2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: More Like Its Siblings, but Still Not an Outlander Sport Replacement
Feast your eyes on the 2020 version of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, the compact crossover that attracts more American and Canadian customers than any other vehicle in Mitsu’s relatively sparse lineup. Looks more like a new Mitsubishi, doesn’t it? Sure does. The model’s updated “Dynamic Shield” front end styling now resembles that of its bigger Outlander brother and the newer Eclipse Cross.
It is not, however, a new vehicle, as this 2020 makeover is just the latest in a series of refreshes bestowed on the CUV since the current generation bowed in 2010.
Sold as the ASX in most overseas countries, the RVR in Japan and Canada, and Outlander Sport in America, Mitsubishi’s smallest crossover was once expected to shrink in size to give the Eclipse Cross some breathing room, but company brass shoved that plan onto the back burner.
Instead, the significantly restyled 2020 model gives the Outlander Sport a new face to put out there until Mitsubishi, with the help of its alliance partners, crafts a replacement. The not very new model officially debuts at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The brawnier, shinier grille and remolded front fascia gives the Outlander Sport and measure of visual toughness not present in past iterations, while a taller hood now cuts into the front fender. Fog lamps and turn signals huddle together for warmth. Out back, reformed tail lamps seem to mimic a signature feature of Volvo’s headlamps. Mitsubishi says it hoped to broaden the model’s beam, at least visually, with these rear end styling changes.
Of course, the illusion of a rear skid plate, coupled with the lower bumper treatment up front, telegraphs to buyers that this is a rugged, outdoorsy SUV, which of course it is not. Not in the Range Rover sense, anyway.
It’s worth noting that buyers of the 2020 Outlander Sport gain an extra inch of infotainment screen (it’s now 8 inches), though there’s no word on whether the driver’s rocking chair stages a return.
Originally, the plan was to downsize the Outlander Sport for the 2019 model year, but Renault-Nissan Alliance membership threw things off track. In early 2018, former Mitsubishi North America senior VP Don Swearingen said a replacement wouldn’t come along for another two or three years.
Not that an aging Outlander Sport is hurting the brand. Last year saw the model’s volume grow 18.1 percent as the brand recorded its sixth consecutive year of sales growth
[Images: Mitsubishi Motors]
Cimarron typeR on Feb 13, 2019
+1, they need to market their 3rd world tested toughness as an asset.A Tracker type vehicle ,if they could get it to pass crash tests ,would only add to their growth. Jeeps are getting really expensive. That and an updated trans./reworked CVT from Nissan. I noticed on the Motor Trend (I know , they're the worst writers) SUV of the Year test , the Eclipse was the only AWD vehicle to get stuck.
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