A few weeks ago I received an intriguing email regarding the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Mitsubishi had rigged up a vehicle to be driven remotely and would be opening it up soon for test drives. On the one hand I thought this was completely daffy because honestly, how much can you really tell about a car if you’re not really behind the wheel driving it? On the other hand though, I thought it was a fun bit of marketing that was sure to get at least a few people talking.
Finally I got the notification that the Outlander Sport was available on the internet to be test driven. Once you clicked through and secured your place in line you were given the opportunity to practice, watch other drivers or find out more about the Outlander. The Outlander specific site is extremely robust and worth spending a few minutes on to explore.
The practice was smooth and I felt like I got a good handle on how to control it. The actual “test drive” on the other hand was another story. There was a lag between you directing the car and it actually doing what you wanted which became very frustrating… and then before I knew it my turn was over. Needless to say, I barely collected any of the “badges” to compete for the prize they will be giving away.
This was definitely one case where the concept was much better than the actuality. But, the virtual test drive worked in that I was curious to see how the actual vehicle drove.
The Outlander Sport is a smaller cross-over vehicle intended on competing with many of the smaller SUV’s on the market. It’s designed to be very fuel efficient which in the current market is definitely a selling point.
Ground clearance is definitely low, especially compared to my current ride, however, with laws being what they are now, that’s something I’m just going to have to deal with I guess. The lines are nice. It’s similar to other vehicles in its class, but I think it’s still somewhat distinctive. The Outlander Sport is slightly smaller than the other Outlander models so you lose the third row of seats, but not much else.
The hatch area is a little on the small side compared to what I’m used to. The seats don’t fold flat, but I think it’s rare to find a vehicle where they do. They do have a pass through in the left back seat though which could be quite useful.
Sitting in the vehicle, I wasn’t very comfortable. The dashboard is HUGE. I swear it was so big you could lay on it comfortably. Ok, well, maybe not quite that big, but that’s how it felt to me. The seats felt cheap and stiff. I can’t imagine doing a long road trip sitting in them. Hopefully they get more comfortable with use. The model I took out had a dual transmission which means it had the paddle shifters.
The Outlander Sport was quiet and had a nice tight turning radius – Definitely good when you need to flip a u-turn or even turn into a parking spot. The ride was very smooth and car-like. I quickly discovered however why the Outlander Sport is so eco-friendly…. It was S L O W. I would be scared to get on the highway in something that accelerated that slowly and I dread getting stuck on the on ramp behind one.
I can see the Outlander Sport being good for city travel, but definitely not the car for me.