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Three 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sports are in the desert with mountains in the distance.

Test Driving the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

If you’re looking to purchase a new SUV, chances are you have a bounty of options to choose from. The sports utility vehicle category is broad, catering to a full range of drive styles and lifestyles, and designed to be large and in charge or compact, fuel-efficient, and built for the commuter with a need for space. While SUVs vary dramatically, there are so many options to choose from that finding the right fit can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. One of the many SUVs to hit the road this past year is the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, a Mitsubishi SUV with plenty of history and character. This rugged-styled SUV has been on the pavement since 2003, catering to the kind of driver that wants to go more and do more. That said, with 2020 being such a crowded model year for SUVs, we thought we’d pose the question: ‘does the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport live up to modern-day expectations?’ While any Mitsubishi dealer may praise the success of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, we thought we’d delve just a bit further.

A Package Worth Purchasing

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport fits into a category of SUVs that attempts to satisfy all kinds of drivers from the commuter to the daring adventurer who spends more time on the dirt than the pavement. Although few vehicles manage to find this seamless balance, and rightfully so, off-roading is no easy task for any car to accomplish. All that said, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport manages to look the part of a decent off-roader with its 8.5 inches of total ground clearance.

All measurements totaled, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is about 185” in length, 71” in width, and is about 67” high. There are five simple configurations to the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, the ES, SE 2.0, SP 2.0, BE 2.0 and, GT 2.0. These are certainly more than enough options to allow you to create your ideal kind of SUV. The entry price for the Outlander Sport isn’t half bad, starting at a solid level of $22,595 MSRP for the ES model. As the trims go up, so does the price. The MSRPs for the other trims are, SE 2.0 ($24,295), SP 2.0 ($24,645), BE 2.0 ($25,395), and GT 2.0 ($25,495). Even the highest trim is still offered at a very reasonable price.

So, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is big enough, high enough, and definitely priced well enough to deliver at least a memorable experience behind the wheel. Although, there is more to an SUV than looks, size, and style. The machinery packed beneath the hood can play a huge role in the success or utter failure of any vehicle.

A red 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is driving around a corner in front of hills after leaving a Mitsubishi dealer.

Sourcing Power and Performance

Behind every great SUV is an engine that is capable of hauling some serious weight, all while not consuming an overabundance of fuel in the process. The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander attempts this balance through the use of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. For starters, this isn’t a big piece of machinery. Four-cylinder engines are rarely ever great powerhouses, although when tweaked right can deliver some remarkable performance in vehicles the size of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Unfortunately, the engine packed into the Outlander leaves much to be desired. That 2.0-liter four-cylinder outputs only 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft worth of torque. A CVT is paired to this engine, with no option of a manual alternative. Front-wheel drive is also standard, resulting in a ride that leaves much to be desired.

Fortunately, this isn’t the only powertrain available. On the highest trim, the GT 2.0, you can indeed find a more apt performance through the use of a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine, which churns out at a rate of 168 horsepower and 167 lb-ft worth of torque. The same CVT is paired to this slightly less sluggish powertrain, and once again, front-wheel drive is standard. Although, should you desire it, you can upgrade to a powertrain that pumps power to all four wheels. While this option does expand upon versatility, it doesn’t do much for the fact that the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport lacks in power.

Towing capacity is a small victory for the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, though, with base entry models able to haul 1,500 pounds, and upgraded engines given the rating of a maximum of 3,500 pounds. Fuel economy also isn’t half bad, with the lower trims coming in at 27 MPG combined, and the GT 2.0 reaching 25 MPG. All that said, this benefit of towing capacity and fuel economy make up for what is lost in the engine strength.

A Fitting Cabin

The interior of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is one of its best qualities. The second row gives passengers 37.3 inches of legroom to work with, which isn’t half bad considering the vehicle’s overall size. Interior cargo spacing makes things a little better, too, with up to 63.3 cubic feet behind the first row of seats. Considering the price, this space is fantastic, and thankfully, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport also leaves plenty of room for upgrades.

On the subject of interiors, the Outlander Sport does get a pretty well-sized infotainment screen measuring in at 7.0-inches. While the base model infotainment system isn’t Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatible, a simple upgrade beyond the ES trim gives you an extra inch and that seamless smartphone compatibility. On the highest of trims, the GT drivers get to enjoy a plethora of additional bells and whistles, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless ignition, and heated front seats. So, should you spend the money, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport can be made into an SUV with plenty of amenities.

The dashboard of a 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is shown.

Safety

To get some of the active safety measures added to the Outlander Sport, you will have to spend a little more. However, this is similar to most competitor models. There are some safety features that are standard across all of the trims such as, anti-lock braking and hill-start assist. Plus, you can fortunately still get some of the modern features standard in higher trims. In the SE model, you’ll get the chance to benefit from a whole suite of standard add-ons like lane departure warnings, forward-collision warnings with pedestrian detection, active lane control, blind-spot warnings, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

Our Opinion of the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is an SUV with plenty of potential. From the overall design to the comfy interior and the strong base fuel economy, this Mitsubishi SUV manages to check off a lot of boxes. You’ll need to pay extra to enjoy some auto technology, but the additional cost is worth the upgrades. With the starting cost of the Outlander Sport, even when adding the details important to you, the price still is not a worry. Drivers may be pretty disappointed by the amount of power available as you won’t find many engine options, and that is a downside. However, overall, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is worth checking out because it does have a long list of pros.

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