After years of false starts, one of Japan’s smaller automakers may be back on the road to relevance in this country with the launch of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Not only does it provide a truly competitive package for today’s buyers, but it also happens to be in the right place at the right time as a made-in-America next-gen vehicle in one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry. Further, it’s one of just two entries in its class to earn the new Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and frankly, the fact that Suzuki has dropped out of the U.S. market can’t hurt either.
Which isn’t to say Mitsubishi is sitting back waiting for customers. In fact, as is becoming the rule instead of the exception in the industry, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport will be noticeably upgraded for the current selling season even though it’s still a relatively fresh entry.
Thus, engineers have worked to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in the cabin of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, adding an engine balancer shaft and more sound insulation throughout the lineup. The model leading off the roster, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES, also gains a redesigned head unit for its standard 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system. Moving up to the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE, new features include the brand’s latest navigation technology, with a 7.1-inch high-def touchscreen, voice recognition, 3D mapping, real-time traffic updates, and the Mapcare service for cartographical updating.
The SE model also will showcase a new standard audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display and HD Radio, while Black leather seating, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and LED daytime running lights have been added to the vehicle’s various option packages.
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Pricing the Portfolio
Along with the previously mentioned adjustments to the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, there have been some changes to the roster as well. The new lineup looks like this and carries $300 increases across the board as compared to similarly equipped 2013 models:
- Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES 2WD—The entry model is priced from $19,470 with a five-speed manual transmission and $20,670 with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
- Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES AWC—Adding Mitsu’s sophisticated All-Wheel Control requires a CVT, along with an MSRP of $22,070.
- Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWC—Here, owners enjoy a paddle-shifting CVT and more premium appointments for $23,995.
In all cases, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is motivated by a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that makes 148 hp and 145 lb.-ft. of twist; EPA grades are up to 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway/27 mpg combined with two-wheel drive or 24/29/26 with AWC.
Now, true Mitsubishi mavens may have noticed a few choices missing from that lineup, and that’s because the brand will no longer offer the SE model with two-wheel drive, while 2013’s range-topping Limited Edition was, true to its name, only offered for a limited time to celebrate Mitsubishi’s 30th anniversary in the U.S. market. However, there will be a new Premium Package for the SE trim that helps take its place. This upgrade bundles uplevel cues like a power-adjustable driver’s seat and auto-dimming rearview mirror with a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system. Designed to provide incredible sound, the setup brings nine speakers, including advanced surround-sound technologies and a 10-inch subwoofer with a dual-voice coil.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is expected to reach dealerships later this summer.