Test Drive on BlackTree TV
As the bestselling vehicle in Mitsubishi’s meager North American lineup, the Outlander Sport carries some significant weight on its shoulders. Not only the company’s player in the hotly contested compact SUV segment, the Outlander Sport also soon will be representing the American workforce: Beginning in July 2013, Mitsubishi’s Normal, Illinois, manufacturing facility will supply both the U.S and export markets such as South/Central America, Russia, and the Middle East with 2013 model-year Outlander Sports.
Not to be confused with its big brother Outlander, the Outlander Sport appeared in the 2011 model year as a smaller, only slightly more economical version of the Outlander. At the time, the Outlander Sport with a 2.0-liter four earned EPA mileage ratings of 25 mpg city/31 highway—those won’t change for 2013—while a 2.4-liter-equipped Outlander comes in at 23/28. While such meager efficiency benefits certainly don’t help it against its showroom sibling, the 2013 Outlander Sport will be refreshed to help it better battle the likes of the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Kia Sportage, and Toyota RAV4.
The 2.0-liter, DOHC four-cylinder engine mates to an available continuously variable transmission that has been recalibrated for improved acceleration and smoother operation. (A five-speed manual is the base-model transmission.) Mitsubishi’s shift-on-the-fly all-wheel-drive system is now controlled with via a button in place of the former dial. Further chassis changes are limited to tweaking the rear suspension setup for better ride quality.
With a starting net value of $21,625* for the well-equipped entry-level ES model (the premium-grade SE version begins at $23,625*), the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the first of several new advanced, alternative-fuel production vehicles that the Japanese auto manufacturer plans on bringing to the North American market in the next few years. (** ES $29,125 MSRP less $7500 federal tax credit = $21,625 after tax credit; SE $31,125 MSRP less $7500 federal tax credit = $23,625 after tax credit).
Consumers can now lease a Mitsubishi i at certified dealers nationwide for lease payments as low as $249 per month** for the base ES model equipped with a convenient high-speed CHAdeMO DC quick-charging port. Current offers here.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is supporting the University of Southern California (USC) and the renowned institution’s Viterbi School of Engineering as it develops a special campus-wide Smart Grid “Living Laboratory” project including the use of Mitsubishi i-MiEV 100% electric vehicles. Release here
A stock version of the vehicle, along with a prototype racecar called the i-MiEV Evolution, raced at the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The i-MiEV Evolution finished 2nd place in the EV division.
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