- Compact crossover with seating for five
- Adds a new transmission and electric power steering for 2015
- IIHS Top Safety Pick award winner
Returning for the new model year with several mechanical and aesthetic upgrades, the stylish 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is an intriguing competitor in the crowded compact crossover segment.
Compact crossovers are everywhere these days and the Outlander Sport looks go up against the most popular of the bunch, including the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. One area it does very well in comparison is base price, starting at just over $3,000 less than the CR-V. For 2015, it gets a few upgrades under the skin that improve performance and give fuel economy a slight bump as well. A new, more efficient electric power steering system has been installed and a new CVT is also present that mimics a seven-speed automatic.
The Outlander Sport has been a favorite of ours for a few years now when it comes to styling, with a unique front fascia that borrows from Mitsubishi’s Lancer sedan, just scaled up vertically in size and proportion. Standard 18-inch alloy wheels are larger than what’s found in the wheel wells of many other vehicles in this segment, and they fill out the prominent fender arches nicely. LED taillights are standard, as are heated side mirrors.
Under the hood, things are pretty simple with only one engine option and a choice of two transmissions. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder is good for 148-hp and 145 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is base ES models, while all other trim levels (including all-wheel drive versions of the ES) get the new CVT standard. Upscale SE models add paddle shifters to the mix for a sportier driving experience. Fuel economy figures have risen by one mpg respectively, topping out at 25/32 mpg city/highway for front-wheel drive models with the CVT equipped.
Inside, you’ll find eco-friendly materials that feature a lower level of volatile organic compounds, and plenty of standard features. A 60/40-split folding rear seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, USB/iPod port, and cruise control are standard on all Outlander Sport models. Also standard is a new FUSE hands-free link system that offers enhanced voice-activated commands for the Bluetooth and audio systems. Heated front seats, automatic climate control, a navigation system with a 7-inch high definition screen, and HD radio are optional.
The 2015 Outlander Sport received a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS for its performance in crash testing. Standard safety features include electronic stability control, antilock brakes, active front headrests, seven airbags (including a driver’s knee airbag), and hill start assist.