Oil companies officially ask Republicans to kill effort to extend electric vehicle tax credit

As some have launched efforts to extend the federal tax credit for electric vehicles in order to accelerate EV adoption in the US, several trade groups representing oil companies are fighting back.  more…

The post Oil companies officially ask Republicans to kill effort to extend electric vehicle tax credit appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Musk Says Tesla Vehicle Production Is Typically Battery Cell Constrained

Unsurprisingly, batteries are the culprit holding back large volume expansion by the carmaker.

While plenty are ready to bash Tesla on short notice, with such a novelty product, it’s not that simple to make all things work. At once. After all, the initial product market introduction and high volume production are two completely different things. And judging by the recent developments in both production and delivery systems, the California based carmaker is making strides in impacting both business area. However, one thing that Tesla cannot impact completely is battery production. And that’s been cited by Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO, as the biggest culprit to their production volume expansion efforts.

For Tesla, the development and production priorities are simple: production numbers, deliveries, followed by the Model Y, solar roof tiles, Tesla pickup, Tesla semi, and Roadster. And every item (sans the roof tiles) will need more batteries. With the Gigafactory 2 gearing up to full capacity and the Nevada facility operating at near full capacity, working on new and improved power cells, it seems all their efforts are directed in allowing them to produce both cars and batteries quicker, but also cheaper, allowing the higher margins to be inputted back to R&D programs.

For many, Tesla is a torn in their heels. And this is becoming especially evident with less and less catastrophic predictions becoming true. However, the company still has a long way ahead of itself and batteries are still going to be their biggest hindering factor for years to come. But overall, we must say that for the most part, Elon Musk is proving everyone wrong. And there’s nothing wrong about that. With bigger and bigger production and delivery goals set, it will be interesting to see how the Lithium and battery industries adjust. Especially with so many of the newcomers and legacy carmakers getting into the EV game with big plans and big dreams.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Which Tesla Model 3 Accessories Should You Buy (And Not Buy)?

Let’s take a look at what accessories make sense for the Tesla Model 3, and which ones you should probably avoid.

As we previously pointed, the Tesla Model 3 is wooing people to stretch their budgets. We’ve learned that many new Model 3 owners may have driven a budget compact car in the past. It’s also important to note that the car is attracting a wide mix of buyers. Many Model 3 owners already own another Tesla vehicle (or two), and/or are previous luxury car owners. While one family may be scraping together loose change and trimming some fat to make Model 3 ownership a reality, others find the car inexpensive and less extravagant compared to luxury cars they’ve driven in the past.

Due to the vast assortment of Model 3 owners out there, we’re also seeing a surge in aftermarket purchases, upgrades, etc. Overall, the aftermarket and accessory market has blown up in recent years. Tesla vehicles are surely considered premium by many people, but they are arguably not nearly as upscale as many traditional luxury cars.

This is especially true of the Model 3, since it’s Tesla’s least expensive offering. For this reason, many buyers want to do whatever they can afford to make their car unique and increase its functionality. We’re talking about tinted windows, wraps, coatings, spoilers, special interior treatments, floor mats, a wireless phone charger, a sunglasses holder, a change holder … and the list goes on and on.

With the plethora of options out there, how does one even begin to decide which accessories to consider?

The Money Guy calls himself an expert in the field. He reminds us that his first car cost him $1,000 and he added $4,000 worth of accessories to it. Now, he’s done the same with his Model 3. Check out the video for Brian’s opinion on several Tesla Model 3 accessories. He makes it clear that none of the accessories were free or are being promoted for a particular company. Brian bought them all himself and is sharing them because he believes they are worthy.

Video Description via The Money Guy on YouTube:

In this Tesla Model 3 video, we are going to go over what accessories you need to buy and which ones you need to avoid! We will first go over exterior accessories and then transition into interior accessory options.

TESLA MODEL 3

32 photos
2. Tesla Model 3
Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge.

Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.)



Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore!
Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

Tesla Model 3
Inside the Tesla Model 3




Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.

