The "Made in the U.S.A." label is pretty important for automakers these days, and Mitsubishi is the latest to join these ranks with production of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport now produced in the company's Normal, Ill. assembly plant. Previously, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was made in Japan, but, for the North American market, the compact crossover is now built in the same plant where the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mitsubishi Galant and Mitsubishi Endeavor were produced until 2012.
Mitsubishi says that it initially plans to build 50,000 Outlander Sport models at the plant with capacity eventually growing to 70,000 units, and half of all these units will be exported to markets outside of North America. In June, Mitsubishi sold 1,461 Outlander Sports which represents a year-to-date increase of 2.6 percent. The refreshed, Made-in-America 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport will be on sale at Mitsubishi dealerships early next month.
Other than its production location, there are additional changes in store for the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Introduced in 2011, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has given the Japanese automaker an exciting and modern little crossover, but improvements have been made to the styling and driving refinement. The biggest changes made to the new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport were to its performance and ride quality. A retuned rear suspension setup should help give the crossover a smoother ride, while the Outlander Sport's weakest link, its continuously variable transmission (CVT), has been recalibrated to deliver smoother shifts and better acceleration according to Mitsubishi. Despite the transmission changes, our data for the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport fuel economy show front-wheel drive, CVT models actually dropped from 25 miles per gallon in the city to 24 mpg while the highway rating of 31 mpg stays the same. The base Outlander Sport ES with the five-speed manual transmission also sees a slight drop in highway fuel economy to 30 mpg, but the all-wheel drive models improved slightly to 24 mpg city and 29 mpg highway (increases of 1 mpg each).
From a design standpoint, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport gets a revised front fascia including more aggressive fog light bezels and a reshaped grille, while the side sills and rear fascia also get an updated look with the addition of black accents along the lower edges of the body. For 2013, all Outlander Sport models will come standard with 18-inch, eight-spoke alloy wheels. Inside, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport gets new interior accents and seat fabric.
Pricing for the base Mitsubishi Outlander Sport raised slightly for 2013 up to $19,170 (an increase of $375), and the new all-wheel drive ES trim level will cost an extra $2,600. Both versions of the SE trim level models - front- and all-wheel drive models - are up $300 to $22,295 and $23,695, respectively. Options on the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander SE trim level models include the $2,050 Premium Package and the $2,000 Navigation Package.