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First Drive: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWC

A lackluster vehicle from an automaker that seems more focused on the future than the present.

by on Aug.19, 2011

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport shows Mitsubishi is more focused on its future products than its current lineup.

It’s a familiar tactic, one employed by automakers the world over. Instead of coming up with a new name to attach to its latest offering, the marketeers just use the name from another vehicle with some sort of appendage.

So, even though Mitsubishi’s new compact sport utility is mostly different from the company’s larger offering, it still gets the same name, Outlander. For the smaller ute, Mitsubishi adds “Sport” to the name.

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The Outlander Sport looks the part. Leading with Mitsubishi’s corporate “shark-nose” front end, the Sport has a decidedly taut design. Remember the days when forward-leaning front ends were the in design? Think Buick Century as well as generations of BMWs. That look gave way to the swept-back, aerodynamic look. But now, the forward lean is back. Even if it doesn’t seem aerodynamic, that’s an optical illusion because Mitsubishi claims a coefficient of drag of 0.33, which is rather remarkable for any sport ute, forward leaning snout or not.