Mitsubishi is celebrating 30 years in the U.S. auto market. To help mark the occasion, the Japanese automaker introduced a limited-edition version of the 2013 Outlander Sport compact SUV—along with an all-new 2014 Outlander compact SUV—at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The big news is the redesigned 2014 Outlander that goes on sale in July 2013. It remains a 7-passenger crossover, and the new version is about 200 pounds lighter than the model it replaces. Three powertrains will be offered. Two are conventional gasoline engines: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and a 3.0-liter V6 with a 6-speed automatic.
The third powertrain option is a plug-in hybrid electric system that’s offered in the Outlander PHEV. It joins front- and rear-mounted electric motors with a conventional gasoline engine, and it offers all-wheel drive. Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV can function in an electric-only mode or in parallel- or series-hybrid modes depending on several factors related to battery charge level and vehicle speed. More details on the Outlander PHEV will be released closer to its calendar 2014 on-sale date.
The 2013 Outlander Sport Limited Edition adds various equipment, including black exterior trim, an available black-and-gray leather interior, and specific alloy wheels. Other drivetrain and feature availability remain largely unchanged from the standard Outlander Sport SE. This compact SUV goes on sale in March 2013.
CG Says: We’ve noticed the improvements Mitsubishi made to the 2013 Outlander Sport. Still, it lacks the overall polish of the leading compact SUVs. The 2014 Outlander could be a different story. While details are still thin, the plug-in hybrid version sounds very interesting. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel.