When the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport debuted as a 2011 model, there was no recognized class of “subcompact crossovers.” The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, which had originated the idea of a small car-based SUV, had gotten steadily larger and more popular since their pint-sized 1990s iterations. The 2011 Outlander Sport was an oddity. But with tidy dimensions and a low price, it found buyers.
The competition caught on to this formula. Now, the subcompact crossover class is perhaps the fastest-growing market segment, with every major automaker offering at least one entry. Notable models include the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Nissan Rogue Sport. Mitsubishi is even broadening its own field with the all-new 2018 Eclipse Cross, which slots just above the Outlander Sport. With all of these new competitors, you might assume the aging Outlander Sport has become hopelessly outclassed. But depending on what you’re looking for, it might still be just right for you.