For 2013, Mitsubishi has introduced a number of subtle changes to help make the Outlander Sport look and feel a little more sophisticated and refined. In front there's a redesigned fascia, along with a new grille and fog lamp design. The rear bumper design is also new, and the side sills are now black. The doors also get new chrome trim inside and out. <p><p>Also inside are new seating fabrics, and a higher-grade sound insulation brings a quieter cabin overall. Sound quality for the Premium Audio System has been improved as well, with new high-performance speakers. <p><p>Meanwhile, the Outlander Sport gets substantial tuning changes that should help it drive a bit better: The rear suspension has been retuned; so has the electric power steering, which now transmits a little more steering feel. And the continuously variable automatic transmission has a new calibration for a smoother shift feel. <p><p>Otherwise a new ES 4WD model is new to the lineup and offers the All-Wheel Control system at a lower price than the SE 4WD. SiriusXM satellite radio and heated front seats now come standard on the SE model; 18-inch alloy wheels come standard on all models; and two new colors, White Pearl and Quick Silver, join the palette.
The Outlander Sport is offered in well-equipped ES and premium SE trims. All Outlander Sports are powered by a 148-horsepower, 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder engine. On ES models a 5-speed manual gearbox is standard, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional.
All-wheel drive is now available on both trim levels--only with the CVT--and the system, which is geared toward improved traction on slippery roads, includes a separate 2WD mode for improved fuel efficiency.
The Outlander Sport is laid out more as a tall car than as a traditional utility vehicle with responsive, quick-ratio electric power steering it drives more like a sporty hatchback on the road. It maneuvers well and parks easily in the city and CVT models offer steering-wheel paddle-shifters that let you toggle between six simulated gears.
Inside, the Outlander Sport has space for five-- four with two adults in back. Rear seatbacks are split 60/40 and fold forward, while back-seat occupants get a fold-down padded armrest and there's a trunk pass-through for skis and longer items.
All Outlander Sport models include Mitsubishi's FUSE connectivity system for hands-free cellphone use, as well as a USB port for cellphone or iPod control, as well as steering-wheel audio controls. The sound system that's included has 140 watts and four speakers. Other standard features on the ES include rear LED tail lamps, a trip computer, air conditioning, and rear heated ducts. SE models add a 6-speaker system, automatic climate control, HID headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and push-button engine start.
Top options on the Outlander Sport include a navigation system with real-time traffic data plus music-server storage; a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate sound system with nine speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer; Sirius XM satellite radio; and a panoramic glass roof with adjustable LED lighting.
On the safety front, all models include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, Hill Start Assist, active front headrests, and a driver knee bag in addition to a full set of frontal and side airbags.