At the LA Auto Show, the restyled and significantly updated 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport made its debut, showing the brand is playing to win on its comeback game.
Like the comprehensive update Mitsubishi gave its larger Outlander crossover, the 2016 Outlander Sport isn’t all-new but has been given redesigned interior and exterior elements and a healthy dose of new features to hit all the spots customers are looking at.
To start off with, it gets a more aggressive and premium look up front with an all-new grille and front fascia theme Mitsubishi calls “Dynamic Shield”. A combination of black accents and substantial chrome trims are far bolder than last year’s design, with new headlamps that are integrated into the overall look.
Down at the lower portion of the fascia is a skid-plate trim element that anchors it all down. It brings a sportier and more upscale look to the Outlander Sport and is a design we can expect to see in future models to come.
Also new on the exterior are new wheel lip moldings, heated side mirrors with LED turn indicators and a new design for its 18-inch wheels. New colors are available for 2016 as well .
Attention was also given to the interior which receives the same new steering wheel design we saw in the 2016 Outlander. New fabric choices have been added to the palette along with a new auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink. Small details yes, but they weren’t there before.
New center-stack trim designs along with soft-touch materials here and there look more premium than before. But the big improvement is a new and improved 6.1″ Display Audio System which offers easier to use and better laid out controls.
Power continues to come from both the 148 horsepower 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine on the base ES model, with the larger and more powerful 2.4 liter engine standard on SE trim grades and above that offers up 168 horsepower.
As before, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport can be had with both front-wheel drive or with Mitsubishi’s well known All Wheel Control system. A 5-speed manual transmission is available with the ES front-wheel drive, and a continuously-variable transmission comes standard when you upgrade to all-wheel drive and for all 2.4 liter engines.
The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is Mitsubishi’s top-selling model in North America and this freshened model will be an important part of the brand’s comeback in terms of sales. The redesigned and larger 2016 Outlander has shown that a similar dose of updates can dramatically improve its appeal.
Other news is on the horizon for future models which include a new plug-in hybrid Outlander and there are even rumors about a potential return of the brand’s Montero full-size SUV. Time will tell. Until then, the new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport arrives in dealerships in spring of calender year 2016.