Tesla Model 3 Performance - Dual Motor Badge
Tesla Model 3 Performance
Tesla Model 3 Performance

Tesla Model 3 Performance

Tesla Model 3 Performance - Midnight Silver Tarmac Motion (wallpaper 2,560x – click to enlarge)

Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Wide
Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Touchscreen


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Renault-Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn Arrested Over Alleged Financial Misconduct

Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Japan. Nissan prepares to sack him

On Monday, one of the most powerful men in the automotive industry – Carlos Ghosn – who leads the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, was arrested in Tokyo. Ghosn was also one of the few CEOs who 10 years ago who stood behind electric car investments, introducing best-selling models like the Nissan LEAF and Renault ZOE (in Europe).

According to the first reports, the reasons behind the arrest are:

  • over many years both Ghosn (former Nissan CEO, and currently company’s Representative Director and Chairman) and Representative Director Greg Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.
  • in regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly’s deep involvement has also been confirmed.

In general, it seems that Ghosn is accused of underreporting income to pay less taxes and personal use of company assets.

Current Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa announced that he will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions.

Stocks of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi are down. The question is whether Carlos Ghosn really is guilty and whether or not the next boss of Renault and The Alliance will maintain the current strategy (to keep special partnerships between the companies, invest in electric and autonomous cars, etc.)

Nissan press release:

Regarding serious misconduct by Nissan Chairman and one representative director

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Based on a whistleblower report, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) has been conducting an internal investigation over the past several months regarding misconduct involving the company’s Representative Director and Chairman Carlos Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly.

The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.

Also, in regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly’s deep involvement has also been confirmed.

Nissan has been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office and has been fully cooperating with their investigation. We will continue to do so.

As the misconduct uncovered through our internal investigation constitutes clear violations of the duty of care as directors, Nissan’s Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa will propose to the Nissan Board of Directors to promptly remove Ghosn from his positions as Chairman and Representative Director. Saikawa will also propose the removal of Greg Kelly from his position as Representative Director.

Nissan deeply apologizes for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders. We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures.

Renault press release:

Press release from Renault’s lead independent Director and committee chairs

Boulogne-Billancourt, November 19, 2018 – Philippe Lagayette, as lead independent director of Renault, in liaison with Board Committee Chairs Marie-Annick Darmaillac and Patrick Thomas, have acknowledged the contents of Nissan’s press release of today.

Pending provision of precise information from Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault, the above directors wish to express their dedication to the defense of Renault’s interest in the Alliance. The Board of Directors of Renault will be convened very shortly.

Videos:

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Source: Reuters, asia.nikkei.com


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Jaguar I-Pace Or Tesla Model S 75D? The Winner Might Surprise You

The Jaguar I-Pace signifies a big leap for Jag into the electric car segment.

However different, the Tesla Model S 75D and the Jaguar I-Pace are similar in many areas. Both of them represent vehicles that are built to rule their respective markets and both try to bring a dose of luxury in the electric vehicle world. The Model S 75D is a bit longer in the tooth, while the I-Pace signifies the ramp-up in the brewing war for the higher-end electric vehicle market.

Performance wise, these two are rather similar. The Jaguar I-Pace is powered by a dual motor setup that comes with a 90kWh battery. The Model S 75D comes with the same dual motor setup, however, it’s fitted with a slightly smaller capacity 75kWh battery. The vehicles come with similar power: 362 horsepower and 486lb-ft of torque for the Tesla and 394 horsepower and 513lb-ft of torque for the Jaguar. In simple 0-60mph (0-97km/h) terms, the vehicles do that sprint in 4.5 seconds and 4.2 seconds for the Jaguar and Tesla, respectively.

Price wise, they are once again, quite similar. Right now, U.S pricing-wise, the Jaguar I-Pace starts at $69,500 and the Tesla will set you back $66,200, making them most likely choices for any owner looking for an EV in that price range. However, Tesla is headed for a phase-out of the federal tax credit, while Jaguar is still able to offer the $7,500 that the federal government gives EV buyers across the nation. With all these items taken into account, it’s no wonder that What Car decided to put these two in a rather in-depth test drive comparison. The end result? Quite interesting.

