2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review And Buying Guide | Long In The Tooth

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review and Buying Guide | Long in the tooth

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport subcompact crossover may seem like the right type of car for the times, but it falls short in its execution. Brand new tiny crossovers have been popping up left and right from other manufacturers, but the Outlander Sport feels like it's stuck in the past.

If we're looking at it with the glass of water half full, the exterior styling sets itself apart from the rest of the homogeneous little ones out there. It's taut, angular, a little muscular and has some great looking wheel options. Unfortunately, that expressive exterior styling isn't carried over inside. Even in its most expensive form, the entire interior is a black plastic paradise. Powertrain options are a mixed bag with a lot more choices than most other subcompacts provide.

What's new for 2019?

Not much is new for the 2019 model year. SE trim models now have more standard safety equipment, including blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning. The highest-priced GT trim adds forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and automatic brights. This Outlander Sport belongs to the first-generation model, which debuted for the 2011 model year.

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Gets Another Refresh At Geneva

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport gets another refresh at Geneva

A mysterious electric SUV isn't the only vehicle Mitsubishi is bringing to the Geneva Motor Show. The company is also showing a refreshed 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (or ASX as it's known in some markets). And yes, despite the fact the Outlander Sport hasn't been completely redesigned since its introduction in the 2011 model year, Mitsubishi is only giving it a mild update.

Up front, the entire fascia is changed with all-new headlights, grille and front bumper. It's all more angular, and appears to be a blend of the Eclipse Cross and that electric SUV concept teased recently. It's easily the most successful part of the refresh. The sides are unchanged save for some chrome fake fender vents. The back features new LED taillights and a rear bumper with a faux skid plate rather than a faux diffuser.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Phev Quick Spin Review | Why Doesn't Everyone Make One Of These?

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Quick Spin Review | Why doesn't everyone make one of these?

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV took a remarkably long time to get to the United States. It went on sale in Europe in 2013, and was originally planned to come to America the year after, but didn't arrive until late in 2017. Mitsubishi was also fortunate that, in the time it took to finalize the American model, the entry-level competition remained primarily sedans and sedan-like hatchbacks, with the exception of the Niro PHEV, a crossover smaller than Outlander, and closer to a traditional hatchback. So the question is, was it worth the wait, and is it worth considering against other plug-in hybrids?

A mostly frugal and very smooth powertrain

The big appeal of the Outlander PHEV is of course its plug-in hybrid powertrain. It comprises a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and two electric motors, one up front, one in the rear. This powertrain can function in three different ways. There's full electric mode, series hybrid mode (the gas engine acts like a generator, and propulsion is handled solely by the electric motor), and parallel hybrid (a clutch engages the engine to the front motor for additional propulsion assist). The Outlander switches automatically between these operational schemes depending on drive mode settings. For example, with a full charge you can press a button to keep it in EV mode, at least as long as there's enough battery power. Two other buttons can allow you to save the battery charge for use later, such as in town after a highway drive, and a charge button to replenish the battery level while driving.