Over the course of its existence, Mitsubishi has made some legendary cars. The original Eclipse was a immensely tuneable powerhouse that was a major player in the scene that brought us The Fast and the Furious, and the 3000 GT was a sharp-looking sports car that came from the factory with as much 296 horsepower. In recent years, the performance mantle was carried by the Lancer Evolution, which is best described as a practical sedan with the drivetrain of a supercar. It was quite simply, an astonishing package, and there’s a fantastic Top Gear sequence where an Evo VIII gives a Lamborghini Murcielago a run for its money.
But as much as we’d like them to, lap times and street cred don’t pay the bills, and in a effort to recapture some of its lost market share, Mitsubishi has retooled its lineup to reflect the crossover-centric demands of today’s buying public. Fortunately, the strategy has been working, and earlier this year, the company reported that sales were up by 19 percent. That success is due largely to the venerable Outlander, which while not being the newest vehicle in the crossover segment, remains a solid competitor.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL Interior
The feature that dominates the interior of the Outlander is the panoramic roof, and it’s undoubtedly cool. The cabin is already relatively roomy, and the glass makes it feel visually huge. Fans of technology will also find a lot of like, as Mitsubishi has made a big upgrade to the infotainment. Not only does the new 7.0-inch Rockford Fosgate touchscreen supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it also sounds great, thanks in no small part to the subwoofer in the cargo area.
While we weren’t blown away with the design of the Outlander’s interior, the leather seats were comfortable, and they were also heated, which is one of our personal must-have options. With the seats folded, the Outlander offers nearly 50 cubic-feet of cargo space, and almost 28 cubic-feet with the seats in place. Make sure to look out for the subwoofer when you’re loading though, as you want to make sure nothing shifts onto its grille when you’re underway.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL Exterior
Our Outlander was finished in Alloy Silver Metallic, and sported a pair of two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels. The most striking elements of the Ourtlander’s design are the angular chrome accents, which run from under the headlights, down the front of the grille, and then flow out to the edge of the front clip, where they frame the fog lights on either side. While the the grille is new for 2018 models, the current models looks much like it’s predecessors.
The crease which just above the rear edge of the front wheel well runs the length of the body, and intersects with the rear taillights, which wrap around the rear corners. It’s a nice touch, and helps highlight the sloping roofline, and the subtle spoiler over the rear hatch. A pair of dark roof rails added some functional flare to the top, and provided a visual bookend for the black cladding with ran along the lower body and through the wheel wells. Given that cladding, we think a darker wheel might have provided this Outlander with a more aggressive look, but then again, we like black wheels.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL Performance
Mitsubishi’s engineers have always been adept at wringing power performance out of a platform, and that knack is on display with the Outlander. Power comes from a 2.4-liter I4 which is good for 168 horsepower ant 167 lb-feet of torque. The unit is mated to a CVT as opposed to a traditional automatic transmission, and together, they’re enough to get the crossover from zero to 60 mph is just under eight seconds, which is respectable in this class. We found the all-wheel drive system to be confidence inspiring in slick conditions, so if you live in an area that sees snow, you’ll definitely appreciate having power at all-four corners. There was also great brake feel, and we found the clinchers in the Outlander provided no-drama stops in a variety of conditions.
Overall we found that the Outlander has plenty of pep in the city, but found acceleration on the interstate to be just average, and that the the engine tended to drone at highway speed. It was far from a big issue, but given how well the chassis hands turning and braking, we think Mitsubishi could stand to add some more sound deadening to the cabin, as many folks use road noise and an indicator of overall vehicle quality. EPA fuel economy estimates come in at 23** city and 28** highway, for a score of 25** combined.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL Safety
The Outlander received an overall 5-Star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and earned four out of five stars on the Frontal Crash and Rollover tests, while scoring a perfect five out of five on the Side Crash portion. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Outlander a 2018 Top Safety Pick, as it earned the group’s highest rating of Good on its battery of tests. Our test vehicle was equipped with optional safety equipment, including emergency automatic braking, lane departure warning, and automatic headlights.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Overall
The overall price for out Outlander came in at 29,110*, which included the the safety options, the panoramic roof, sound system, and floor mats. That said, when we were looking over the Outlander’s spec sheet, one of the things which jumped out at us was the fantastic warranty it comes with. Along with an impressive five-year roadside assistance plan, there’s a five-year or 60k limited warranty, and a ten-year or 100k limited powertrain warranty. Those are great numbers, so if you’re looking for a safe, practical, reliable compact crossover, make sure to put the Mitsubishi Outlander on your list.
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.