If you read the September edition of What Car? magazine, you’ll have seen a different outcome in this very same test, with the Model S coming out on top. But a couple of things have changed since then.

The automotive publication praises both the I-Pace and the Model S in several categories. However, in the end, the verdict is a bit surprising. What Car dubs this an extremely close-run thing, but in the end,  the I-Pace clinches the win. What Car doesn’t think that the I-Pace is as quite as good to drive as the Model S (it’s a crossover, after all), nor is it as practical. However, they feel that the real-world range, paired with the ownership costs – two crucial areas for EV ownership – are tipping the scales in Jaguar’s favor. Furthermore, they also think that the I-Pace is more comfortable and classier inside. Interesting.

For those interested, you can read the full comparison review of the Tesla Model S 75D and the Jaguar I-pace right here. While the winner is a bit surprising, we can certainly see why the I-Pace – in their opinion – is a winner in the end. It’s one of the best looking EVs on the market today, it’s well built and however great the Model S is, it’s a vehicle that’s been out there for some time. And that makes it vulnerable for all the upcoming challengers in the mid-range electric luxury vehicle market, that’s for sure.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla’s Third-Largest Shareholder Willing To Provide Capital If Necessary

TESLA’S THIRD-LARGEST SHAREHOLDER BACKS THE ‘GENIUS’ OF ELON MUSK

Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford is Tesla’s third largest shareholder, and the fund managers want everyone to know they are still bullish on the stock. Instead of obsessing about Elon Musk’s salty tweets, investors should focus on the vast opportunities that Tesla is poised to take advantage of, Baillie Gifford’s Iain McCombie told Morningstar.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Elon Musk (Flickr: thaddeus cesari)

McCombie, Manager of the Baillie Gifford Managed fund, concedes that Musk’s antics are “a giant distraction,” but points out that the Tesla story is “partly about the genius of Musk.” McCombie says Musk’s combative statements are “an embarrassment and I wish he wouldn’t do it,” but goes on to speculate that, had the famously outspoken auto industry pioneer Henry Ford had something like Twitter to express himself with, Musk’s tweets “would be pretty mild in comparison.”

“You might not like Musk, and I’m not condoning what he did, but you can’t deny the fact that he’s done some pretty remarkable things,” says McCombie. “And that is often what a lot of entrepreneurs are like. They’re eccentric, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea and they challenge conventional wisdom.”

McCombie says Baillie Gifford is still excited about TSLA stock for several reasons. Despite short-term production problems, the California carmaker is now beginning to produce Model 3 in volume, and the new EV is already outselling comparable models from established auto brands. Tesla is now selling more cars in the US than Daimler, McCombie points out. “Daimler’s been in the market for 100-plus years, and here’s this upstart and they’re outselling them in the US. If you’d said that a few years ago, you’d probably have been locked up, but that’s happening.”

Above: Fighting the transition to digital photography led to the demise of Kodak (Source: Faisal Butt)

Legacy automakers are under pressure to catch up with Tesla, McCombie believes, and the nascent transition to electric vehicles could turn out to be their “Kodak moment.” “They spent hundreds of years building up their know-how in internal combustion engines and they do a great job with that, but what happens if all of us are suddenly saying ‘oh, I want an electric car?’ Suddenly, that know-how is useless,” says McCombie. “What happened with Kodak is they actually discovered the digital camera, but they buried it because it was too frightening for them. They thought it would kill their film business. But the fact that they didn’t innovate killed Kodak.”

“[Traditional automakers] have built wonderful businesses for themselves, but what happens when the business is changing? That’s why your Tesla is exciting, because they don’t have those legacy issues.”

As do most serious observers of the auto market, McCombie dismisses the idea that Big Auto’s so-called Tesla-killers pose an existential threat to the Silicon Valley startup. “We don’t think it’s all about Tesla owning the market,” he says. “We expect other people to come into the market. But what we’re thinking is that the market will expand dramatically.”

