With the discontinuation of Suzuki’s operations in the U.S., Mitsubishi isn’t daunted and has pledged to remain in the U.S. market in spite of its widening inventory, plunging sales, and dearth of new products. However, Mitsubishi has announced that it seeks to launch two new vehicles -- the 2014 Outlander SUV and a new Limited Edition trim level for its 2013 Outlander Sport CUV -- at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show.
The 2014 Outlander made its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. It was actually available for sale at the Japanese domestic market for a short period in conventional gas-burning form. A plug-in hybrid is in development.
Mitsubishi has set some grand goals by indicating that the Outlander will have the fuel economy of a compact CUV while also being a seven-seater as standard. It appears that Mitsubishi is hoping to achieve a 30-mpg highway rating but it hasn’t been figured out just what features the Outlander will have to attain this.
Outlander will be powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 in European markets. So far, Mitsubishi hasn’t divulged what its powertrain options are for the U.S. market. Rather, Mitsubishi pledges a MIVEC engine with an updated variable valve and lift timing system to boost the fuel economy. In addition, the Outlander will have several items that weren’t previously available in the U.S. such as forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
The second car isn’t exactly a new model and is more likely to be a trim level update. The 2013 Outlander Sport Limited Edition builds on the 2013 Outlander Sport by facelifting its exterior and by giving it a few slight mechanical revisions.
The Limited Edition will get black mirror caps and a black grille divider, together with black roof rails and “dark chrome alloy wheels.” It is equipped with a different engine balancer shaft, which pledges a stronger acceleration while restricting the NVH and maintaining the highway fuel economy at 31 mpg, identical to that of the stock Outlander Sports.
The package also includes a six-way power driver’s seat, aluminum pedals, a leather-covered handbrake lever, and two tone gray/black leather upholstery.
The front aspect of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was fully redesigned for its 2013 model. While the unique, trapezoid grille opening is maintained and the depressed housings for fog lamps are kept, it now highlights a simpler and cleaner form. The chrome trim that surrounds the outside perimeter of the fog lamps is also one of its attractive details. The rear fascia, on the other hand, is also redesigned to accompany the front fascia’s modern appearance.
The intricately designed front and rear fascia of the Outlander Sport, as well as its new black side sills, enhance the vehicle’s strong and athletic appearance, thus distinguishing the compact crossover of Mitsubishi from its inferior counterparts.
Aside from its impressive look, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport also has an exceptional EPA fuel economy rating of 31 miles/gallon (highway) as well as an option for front-wheel or all-wheel drive configuration. It certainly has become a great choice for thrill-seeking individuals or small families who appreciate the impressive versatility and space of an SUV and the superior performance and topnotch fuel efficiency of an advanced and well-built car.
Other standard features of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport include the classy 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted audio controls, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, Electric Power Steering, micron filter air conditioning system, and stunning rear LED taillights. It also features the FUSE Hands-free Link System that operates a cell phone and an iPod and allows for keyless distant entry.
Safety and security features include the Active Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Traction Control Logic, Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and the anti-lock braking system. It also has a driver knee airbag, a modern front air bag SRS equipped with driver’s seat position and passenger weight sensors, curtain side air bags with roll-over sensors, and front seat-mounted side impact air bags.