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May 7, 2013

Mitsubishi crossover gets new styling

(Continued)

The changes aren't quite as noticeable inside. It gets new seating fabric, chrome accents on the front doors, better speakers with the premium sound system and — best of all — improved sound insulation that helps reduce wind and road noise.

The Outlander Sport's driving feel also has some subtle but noticeable differences. Its rear suspension design has been revised to improve the comfort and handling, and changes to the electric power steering give a bit more feedback to the driver. Mitsubishi also tweaked its continuously variable transmission for a smoother feel and better acceleration.

Overall, it adds up to a big improvement. The 2013 Outlander Sport feels considerably more refined as a whole than the original that came out three years ago.

Still, the "Sport" in this car's name is a bit of a misnomer. It should be thought of as a smaller, more efficient version of the Outlander rather than one that's more zippy. Outlander Smart might be a better name.

Pricing starts at $19,170 with a manual transmission or $20,370 with the automatic. It tops out at $24,895 for the LE model with all-wheel drive.

Derek Price is an automotive columnist for CNHI News Service. Contact him at carcolumn@gmail.com.

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