2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport vs. 2018 Nissan Kicks

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Outlander Sport has standard active front headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the active front headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Kicks doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Outlander Sport offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Kicks doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE/GT has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Kicks doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Outlander Sport GT’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Kicks doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Outlander Sport and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport weighs 437 to 646 pounds more than the Nissan Kicks. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Outlander Sport its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 144 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Kicks has not been tested, yet.


The Outlander Sport comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Kicks’ 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Mitsubishi’s powertrain warranty covers the Outlander Sport 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Nissan covers the Kicks. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Kicks ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Outlander Sport’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Kicks’ (7 vs. 5 years).


To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Outlander Sport has a standard 130-amp alternator. The Kicks’ 120-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Outlander Sport third among small SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Kicks isn’t in the top three in its category.


The Outlander Sport ES/SE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 23 more horsepower (148 vs. 125) and 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (145 vs. 115) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. The Outlander Sport GT’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 43 more horsepower (168 vs. 125) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (167 vs. 115) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Outlander Sport AWC’s standard fuel tank has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (15.8 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Outlander Sport FWD’s standard fuel tank has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (16.6 vs. 10.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Outlander Sport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kicks:


Outlander Sport


Front Rotors

11.6 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

8” drums

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Kicks. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Outlander Sport stops shorter than the Kicks:


Outlander Sport



70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Outlander Sport has larger tires than the Kicks (225/55R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Outlander Sport’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Kicks S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Outlander Sport has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The Kicks’ largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Kicks only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Kicks has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Outlander Sport’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Kicks (105.1 inches vs. 103.1 inches).

For greater off-road capability the Outlander Sport has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Kicks (8.5 vs. 7 inches), allowing the Outlander Sport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Outlander Sport has 3.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (97.5 vs. 93.9).

The Outlander Sport has 1.2 inches more front hip room, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, 3.1 inches more rear legroom, 2.5 inches more rear hip room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kicks.

Cargo Capacity

The Outlander Sport has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (49.5 vs. 32.3 cubic feet).


The Outlander Sport GT’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Kicks’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Outlander Sport SEL detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Kicks doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Outlander Sport’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Kicks SV/SR.

The Outlander Sport has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Kicks doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address with audible turn-by-turn directions, a GPS navigation system is available on the Outlander Sport. The Outlander Sport’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Kicks doesn’t offer a navigation system.


The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport outsold the Nissan Kicks by almost four to one during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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