2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport gets a striking new look

The crossover wears Mitsubishi's newest design language.

Jake Holmes/Roadshow

As we had surmised, the new Mitsubishi ASX shown at the Geneva Motor Show closely previewed the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport that will go on sale in the US this September. Mitsubishi revealed the new Outlander Sport on Tuesday at its research and development center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The redesign is quite thorough, as midcycle freshenings go, with the 2020 Outlander Sport wearing a new front end, a new rear, new 18-inch wheels and new interior materials. 

The design provides strong hints as to the look of all future Mitsubishis, said Nate Berg, director of product planning for Mitsubishi Motors North America. It was previewed by the Engelberg Tourer concept.

The Outlander Sport in its top GT trim level and Sunshine Orange paint.

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"Design will be a key strategic thing moving forward for Mitsubishi Motors," Berg said. "We will continue to focus on refining our design."

Up front, the design change begins with a new, flatter hood that no longer angles down toward the front of the car. The entire front fascia is new, with a wider version of Mitsubishi's "Dynamic Shield" grille. The fog lights and turn signals are at the far edges of the car and separated from the headlights. It's a much tougher look than the old model. LED headlights are now standard -- last year they weren't even available as an option.

The taillights and rear bumper are also new.

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The car's 18-inch wheels have been redesigned, too, as have the LED taillights. A new rear bumper design has extra plastic cladding and faux-vents, recalling the look of the Subaru Crosstrek. There's even a new faux-plastic fender vent ahead of the front doors.

An in-your-face design was key given that many Outlander Sport customers cited design as a key selling point for the crossover, Berg said. "Our customers have told us they love the design of our Outlander Sport," he said. "You don't see a lot of the competition being so bold and rugged." Arguably, though, something like the Hyundai Kona is up there.

Within the cabin, Berg said most changes were aimed at improving quality, such as better seat upholstery, "to give a better, more upscale appearance." Other changes include a standard black headliner and redesigned climate-control knobs that are apparently easier to grip. A new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (last year's model had 6- or 7-inch screens) features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but still has physical tuning and volume knobs.

The new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

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There are no changes mechanically, so the Outlander Sport's standard engine remains a 2.0-liter inline-four rated for 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. GT models use a 2.4-liter engine with 168 hp and 167 lb-ft. A five-speed manual transmission was previously offered on base models, but has been discontinued for 2020. Available active-safety technology includes precollision warning and braking, blind-spot monitoring and automatic high-beam headlights, though adaptive cruise control is unavailable.

Pricing for the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has yet to be confirmed, but Berg promised it won't be too far off the current model's figures. That likely means a base price around $22,000-$23,000, with the GT trim topping out around $27,000. The new crossover goes on sale this September.