2020 Mitsubishi Outback Sport Review: Sell-By Date Extended

Discussion in 'General' started by cliff leppke, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. cliff leppke

    cliff leppke Cliff Leppke

    2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport GT: Sell-Buy Date Extension

    by Cliff Leppke
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
     

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  2. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Nostalgia for sure!! I had a 1979 Plymouth Champ (Dodge Colt). Really wanted the Dodge Colt, with the 4speed tranny AND TWO SPEED REAR END, but the Champ was 40+% cheaper! Like you said, Mitsubishi was ingenious...& later versions were smooth. Even my 1979 Champ was smoother than my 1988 Ford Festiva. Champ had a third smaller intake valve with the standard two valves per cylinder, that, I think, no other manufacturer ever used. At low rpms, the small intake valve would activate, keeping the standard intake valve closed. Supposedly, the smaller valve gave extra velocity on intake, mixing with fuel better & giving better combustion. It seemed to work, because I often got 43-47MPG using low rpm feather footing. Even hit 48-50+MPG on long trips. Champ was tough. Often explored narrow, bumpy logging roads, squeezing around lots of logging trucks.... never got squished by such. Also, went on hundreds of hikes on those logging roads, & never had suspension problems. Did have to replace the clutch at 110,000 miles, tho. At times let's say, I wasn't a..... feather footer!
    Nash Rambler ride, hey! Never had the..... pleasure. But, I think I understand. Suspensions got better over the years on succeeding cars that I bought. Appears that if I had continued with Mitsubishi cars, suspensions might NOT have gotten better?
    2000 rpms at 70MPH would be 1714 rmps at 60MPH. Yeah, that is low. My penchant for taller used tires, would reduce those rpms, even more.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
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  3. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    That was effectively a conventional 4-speed FWD transmission harnessed in series to a 2-speed manual, yielding 8 hypothetical overall ratios. However, the 2-speed feature was within the same front transaxle as the 4-speed, so had absolutely nothing to do with the "rear end."

    That model still had point-&-condenser ignition after nearly everything else had electronic ignition.
     
  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Wait...… I drove one of those a few times. Was it not front-wheel-drive ?
    I also drove (and preferred ) the 5-speed Colt , which it was what the good Lord intended.
     
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  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Oh , I just now read what RedylC94 wrote. He know a thing or three about cars.
     
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  6. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Yes, the Champ was front-drive,but I used the term "rear end" so it would be more familiar to people. Bought my Champ in 1979, but I think it was labeled as 1980. So it did have the electronic ignition. Yes, the Champ saved me bunches over the Colt Twin-Stick. My journeys in the mountains weren't hindered much without the Twin-Stick. If I would have carried heavy loads into the mountains, I might have paid the 40% extra cost(probably not) for the Twin-Stick to get "compound low". Two possible advantages for the Twin-Stick, not readily mentioned here: First, there was a large gap between second & third gear, which the Twin-Stick might have covered, depending if an easily obtained Twin-Stick gear ratio had been available to cover the 2-3 gear gap. Second, with the choice of 8 speeds, the most proper gear ratio for the many different mountain slopes & elevations encountered, would have been welcomed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
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  7. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    The practically identical Dodge and Plymouth versions were both available with the "Twin-Stick," depending on trim level.
    Some pairs of the theoretical 8 overall ratios were virtually identical, so, in other words, you didn't really get 8 reasonably evenly-spaced ratios. Probably nobody habitually used all 8 in sequence anyway, because that would've required a lot inconvenient double shifts.

    ...In contrast, our 1968 IH 444 tractor also had a 4×2 transmission, but with ratio combinations worked out to yield fairly well-spaced overall ratios.
    Bicycle derailleur "gearing" uses the same principle to yield, for example, 2×5=10 or 3×9=27 "gears."
     
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  8. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    The first ones had points. I remember being surprised to see points when I peeked under the distributor cap of the one we tested. I don't doubt that they might've switched to electonic ignition soon afterward. (Nearly every car model sold in the US already had already abandoned points by then.)
     
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  9. litesong

    litesong litesong

    That's what I assumed. Once somewhere, I saw the various gear ratios given, which confirmed your information. I can't remember, but I bet there WASN'T a gear ratio to fit the middle of ratios between that second to third gear gap, I mentioned earlier. I always imagined, that 2-3 gear gap in the 4speed transmission was engineered, because the Twin-Stick was designed to fill it. Back then, I REALLY trusted engineers. I saved almost $2000 by staying away from the Twin-Stick, which was huge savings among econo-boxes AND in my bank account. Even now, I wouldn't pay $2000 for 4 "extra" gears that AREN'T 4 EXTRA GEARS. But, damn. My wife would have loved it, since she loves manual transmissions to match her "need" to be busy while driving. She could have been shifting to her heart's content. Me.... I love our 6 speed manual Elantra. But, I equally love to skip gears, when sequential shifting isn't needed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
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