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Above: Baillie Gifford is willing to commit more capital to Tesla if it turns out that Elon Musk needs it (Youtube: Wochit News)

Baillie Gifford is supporting its optimism about Tesla with more than just words. Nick Thomas, a Partner at the Edinburgh-based firm, recently told the Times of London (via Reuters) that it would be willing to invest more cash in the company if necessary. “If [Elon Musk] needs more capital we would be willing to back him,” said Thomas. Discussing Tesla, Stuart Dunbar, another Partner at Baillie Gifford adds (via Financial Times), “We’re long-term believers in it… the company is making fantastic operational progress.”

===

Written by: Charles Morris; Source: MorningstarReutersFinancial Times

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

China Sets New Plug-In Electric Car Sales Record In October 2018

Total sales are expected to exceed 1,000,000 this year.

China has not only set a new all-time record for plug-in electric car sales in October, but beat the previous one from September by a huge margin of 14% or about 14,500.

The total result is roughly 119,400 (up 85% year-over-year) at very high 5.8% market share (also a new record)!

Taking into consideration sales of almost 751,000 during the first 10 months of 2018 (at average 3.6% market share), there is a big chance to exceed 1,000,000 in 2018 (sales in the last months of the year are usually the highest in China).

October brings a huge record for the BAIC EC-Series, which the new version (with 30 kWh battery) priced at around $25,000 before subsidies went through the roof. 20,648 were sold last month (a new record for a plug-in model in a single month).

New highs were set by BYD Tang (6,037) and BYD Yuan (5,803). Fourth and fifth place in October were taken by the Hawtai EV160 (5,736 – new record) and Chery eQ (5,547 – best result in 2018).

Plug-in electric car sales in China – October 2018

Source: EV Sales Blog


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Schaeffler Presents Transmission Units For Audi e-tron

Ok… so there is only one gear, but two gearboxes?

Schaeffler boasted that its supplies the single-speed transmissions for the Audi e-tron all-electric SUV, which uses two electric motors (one for each axle) for all-wheel drive.

Schaeffler developed two versions:

  • transmission in a coaxial arrangement drives the rear axle
  • transmission in a parallel arrangement drives the front axle

Both transmissions have a planetary gear design and are ready for up to 400 Nm of input torque. The rear coaxial unit weighs just 16 kg and has an integrated parking lock for very high loads.

Audi e-tron has system output of:

  • up to 265 kW and 561 Nm in D mode
  • up to 300 kW (135 kW front and 165 kW rear) and 664 Nm in S mode (boost)

Schaeffler started volume production of e-tron transmissions in August 2018 in Bühl and Herzogenaurach in Germany.

The company expects that in the future it will be producing 250,000 transmission units per year. Because there are two units in each e-tron, we assume that – if all will be purchased by Audi for the e-tron – up to 125,000 e-tron/e-tron Sportback annually is possible.

Schaeffler’s coaxial transmission for rear axle of the Audi e-tron

Schaeffler’s parallel transmission for front axle of the Audi e-tron

Press blast:

Dual Drive Provides Comfort and Driving Pleasure

  • Schaeffler begins volume production of transmissions for the electric drive in the Audi e-tron
  • Development and production in Bühl and Herzogenaurach
  • Input torque of 400 Nm with an axial design envelope requirement of only 150 millimeters and a weight of only 16 kilograms
  • Modular system can be adapted for a wide range of applications

The start of volume production of Schaeffler’s transmission for electric drives marks a milestone for the E-Mobility business division. Developed and produced in plants in Herzogenaurach and Bühl, the product promises maximum driving pleasure while providing a high level of comfort and optimum noise performance. The transmission is available in both parallel axis and coaxial versions and offers a high input torque with low design envelope requirements. Both variants are fitted in the new Audi e-tron. The coaxial variant provides a comfortable rear-wheel drive and selection of the parallel axis variant on the front axle enables all-wheel drive. The core of the entire system is the planetary gear set with a highly-integrated spur gear differential developed by Schaeffler.

