2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is easy on the wallet

Let’s face it, SUV’s are pretty expensive. You’d be hard-pressed to find a hauler these days with an available third-row that won’t make you break out in a sweat after peeping the sticker price. The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers quite a bit of bang for the buck. It is roomy, easy on the eye, capable and did I mention affordable?

The current gen seven-passenger crossover SUV has been around for about five years and had a mid-cycle face-lift back in 2016. As far as looks, the vehicle sports an overall sleekness with a familiar corporate front fascia that juts out. In addition, the Outlander’s fog lights, chrome profile accents, and wraparound rear tailights add a smidge of pomp which is never a bad thing.

The Outlander’s overall cabin design is cohesive, well-equipped, comfy and functional with no real sign of cost-cutting. There are soft-touch surfaces along with hard plastics in the cabin that actually go well together. The seating in the SUV is supportive front, and back and if you need to squeeze a third body in the second row, you can do so in a pinch.   The third row should only, however, be reserved for the elementary school set. Ingress and egress are fine in the model. The Outlander’s rear window is on the small side so visibility is not good, but the multi-view camera does its job in this case to tackle the issue.

Mitsubishi designed a center console with large, legible gauges and well-marked, easy to use controls. The 7-inch touchscreen display is very intuitive, great for those who are not tech-savvy. And speaking of technology, the Outlander offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standards.   The crossover also comes equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology, and a steering wheel mounted phone, audio, voice controls as standards. As far as hauling stuff, the Outlander has 10.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seat and 34.2 cubic feet behind the second-row seat. With every rear seat folded down, it has a 63.3-cubic-foot cargo hold.

The Outlander Sport lineup comes in the following trims—ES, LE, SE, SEL and a GT (3.0-liter V6). The test vehicle was the SEL which is a 2.4-liter engine that kicks out 168 horsepower, 167 lb-ft of torque and averages 25 mpg/city and 30 mpg/highway. Overall, giving the Outlander some gas doesn’t show much in the way of spirit or robust energy. The vehicle does shine on curvy roads and handles very much like a car. Steering is pretty quick, precise and the brakes showed no fade during harder driving. She did suffer from a few shakes when schlepping over road bumps. The Outlander’s driving dynamics were all-in-all capable but short of engaging.

The fully armored Outlander offers buyers a selection of all that’s needed to feel secure on the road—rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning and lane change assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beam headlights and forward collision mitigation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the model an overall five-star safety rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the model a “good” rating, with good being the highest possible mark.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is easy on the wallet and a vehicle worth considering. The compact crossover should meet all of your needs with aplomb but if you feel the need for a smidge more kick, consider the GT model.

Prices start at $23,945. Need more info? www.MitsubishiCars.com