2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport - The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 GT AWC is versatile and moderately sporty


Price: $26,895

Pros-Revised look. Versatile size.     Decent performance. Nice handling. Supple ride. Well-Equipped. All Wheel Control (AWC) system.

Cons: Marginal name recognition. Stiff rear seat. Only comfortably seats four.   

Bottom Line-A very acceptable compact SUV.

The Mitsubishi Outlander compact SUV is often overlooked, but the top-line Sport 2.4 GT AWC (All Wheel Control) version offers especially good value for the money.

Blame the Outlander's relative lack of popularity partly on erratic leadership and relatively little advertising, although Mitsubishi's auto origins date back to 1917 and it has won numerous World Rally Championships, which are tough, demanding events virtually unknown to the majority of Americans.  

The Sport 2.4 GT AWC is the best of the Outlander line. For starters, this SUV, which shouldn't be confused with the larger less sporty Outlander model, has a versatile size and tight turning circle.

For 2020, the Sport 2.4 has a sportier looking front end with special black and silver accents, exterior body touches such as power body colored (retractable) side mirrors, GT badging, chrome side garish, rear spoiler and LED taillights.

The GT has a smooth 168-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, while the lower-cost base Outlanders have a more economical but rather lackluster 2-liter 148 horsepower four that's OK if most driving is done in town. The 2.4 engine goes a good job on town and on highways, working with a smooth CVT automatic transmission.

A driver can normally use just front-wheel drive for slightly greater economy but can switch via a console button to four-wheel drive to deliver power to all wheels for improved traction and safety in slippery driving conditions or to Lock, which is similar to the 4WD setting. It routes power to all four wheels but distributes 60 percent of the available power to the rear wheels for sportier handling. A dashboard diagram conveniently tells which drive mode is being used.

Few economy with the 2.4 is is an estimated 23 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on highways. Only regular grade gas is needed.

Four tall adults fit, but the rear seat is rather small and stiff and the middle section is best suited for the fold-own armrest with cupholders. The upgraded interior has attractive red stitching and a fair amount of soft-touch materials. A large speedometer and tachometer can be quickly read, and there's a larger, easily used touchscreen. Large dashboard redundant manual controls for such things as the climate control system are handy if you don't want to use the screen.

The interior also features a pushbutton start, tilt-and-telescopic wheel, manually adjustable heated front seats, cruise control and a rearview camera.

Door handles are easily grasped for quick entry and exit. Front doors have pockets for bottle holders and small items, but rear doors have no such pockets. However, the front console has a large covered cargo bin. There's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HD radio with six speakers, Bluetooth wireless technology and 12-volt power outlets.

Cargo room is just adequate with a wide opening. It provides 21.7 cubic feet of cargo room, but split-folding rear seat backs, which sit flat, enlarge the cargo area to 49.5 cubic feet.

My test Outlander Sport 2.4 GT AWC has noticeably firm but quick electric power steering. It also features a supple ride with an all-independent suspension and good handling, thanks to such items as front/rear stabilizer bars, active stability control and an improved all-wheel-drive system. The brake pedal has a firm, reassuring feel, and the anti-lock brakes have a  have electronic brake force distribution and and a brake assist feature.

There are numerous safety items, including forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot warning with lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, advanced dual-stage front air bags and side-curtain airbags.

The Outlander Sport 2.4 GT AWC comes with a 5-year, 60,0000-mile limited warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 7-year/100,00-mile corrosion warranty.

Mitsubishi has plans to offer a larger number of competitive, attractively priced vehicles, so the Outlander Sport's resale value may benefit from such an action.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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