Two axles for the perfect drive
All-electric driving is gaining ground, but electric vehicles will only gain widespread acceptance if they offer comparable levels of driving comfort and pleasure as their counterparts with an internal combustion engine. Today’s vehicles therefore place enormous requirements on their drive systems. The drive system must not only ensure comfortable driving in an urban environment, it must also be capable of switching to a sporting driving mode with high acceleration. The transition from conventional powertrains to hybrid or even all-electric vehicles therefore requires a high level of innovative strength from both automobile manufacturers and their suppliers. Schaeffler’s engineers found exactly the right solution for the new Audi e-tron: Not just one of the axles is responsible for providing the drive for the entire vehicle, the Audi e-tron can use the electric drive system on each axle. The drive system on the front axle is an electric axle system in parallel axis design, while the rear axle has the coaxial variant. In combination with the electric all-wheel drive, the two electric machines provide impressive driving performance and agile handling.

“The entire team is proud of this innovation that we have developed together with Audi”, confirms Dr. Jochen Schröder, Head of the E-Mobility business division at Schaeffler. “The two transmissions for Audi have been in volume production since August. For the future, we expect a production volume of up to 250,000 transmission units per year. Thanks to the modularity of our products, we can adapt the transmission for other applications.” Regardless of whether it is for all-electric vehicles or the hybridization of powertrains based on internal combustion engines, Schaeffler’s modular system is equipped for all requirements thanks to the new E-mobility strategy.

Planetary gear set as core
In addition to the acoustic optimization, the restricted design envelope of the coaxial drive architecture placed particularly high requirements on the developers. The solution to this problem is the highly integrated stepped planetary gear set combined with an innovative spur gear differential developed by Schaeffler. Despite the axial design envelope requirement of 150 millimeters, the transmission concept fitted in the Audi e-tron enables an input torque of 400 Nm with a weight of only 16 kilograms. The planetary gear design concept was also applied to the parallel axis drive variant on the front axle. This approach not only reduced the development time and costs, it also optimized the quality of the product. Like the coaxial variant, this concept is also designed for an input torque of 400 Nm and can be combined with an optional parking lock. When the Audi e-tron is driven in normal traffic, the drive is via the rear axle. If more power is required for rapid acceleration, for example, the parallel axis drive system on the front axle is selected.

The use of the transmission in the electrically driven Audi e-tron is another important milestone in the E-Mobility business division at Schaeffler. Two-speed transmissions have been produced for the Asian market since the beginning of the year. Production is currently carried out in Germany, but the production line will be transferred to Asia at the end of the year to remain true to the concept of customer proximity. And the success story of the transmission continues: The production of a transmission for a renowned German vehicle manufacturer will start in the second quarter of 2019. Up to 40,000 transmission units will be produced in the Herzogenaurach plant each year.

Source: Schaeffler via Green Car Congress


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Road Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL AWD

A Slightly Underpowered, But Stylish and Comfortable Subcompact SUV

Mitsubishi’s subcompact Outlander Sport crossover SUV has been the automaker’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S until the larger three-row Outlander took over the spot this year. In the very competitive compact SUV segment, the Sport’s ES base trim starts at a very thrifty $20,295 (plus $895 destination charges), which is $4,645 less than the larger three-row Outlander ES.

Following in its big brother’s footsteps, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is offered in ES, SE and SEL trim levels. As typical, each trim is available with either front- or all-wheel drive.  Not typical, the base ES is offered with a five-speed manual transmission. All other models come standard with a continously-variable transmission (CVT). For motivation, the base ES is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while the balance of the lineup is standard with a more powerful 2.4-liter four.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Little brother wants you to know he’s here, too

Fuel economy plays a part in the decision to buy most vehicles in this class, and the Outlander Sport offers good, but not great numbers. The EPA estimates fuel economy for the 2.0-liter engine with the manual transmission at 23 mpg city/29 highway/25 combined. With the CVT, it’s 24 mpg city/30 highway/27 combined. Adding optional all-wheel drive (which requires the CVT) results in 23 mpg city/29 highway/26 combined.

