New for 2020: For the new model year, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport earns its own version of the company’s corporate face, complete with the boomerang-shaped chrome trim and enough LEDs to illuminate Times Square. Its turn signals and fog lamps have been stuffed into its jowls like a hungry chipmunk preparing for winter, giving the Outlander Sport a bolder appearance than last year’s compact-car-on-stilts presence.


The Japanese carmaker has made a habit of offering competitively priced machines with the benefit of an outstanding warranty that last longer than a long-winded vicar’s Christmas sermon. Good for ten years or 100,000 miles, Mitsu’s powertrain warranty is the killer app on which it has traditionally traded.

In 2020, the two-row Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has more going for it than just an attractive guarantee of covered repair work. New styling greets customers, including snazzy LED taillights on all models and color-keyed trim even on the base ES. Three new colors are on tap for 2020, including a bold Sunshine Orange and Red Diamond that you’ve probably seen in commercials.

The number of trims have been reduced to four. A new Special Edition package brings a few styling gewgaws, while the SE earns a few of last year’s LS features such as rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights. The GT trim is more than just a badge, bringing a more powerful engine to the party. All-wheel drive is optional on every model.

Pricing starts at $23,790 for a front-wheel drive Outlander Sport ES, rising to $28,190 for an all-wheel drive Outlander Sport GT. All prices include $1195 in destination charges.

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Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Powertrain

For 2020, the Diamond Star brand has seen fit to bin the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport’s manual transmission, chalking up another death in the row-yer-own camp. Every model is now fitted with a continuously variable transmission.

Lashed to this CVT is the choice of two engines, both with four cylinders and the absence of turbochargers. Base ES, new Special Edition, and volume SE trims are fitted with a 2.0-liter inline-four making 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. Popping for the GT model brings a 2.4-liter engine, a four-banger that produces 168 hp and 167 lb-ft torques. Both engines run just fine on regular unleaded, and all-wheel drive is optional across the board.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Features And Pricing

2.0 ES: Starts at $23,790 (AWD + $1,500)

Entry-level ES models come equipped with features you’d expect in this price range such as a tilt/telescope wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise, and automatic climate control. Other standard features include a reversing camera, distance to empty / fuel economy indicator and a full-color multi-information display. An optional Convenience Package costs $850, bringing a better infotainment system and heated seats. You also get a 7.0-inch infotainment system. The Smartphone link along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are optional extras.

The ES also doesn’t get LED fog lamps, automatic headlamps or rain-sensing windshield wipers. Although Mitsubishi offers a decent package in terms of standard safety which includes ABS, traction control, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring system, and seven airbags. The active driver aids however, are skipped on the base ES model but are available SE trim onwards.

2.0 SP: $25,840 (AWD + $1,500)

The SP trim is the special edition and is mildly aesthetically different from the previous trim thanks to extra panels and a few cosmetic changes. It does get the 8.0-inch infotainment system as standard along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with front USB ports which are part of the optional package on the ES trim. The safety package on the ES and the SP is identical.

2.0 SE: $25,490 (AWD + $1,500)

The SE trim, despite being almost $400 cheaper than the SP seems to be better equipped, at least on paper. Over the SP it is equipped with all bells and whistles including rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, power-folding side mirrors, LED fog lamps, vanity mirrors with illumination, leather bathed interior, push-button start and auto-dimming rearview mirror. It also gets the full suite of safety features including forwarding collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, auto high beam and blindspot detection with lane change assist.

2.4 GT: $26,690 (AWD + $1,500)

The GT is the top of the line variant in the Outlander Sport lineup. In terms of features, it only trumps the SE thanks to soft-touch surfaces and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink. Apart from that, the feature list and the safety suite offered is almost identical. The critical difference though is the engine. It displaces 2.4 liters compared to the 2.0 liters in other trims. With 168 hp and 167 lb-ft on tap, it adds a much-needed dose of power and grunt to the mix.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Recommended Trim

In a rare spurt of largesse, your author is recommending the top-tier GT as the one to get if you’re bent on purchasing an Outlander Sport. Not only does it come with the 2.4-liter engine and its much-needed twenty extra horsepower, it also has leather-like seating surfaces and a yaffle of active safety driving aids. Go for the front-drive powertrain and keep that $1,500 in your pocket, a portion of which can be spent on a good set of winter tires.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Fuel Economy

The Outlander Sport comes with two engine options, a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Both engines however are mated to the same CVT gearbox. Mitsubishi claims that that the 2.0 delivers 24mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway whereas the 2.4 delivers 23mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway. We haven’t tested the fuel efficiency of the Outlander yet so we cannot quote a tested real-world figure. But expect the figure to vary by 2–4mpg in real-world scenarios.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona

The Korean brand has long been known for providing a value proposition that’s second-to-none, a trend that continues with the bite-sized Kona. Hyundai is increasingly taking new and interesting chances with its styling decisions, a point made clear with the funky-looking Kona.

Kona’s base engine, a 2.0-liter four banger makes about the same amount of power as the Outlander Sport. However, its optional engine, a 1.6-liter turbo, produces a much healthier 175 ponies and nearly 200 lb-ft of torque at just 1500 rpm. It is the latter that drivers will feel around town, making the Hyundai a much better performer than the Mitsubishi while still earning a 30 mpg combined rating in front-drive configuration. This is a significant 5 mpg better than the GT. The cheapest 1.6-liter Kona is $400 more than the Outlander Sport GT.

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Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs Subaru Crosstrek

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

A few years ago, comparing Subaru and Mitsu was like putting Ford and Chevy head-to-head, with the Lancer and Impreza fighting intently for the same customer. Today, the Lancer is gone but both companies continue to crank out all-wheel drive crossovers. The Crosstrek starts at $23,155 and includes all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

At that price, the Crosstrek is equipped with a manual transmission. Installing a CVT automatic box bumps its price to $24,505, placing it over $600 below the Outlander Sport when compared equally. The lone engine offered by Subaru in the Crosstrek splits the power difference between the two Mitsu mills.

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Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs Jeep Renegade

jeep renegade

Jeep’s square-jawed trucklet is offered in a dizzying array of trims but starts things off with a $23,965 front-wheel drive Sport model. Powered by a 2.4-liter engine making 180 horsepower and roughly a like amount of torque, it has a nine-speed automatic transmission as a dancing partner.

Be aware that Jeep likes to charge extra for many features, including any color paint other than Alpine White or Colorado Red. The standard 5.0-inch Uconnect infotainment system looks dismal but does at least come with satellite radio capability which is more than the base Mitsu unit can claim. One can also add lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control systems for $1,295 to the base model.

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Detailed Specs

Price Range / $23,790 – $28,190
Engine / 2.0L I4 / 2.4L I4
Power (hp) / 148 / 168
Torque (lb-ft) / 145 / 167
Fuel Economy (mpg, city/hwy/combined) / 24/30/27 / 23/29/25
Drivetrain / CVT, FWD/AWD

Our Final Verdict

Mitsubishi has put a fresh face on its Outlander Sport for 2020, meaning the thing no longer looks like a rental counter reject. Improvements to the interior, such as better infotainment and enhanced materials, help immensely as well. The smaller engine with its underwhelming power output and middling economy be a turn-off for some, while the loss of a manual transmission for 2020 should be mourned by all. Still, that warranty is sure to attract more than a few customers who don’t want to be bothered with major repairs until the next decade.

3.3
Performance 6.0
Space and Comfort 7.0
Equipment 7.0
Infotainment 6.0
Value 7.0