For Mitsubishi, the Outlander's sportiness is measured in mpgs

CNET Car Tech takes a look at the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and find the "sport" to be curiously missing.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has athletic looks and great fuel efficiency for its class, but didn't exactly live up to the "Sport" in its moniker.
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has athletic looks and great fuel efficiency for its class, but didn't exactly live up to the "Sport" in its moniker. Josh Miller/CNET

Try as we might, it's impossible for any car guy or gal to settle behind the wheel of a vehicle with zero expectations. So, when the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport arrived in the Car Tech garage with its athletic good looks, a "Sport" pedigree, and all-wheel driven Lancer underpinnings, we found ourselves briefly fantasizing about Lancer Sportback Ralliart -class handling and power. As you'll see in the full review , we got a serious reality check within the first few miles behind the wheel, thanks in no small part to the continuously variable transmission that sits between the engine and the wheels.

With our expectations forcefully adjusted, we began to see the Outlander in a new light. It may not be the fastest crossover 'round the block, but it did prove to be one of the most nimble and fuel efficient. And with a cabin technology package that--despite needing a slight organizational overhaul--checks off most of our must-have infotainment features, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport continued to impress.

In light of the rumors that Mitsubishi will be ending the Eclipse and Lancer Evolution after the current generation (the former of which has been confirmed) and focusing on its green technologies and electrification efforts, the automaker's intentions with the Outlander Sport's performance become a bit more clear. It would seem that for the new Mitsubishi Motors, sportiness will be measured in miles per gallon, not miles per hour.

Check out the full review of the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWC for more highs and lows, pictures, and details.

 

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