The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport initially showed us its new sheetmetal at the Geneva Motor Show, but we got a chance to check out the vehicle in the flesh at the company's research and development center in Ann Arbor, Mich., today. Nearly everything we learned about the Outlander Sport (known as the ASX in other markets) before applies to the North American version of the vehicle.
However, one aspect we were uncertain of was the continued presence of the manual transmission. We asked, and Mitsubishi is officially dropping the stick shift version of the Outlander Sport with this update. It was previously only available on the base trim level, exclusively paired with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Mitsubishi was one of the last holdouts to offer a manual transmission option in the small crossover market, and now they're officially out. Three-pedal versions of the Outlander Sport represented just 2% of total model sales, so the business case just wasn't there anymore.
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.
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.