2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT: Sell-Buy Date Extension by Cliff Leppke Sport GT is wishful thinking. Mitsubishi’s Outlander Sport is a tidy package, but piloting it requires you to be a good sport. Simply put, this Mitsubishi feels outmoded. Let’s start with its background and then proceed to this cute-ute’s virtues and vices. Mistu arrived in America wearing a Chrysler nameplate—the Dodge Colt. It offered good value. Later versions sported an ingeniously smooth engine, turbocharging and even all-wheel drive. Mitsubishi, eventually, marketed its own vehicles via its own dealers. It opened an American assembly plant. Mitsubishi developed a cult following due to its high-performance rally cars. Yet, bit-by-bit, Mitsubishi’s U.S. lineup shrank. Now, there’s one bitty car (Mirage) and a few leftover crossovers. They’ve outlived their sell-by dates. The Sport’s a shorter version of the Outlander. It’s sensibly packaged: front and rear passengers have enough upright seating plus the aft cargo hold totes some gear. Mitsu updated the Sport’s exterior lighting (now LED), gave it football-helmet inspired bumpers, added tough-looking cladding and ice-cube front-lamp treatment. The grille is butch; bright garnishes add bling. Alas, it’s like a CBS procedural crime drama, a tired genre. Inside, Mistu redecorated the cabin with an eight-inch infotainment screen, soft-touch dash pads and pliable front-door card inserts. Simple controls rule. Just one button selects traction mode. Fuel-economy data are skimpy—no long-term figures. You get a green eco light, though. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, heated seats, convenient steering wheel switches and twisty climate knobs are fine—even the glove box is lit. The illuminated shift-lever’s quadrant doesn’t highlight your mode. This info resides on the info screen between the tach and speedometer. Mitsubishi dropped the five-speed manual. Despite the new digs, the Sport still resembles the close-out aisle at Walmart. Hard plastics abound, some pieces aren’t neatly buttoned down. There are exposed screw heads and plugs. Obvious fake stitching and thinly padded armrests further lower one’s expectations. And the sun visors don’t extend to block the sun through the side windows. Perks include purposeful upholstery, automatic climate control, a center-rear armrest, leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic headlights. Expanding the cargo hold via 60/40 folding the rear seatbacks is loopy, as you must to navigate shoulder straps. Rear headrests don’t mash into front seatbacks, though. Put the car in gear and the continuously variable transmission teams with a 2.4-liter engine. This provides adequate, if raucous getaway. The engine often revs annoyingly as the CVT varies ratios until it reaches your desired velocity. Then, engine rpm drops to a thrum. Add wind, road and mechanical noise and you’ve got an unfriendly travel companion. At 70 mph, it revs at only 2,000 rpm but its churning wears you out. Winding your way through a congested urban environment proved particularly unfriendly, as the engine whined like a Dyson vac. Expect 23/24 mpg overall. The EPA says: 23 city, 28 highway and 25 combined. Sport drive mode aggravates the mill’s coarse demeanor. You get a tad more Schlitz gusto, though. Ride and handling are vintage Nash Rambler atop modern 225/55R18 tires. Steering, for instance, has center sense but feels sticky. Body roll is obvious too. Ride is active with a variety of dips and tosses and a few snaps. It’s reasonably composed on some choppy streets—just too much racket elsewhere to seem comfortable. Driver’s position isn't friendly for tall-person’s feet. Drive assist warns of lane departures and monitors blind spots. There’s a forward collision abatement system. On hoarfrost roads, where moist air freezes on colder pavement, the vehicle felt uncertain, as it struggled for traction. Winter tires should help. Details vary. The rear floor is flimsy. In contrast, the firm seating pressure points seemed odd. There’s more front lumbar bulge than I’d like. You cannot adjust it. USB connections, a phone pad and provisions for routing cables are neat. Mitsubishi includes a comprehensive warranty, a reputation for reliability and a first aid kit. The Sport GT with all-wheel-control lists for $28,920. Its fresh cover needs updated mechanical bits.