Moving up to the larger powerplant is a small fuel economy penalty with front drive models returning 23 mpg city/28 highway/25 combined according to the EPA. All-wheel drive versions see 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway/24 mpg combined.

Underneath the Hood

For get-up-and-go, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport relies on the two engines it started with in 2011. The base is a forgettable aluminum block 2.0-liter four that puts out a whimpering 148 horsepower and 145 pounds-feet of torque, which is overwhelmed by the car’s 3,200-pound weight. Unless most of your driving is on city streets, I don’t recommend this engine.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Don’t skimp when it comes to engine choice

Instead, get the available 2.4-liter four-cylinder. At 168 horsepower it’s no powerhouse, but it doesn’t have to work as hard to get the Outlander Sport moving, so it’s quieter as well as offering more punch. The CVT mimics a standard transmission with “shift” points and is fairly smooth. Opt for the SEL or GT trim and you’ll find paddle shifters that make up or downshifts convenient.

All-wheel drive traction is courtesy of Mitsubishi’s S-AWC system, an acronym for Super All Wheel Control. It automatically directs power rearward whenever the front wheels begin slipping, offering peace of mind on rain-slicked roads as well as snow-covered highways. While the S-AWC stystem doesn’t turn the Sport into a potent off-roader, it can lock all four wheels for added low-speed traction, and the  8.5-inch ground clearance makes it an acceptable vehicle for Forest Service trails and roads.

The Outlander Sport uses the same suspension setup as the larger Outlander—a MacPherson strut layout in front with a trailing multi-link at the rear. This configuration delivers a smooth ride quality but falls short when it comes to handling dynamics.

Stands Apart from the Crowd

Mitsubishi gave the Outlander a styling refresh last year. For 2018 it gets a revised front and rear bumper design with new LED running lights and new accent pieces.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

For someone looking for something different

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport unabashedly stands out from the large group of cookie-cutter crossovers with a distinct SUV appearance that’s in tune with a design direction called “Dynamic Shield.” There’s simple chrome detailing on the grille and window line, and a rising character line that reaches from the front wheel arch to the back of the rear doors to break up the slab-sided look. The proportions are spot-on; with standard 18-inch wheels, it’s an aggressive design that looks good.

Inside, the Outlander Sport’s interior won’t grab any design awards, but beautiful cabin designs don’t always place the controls in intuitive places. Our test SEL cabin may not have been high art, but the controls were all pretty much where you’d want them to be and easy to understand. The hooded speedometer and rev counter featured crisp white backlighting and numerals that were easily read at a glance. The interior was complemented by piano-black accents, bright trim around the center stack and a new-for-2018 7.0-inch touch screen.

As for the materials themselves, everything I touched felt on the inexpensive side, but nothing felt flimsy either. The quality of the plastics wasn’t bargain bin, and nothing felt liable to break, but at the same time, it was pretty clear that materials quality trailed the competition.

Comfort and Surprise

Comfortable front seats were supportive over a long drive, and the accommodating back seat is a pleasant surprise. Despite this crossover’s compact dimensions, adults should have no problem getting comfortable in the second row. As for those with little ones, there’s minimal effort to install two car seats.

The interior of the Outlander Sport looks larger than it actually is. It’s practical with a low loading cargo floor and split-folding rear seat backs. Open the rear hatch and you’ll find 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more room than many of its competitors offer. Fold the rear seats down and this area expands to 49.5 cubic feet.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

The Outlander Sport has some good surprises inside

The base 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES offers some solid features for its roughly $20,000 price, including leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, steering-wheel-mounted cruise control and audio buttons, a four-speaker/140-watt AM/FM/CD system, LED taillights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Our SEL with all-wheel drive brought keyless entry, fog lights, power-folding mirrors, a rearview camera, heated front leather seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, steering-wheel-mounted gearshift paddles, 7.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio. With the added Touring Package that included a panoramic glass roof, Fosgate audio system, forward collision mitigation and lane departure warning, the out-the-door price totaled $29,110.

