Review: 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Review: 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

It’s been a long time since I’ve driven a Mitsubishi. I learned to drive on a Mitsubishi. My mom had a 1995 Diamante wagon in hunter green. It was a great car and I thought it was pretty cool at the time because it seemed to be ahead of its time. (It had steering wheel controls for the radio and cruise!)

Then,there was the time I learned to drive stick…and then my friend let me take his mom’s Eclipse turbo spyder out for a spin. What a blast! I wanted to drive a Montero for a while. I cross shopped it with the Toyota 4-Runner. And who could forget the 1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT I coveted for so long (and still would take if I could get it in pearl white)?

I’m sorry to say that my fond memories of Mitsubishi have been left in the last millennium. They’re stuck in the 1990’s, and I’m afraid it’s a permanent position.

I recently had the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, the company’s only U.S.-built vehicle on the market. The design is definitely nice (not unique, but nice), and the interior layout pretty good. (Although I don’t know why anyone thought this car needed paddle shifters…I digress.)

After spending a week in a $17,000 Kia Soul with a huge moon roof, heated and ventilated seats and a great infotainment center, it was hard to believe just how “blah” this car was. It was a disappointment mostly because it was so basic, too simple and bare-bones for its $25,000 price tag.

The bottom line, is that I have always wished Mitsubishi the best with its products in our country, but this isn’t the way to spring back to the glory days of the mid-nineties.

To be frank, all I could imagine was being stuck with this car as a rental in another country. It was “fleet basic” and lacked the power needed to feel confident navigating congested DC traffic and merging onto major highways.

The outlander sport is a definite “skip” for me personally.  If you’re in the market for a compact SUV in the $25,000 range, might I suggest checking out the Honda CRV, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Tuscon, Toyota RAV-4 or the Mazda CX-5. Those will bring you much more value and reliability for your cash.

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.