles to get up to higher speeds. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder produces just 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. In all fairness to Mitsubishi, most vehicles in this class are a bit anemic when it comes to horsepower. Fortunately, you can get an Outlander Sport with a 2.4-liter I4 engine that makes 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs 2021 Honda HR-V
The 2021 Honda HR-V is perhaps the primary competitor to the latest Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Both vehicles are in the same size class. Both have room for up to five people. They also share similar price points. The HR-V offers more cargo room with a maximum capacity of 58.8 cubic feet compared to the Outlander Sport's 49.5 cubic-feet of space.
When comparing the standard features for these two vehicles, it's again very similar. The Outlander Sport has a few more perks at the base level. Two notable additions to the Mitsubishi are climate control and an HD radio. The Mitsubishi also beats out the Honda when it comes to horsepower. Comparing base engines, the Mitsubishi produces 148 horsepower while the Honda produces 141 horses.
The horsepower gap gets even wider as you move up though the trim levels. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has an option to get you 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. The 141 horses is as good as it gets for the Honda HR-V. Mitsubishi wins out here due to better acceleration and overall performance.
2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs 2021 Chevrolet Trax
The Chevrolet Trax is yet another competitor for the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Like the Mitsubishi and Honda, it has seats for five people. The cargo space is a little less than what the Outlander Sport offers at a maximum of 48.4 cubic feet. The prices are very similar with the Mitsubishi coming in at just a bit more.
The Mitsubishi again has the stronger base engine, and keep in mind, this isn't the most powerful engine to begin with. The Chevrolet comes in at 10 horses lower with only 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The Mitsubishi offers better acceleration and performance at every comparable trim level.
Though the price is a little higher for the Mitsubishi, it again comes with more standard features. This, along with its better engine performance, makes the Outlander Sport a much better deal.
The 2021 Outlander Sport is a strong entry in the crowded sub-compact crossover market. It's a budget-friendly vehicle with a lot of nice standard features. The base model would make a fine first car for new drivers. The higher trim levels, however, would make a fine vehicle for anyone who is looking for a smaller car with some decent cargo space.
This is a sharp, attractive crossover that gets even better as you move up the trim levels. Just keep in mind that performance isn't the best at the base level. That has more to do with the vehicle class than the vehicle itself, however, as the Outlander Sport still bests its competition in this category. For the best driving experience, just stick with the 2.4-liter DOHC I4 engine and you won't be disappointed.
• Why buy a 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport? w/ pros vs cons