The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport received mild styling updates this year, keeping its look contemporary and smart. It has black plastic lower cladding for off-road protection, but it’s not so overly done like some crossover SUV’s are.

Our SE trim grade had handsome 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and LED daytime running lights. A chrome grille surround and HID headlamps give a sophisticated and unique look in its class.

At the rear LED tail lamps light up bright both day and night. Details like a simple chrome exhaust tip and body color rear spoiler finish up for a tidy look.

The interior of our ES trim grade was well enhanced by the pricey Touring Package at $4,900. That brought leather seats, and trim on both the steering wheel and shift lever. The front seats are heated and both power adjustable.

Comfort up front was good, getting the seat and steering wheel adjusted right pretty easy. Layout of the major controls was well done, everything almost where you would expect it. A large panoramic roof was nice for letting in lots of light light, but doesn’t open to let the air in.

Design is simple and down to business with piano black trims here and there. Ours had the top-end Rockford Fosgate audio and navigation infotainment system which was not only easy to use but had downright kicking sound.

Rear seat passengers will enjoy more than adequate space with plenty of head and leg room. While the seat backs don’t offer recline adjustments like some competitors, there is a fold down center armrest not all of them have.

Those seats fold down in a 60/40 split which expands the rear cargo area with a near-flat load floor. Folded down you get up to 49.6 cubic feet. The Rockford Fosgate sub-woofer does take up a little space when equipped, but well worth it.

Our Outlander Sport was optioned with Mitsubishi’s all-wheel control four-wheel drive system. It has three modes controlled by a console mounted button, front-wheel drive, four-wheel auto, and four-wheel lock.

While we didn’t subject the Outlander Sport to our full battery of off-road tests as it isn’t really meant for that, it maneuvered well in our mild off-road test area with its 8.5-inches of ground clearance.

The Outlander Sport has a MacPherson strut front suspension and a five-link independent rear suspension both with solid mounted sub-frames. Flat cornering comes courtesy of anti-roll bars front and rear.

Under the hood of our tester is a 2.0 liter DOHC four-cylinder engine good for 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. While a 5-speed manual transmission is offered with front-wheel drive models, our all-wheel drive Outlander Sport was equipped with a constantly variable transmission known as the CVT.

The EPA rates the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport as tested at 24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined. In our testing however we only achieved 24 mpg combined with a 50/50 balance of city and highway driving.

Where the Outlander Sport does impress is safety. It’s one of the few in its class to earn the Top Safety Pick honor from the IIHS as it achieved good ratings in their battery of tests and an acceptable rating in the small-overlap front crash test.