Our Mitsubishi Outlander Sport seems to be exceptionally well set up, considering its sticker price. Let’s take inventory: It’s got automatic-on/off halogen headlamps that can be leveled from the driver’s seat (er, why?), auto-folding heated wing mirrors, keyless ignition and door locks, rain-sensing wipers, a huge sunroof with a shade (both powered), a backup camera, 12-volt and USB ports, phone, audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel (which tilts and telescopes), automatic climate control, leather, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a manual-mode automatic transmission with shift paddles, satellite radio with six speakers, child-seat anchors, seven airbags, Bluetooth, a touch screen with hands-free telematics, a self-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, hill-start hold, 18-inch alloy wheels and — this is a biggie — four-wheel drive, with pushbutton settings for 4WD auto, 4WD lock and 2WD.

There’s more, but these are items that buyers seem to covet. Oh, and let’s not overlook the transferable 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the powertrain, 7 years/100,000 miles on rust-through, and 5 years of roadside assistance.

Now here’s what our Outlander Sport does not have: Power adjustments on the passenger seat, lumbar adjustment on either front seat, a power liftgate, satellite navigation, self-stopping or self-guiding technology, and blind-spot or rear-crossing monitors. Oh, not good, you say? Here’s what else it doesn’t come with: Hefty payments. All in, our 2016 2.4 SEL AWC Outlander Sport, as outfitted and with no extra-cost options, bears an MSRP of just $26,290, including the destination fee. And a basic Outlander Sport ES — with a smaller engine, a five-speed manual gearbox, a clutch pedal and front-wheel-drive only — stickers for $6,000 less than that.

Mitsubishi’s sales strategy is exactly what propelled Korea’s two carmakers to prominence, namely sheer bang-for-buck plus the implied promise of superior build quality. This is good, because the Outlander Sport doesn’t stand out in any other ways. Ours has the larger of two engines, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, modestly tuned to turn regular gas into 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. (The 2.0-liter Four, standard in the ES trim levels, makes just 148 HP and 145 torques.) What pretends to be a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift finger paddles and a stick is really a continuously variable automatic, with the moaning and droning under acceleration to prove it.

Underway, the Outlander Sport is acceptably quiet and entirely unremarkable — offering no performance to write home about, but no deal-breaking vices, either. As a compact ute, it’s comfortable for four­, with decent legroom in the back, and the cabin feels reasonably spacious, especially under the glass panorama of the SEL’s big sunroof. Thanks to its new “Dynamic Shield” nose, finding the car in a parking lot is easier than before, too. Fuel efficiency? According to the onboard computer, on a 200-mile stint at an average of 49 mph, our Outlander Sport managed 27.2 miles per gallon.

We auto reporters can easily overlook the fiscal consequences of our likes and dislikes. There’s no downside to swooning over a Bentley Continental when we don’t have to buy it, put fuel in it, maintain it and watch its value plummet. And there’s no upside to appreciating a back-of-the-pack compact ute that none of us would apply a Powerball jackpot to. But in the real world, where people live from paycheck to paycheck and hope their car lasts at least until it’s paid for, a well-equipped and warrantied two-row, 4WD crossover SUV that costs fully $8,000 less than the average new vehicle in America is going to make some waves, whether or not it’s a joy to drive.

Outlander Sport owners who speak up online seem to regard their vehicles as sleepers — “a pretty good little car for a very low price with lots of content and a top notch warranty,” as one of them put it. NEMPA, the New England Motor Press Association, gave the Outlander Sport back-to-back Yankee Value Awards in 2015 and 2016, as “the vehicle that best exemplifies the hardy New England spirit of understated perseverance” — and added, “the membership must be impressed with the vehicle as a value proposition.” They’re not the only ones.

— Silvio Calabi reviews the latest from Detroit, Munich, Yokohama, Gothenburg, Crewe, Seoul and wherever else interesting cars are born. Silvio is a member of the International Motor Press Association whose automotive reviews date back to the Reagan administration. He is the former publisher of Speedway Illustrated magazine and an author. Contact him at calabi.silvio@gmail.com.

Plus
— Most of today’s features plus 4WD at yesterday’s prices
— Comforting warranties
Minus
— At this price, complaining seems rude