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Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.
The standard features of the Mitsubishi Lancer ES include 2.0L I-4 148hp engine, 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, driver knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, automatic air conditioning, 16" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, electronic stability.
Starting at: $17,795
|ES Search New||$17,795||148-hp 2.0L 4-cyl||5-spd man.||24 / 33|
|ES Search New||$20,295||168-hp 2.4L 4-cyl||continuously variable auto||23 / 30|
|SE Search New||$21,095||168-hp 2.4L 4-cyl||continuously variable auto||23 / 30|
|SEL Search New||$22,095||168-hp 2.4L 4-cyl||continuously variable auto||23 / 30|
The Lancer drives well and has a sportier feel than many other small compacts. It offers a neat, responsive driving experience, while the steering is pleasantly direct.
The 2.0-liter engine is perky at lower speeds with the 5-speed manual, but it strains with the CVT.
For the most part, the Lancer looks the same as it did a decade ago. It’s crisp, square and traditional, in a time compacts are waving fastback lines chasing fuel mileage.
Last year the Lancer got a new front end that actually backed off some from the boy-racer look; the grille openings are split above and below the bumper, making the nose more understated and mature. giving it a more adult look.
The cabin clearly shows its age, despite a new center console last year, with its hard and hollow plastic surfaces. The glossy black trim is okay, and the cloth upholstery is nice, but refinement is sorely lacking compared to the competition; the design, materials, and fit and finish are beneath the level of Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, and Honda Civic.
And on the road, it’s just plain noisy, with wind noise whirring over the roar of the engine and whine of the CVT.
On the upside, the Lancer makes smart use of its cabin dimensions, as packaging and interior space are both impressive.
The Mitsubishi Lancer offers value when compared against its rivals. It’s a dated product, but the basic structure here is very good. The 2.4-liter engine is okay if a bit thirsty, and the CVT is boring. The 2.0-liter with the manual gearbox doesn’t save enough to be worth it. The traditional styling still holds up, although the cabin has cheap materials and is noisy.
Sam Moses contributed to this report.
The 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer is offered in ES ($17,795 with manual, $18,795 with CVT), ES AWC ($20,295), SE ($21,095), and SEL ($22,095), with the latter three having standard all-wheel drive.
Lancer ES comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels (not the two-tones), air conditioning, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, voice-activated audio and cell phone controls, and heated power mirrors with built-in turn indicators.
The ES AWC model adds the larger 2.4-liter engine and all-wheel drive.
Lancer SE adds 18-inch alloy wheels, ventilated disc brakes, stabilizer bars, air conditioning, a split-folding backseat, steering-wheel audio controls, and keyless entry. The SEL has more features. Options on the SE and SEL include a Sun and Sound package with a sunroof and premium sound system.