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Despite its name, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport lacks the sporty performance and interior refinement of its rival SUVs. Instead, the Sport offers some passenger and cargo versatility with its foldable back seats, which can be useful during road trips and grocery runs. The 2021 base model costs about $24,000, while higher trims are priced like larger SUVs. According to CarEdge, a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport will depreciate by 47% after five years. The low resale value is a definite plus for buyers on a budget.

How Reliable Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport?

While the Outlander Sport doesn’t have great fuel economy and strong engine options, it has proven to be quite reliable. J.D. Power gave the 2021 model a respectable reliability score of 85 out of 100. The 2021 Outlander Sport has a basic 5-year warranty and a 10-year powertrain warranty. This beats the shorter terms offered by competing manufacturers. Aside from its excellent warranty and high reliability score, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport boasts a four-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The SUV comes with key safety features that are proven to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. 

mitsubishi outlander sport sideshot
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers some passenger and cargo versatility with its foldable back seats, which can be useful during road trips and grocery runs. Image source: Mitsubishi

Common Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Problems 

However, some Mitsubishi Outlander Sport models have received numerous complaints over the years. Here are some of the Sport’s most commonly reported problems:

Software Issues Prevent Some Safety Features from Working

Mitsubishi has recalled 2018 Outlander Sport models equipped with adaptive cruise control (ACC) and electric parking brake (EPB) systems. According to the recall, the electronic control unit (ECU) in affected models may contain faulty software that can prevent safety systems such as automatic emergency braking, anti-lock braking (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), or the brake auto hold (BAH) function from working. Drivers are more likely to suffer an accident without these safety systems guiding the vehicle to safety. 

This problem shouldn’t be taken lightly. We recommend that you take your 2018 Sport to a shop for a thorough inspection of its electronics and safety systems. Once your mechanic has identified the issue, you can visit your Mitsubishi dealer to have your ECU updated for free. 

2021 mitsubishi outlander sport dashboard
Some of the common problems reported for the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport are software issues and a defective FCM system. Image source: Mitsubishi

Faulty Forward Collision Mitigation 

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport’s defective forward collision mitigation (FCM) system has prompted a recall from the Japanese automaker. A software issue in the FCM-ECU causes affected models to apply brakes even when no pedestrian is detected. If these brakes are activated longer than necessary, the driver may respond by applying additional brakes, which can increase the risk of rear-end collisions. 

Fortunately, the FCM-ECU can be reprogrammed to work as intended. You can take your vehicle to your Mitsubishi dealer and have it repaired for free.

Sudden Stalling 

The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport tended to stall without warning. Rather than addressing the problem directly, Mitsubishi issued a recall for certain 2015 to 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport models for electrical problems. According to the recall, affected models were equipped with faulty relays, which can lead to stalling, reduced engine power, and engine overheating. This posed a significant safety risk for owners and their passengers. Mitsubishi has offered to replace defective relays in all affected models for free. 

There are other factors that can cause your engine to stall apart from a bad relay. For example, you may be running low on fuel. Make sure to check your fuel levels regularly as part of your maintenance routine. A bad alternator can also cause performance issues for your Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. It’s important to get your engine and electrical system checked when your SUV stalls, so that you can pinpoint the exact problem.

Dead Battery

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport owners on CarComplaints have reported their SUVs failing to start due to a dead battery. This tends to happen around the 25,000-mile mark. Some owners have had to replace their stock batteries with heavy-duty ones to restore power to their SUV’s engine and electronics. A dead or insufficiently charged battery can lead to sudden power outages, disabled headlights, slow engine cranking, or backfiring. Mitsubishi has yet to issue a recall for the 2015 Outlander Sport’s defective stock batteries, so you may need to replace this part yourself when the time comes. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to spot a failing battery. When you turn the key and hear a clicking noise, it means the starter in your SUV isn’t getting sufficient power from the battery to start the engine. This emits an audible clicking sound, indicating that your battery is about to run out. If your vehicle only starts when your foot is on the gas pedal, this can also indicate some battery issues. Make sure to inspect the condition of a vehicle’s battery before buying it to avoid costly replacements and repairs down the line.

Mice Getting Inside the Vehicle Through the Air Vents

Forty-six people on CarComplaints have complained about mice infestation inside their 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The presence of rodents inside a vehicle poses serious health and safety risks to occupants inside the cabin, as some mice harbor diseases in their droppings, saliva, and urine that can be inhaled. As one owner discovered, mice can gnaw air intake filters and leave droppings on surfaces. They can multiply and chew on electrical wiring if they’re allowed to live inside a vehicle. We can’t say for sure what’s causing rodents to nest inside the 2013 Sport, because Mitsubishi has yet to address the issue. If you’re buying a used 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, it wouldn’t hurt to call pest control to rule out any rodent problems.

While the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport isn’t the best pick in the lineup, many owners consider it to be highly reliable. For some buyers, the Sport’s perceived reliability outweighs its less than desirable characteristics. You can probably drive your Mitsubishi Outlander Sport for a long time with minimal maintenance. The base price for the Sport may be higher than what most people are willing to pay. However, if you’re still determined to buy one yourself, we recommend finding the best models and trims for your budget to avoid the headache of constant maintenance and repairs.

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