Safety systems included hill-start assist, stability control, anti-lock disc brakes and seven standard airbags, plus a driver’s-side knee airbag. However, it offers no advanced driver assists, which typically include things like blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.

On the Road

A tilt/telescoping steering column along with the power height adjustment made easy work of finding a comfortable driving position in our Outlander Sport SEL. Exceptional outward visibility and sight lines made it an easy car to drive on the freeway, in urban environments and crowded shopping mall parking lots.

Several competitors offer higher horsepower and torque numbers, but I found the engine to be more than adequate for the task of motivating the 3,200 pound cute-ute, although at 9.5 seconds, the 0-to-60 mph sprint wasn’t much of an adrenaline rush.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Acquitting itself well in a tough field

Overall, I was, and think most folks will be, pleased with the 2.4-liter four. It wasn’t a barn burner, but the car accelerated quickly enough for anxiety-free freeway merging. However, passing on two-lane roads required cautionary thinking. When hard, quick acceleration was needed, the engine felt a little sluggish, and the raucous drone created by the CVT was loud and annoying.

Although the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL doesn’t offer a sport-tuned suspension, it does have steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The driver can activate manual shifting by touching one of the paddles (right for up-shifts, left for down-shifts). It will hold a down-shift when rounding a tight curve or when traffic ahead begins to slow.

The Sport’s suspension goes the middle road between firmness and comfort. It provided a controlled ride on the highway and smoothed out problems on the road, keeping its composure quite well on rough pavement, while dealing with potholes in typical small car fashion—jarring at times.

Mitsubishi’s electric-assisted power steering is better than most. It was light, yet accurate and responsive overall, and the little SUV felt competent when changing direction.

You can erase the word “sport” from your mind. The Outlander Sport is not a carve-the-corners, athletic small crossover, and it doesn’t try to be one.

When Mitsubishi delivered the Outlander Sport SEL, the fuel mileage readout was an even 24 mpg, the EPA’s estimated number. Our week of driving was fairly reflective of an average owner—a long freeway trip, in-town stop-and-go traffic and a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive in the country. After adding our 325 miles to the odometer, the pint-size crossover yielded 27.3 mpg, more than the EPA’s combined estimate.

In the Marketplace

For many shoppers, the best feature of the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport will be its price tag. While other subcompact SUVs offer a sub-$20,000 model, they won’t come with standard auto climate control and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Even a nicely equipped top-of-the-line SEL with all-wheel drive barely touches the $25,000 zone.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Maybe “Sport” should be replaced with “Value”

Despite the Outlander Sport’s low price and great warranty, there are a number of all-star competitors that are much newer, like the Mazda CX-3 which pleases with a zippy engine and superb handling. If fuel economy is a priority, Honda’s HR-V will hit the spot, plus its versatile rear seat can fit passengers just as well as it can fit a big-screen TV. For off-road enthusiasts, a little ruggedness is cool with Jeep’s Renegade. And then there’s the charming and affordable Fiat 500X, among others.

In the end, value is an eye-of-the-beholder metric. Buyers on limited budgets seeking escape through the maze of small crossovers will find much to like about the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Affordable, nicely equipped and solidly constructed, the 2018 Outlander Sport gives buyers a shot at driving something a bit less commonplace without risking worry about long-term reliability.

In order to give you the best perspective on the many vehicles available, Clean Fleet Report has a variety of contributors. When possible, we will offer you multiple perspectives on a given vehicle. This comes under SRO-Second Road Test Opinion. We hope you’ll enjoy these diverse views–some are just below—and let us know what you think in comments below or at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.

Our other review of the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is here.

Related Stories You Might Enjoy—More Subcompact Crossovers

Road Test: 2018 Mazda CX-3

Road Trip: 2018 Ford Ecosport

Road Test: 2016 Honda HR-V

News: 2018 Nissan Kicks

Road Test: 2018 Toyota CH-R

Road Test: 2017 Jeep Renegade

Road Test: 2016 Fiat 500X

Road Test: 2015 Chevrolet Trax

Disclosure:

Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.

The post Road Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL AWD appeared first on Clean Fleet Report.


Source: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles