The Mitsubishi Lancer is a compact car sold as either a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback. The Lancer pairs front engine placement with front-wheel or four-wheel drive. Keeping with the Lancer's tradition, the current model boasts a powerful engine for its size and price. The Lancer lacks interior quality and has fuel economy issues, problems that may make it expensive to maintain over the long run despite a low base price.
The Lancer's DE and ES trims are powered by a four-cylinder engine producing 148 horsepower. Expected fuel economy is 25 miles per gallon in city driving and 33 on the highway. The GTS trim has a slightly larger four-cylinder engine rated for 168 horsepower. This version should average 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 on the highway. The Ralliart trim has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 237 horsepower. Ralliart Lancers should achieve 17 miles per gallon in city conditions and 25 on the highway. The Lancer seats five people.
Mitsubishi began producing the Lancer in 1973. The current Lancer model is the ninth generation. Various models have been sold under other nameplates. Standard equipment and options have varied by country. The Lancer has traditionally been a four door sedan, but Mitsubishi also created a high-performance model. The Lancer Evolution has used the regular Lancer as the basis for its design. The Evolution was originally designed for racing, but became a production model. The Lancer has typically been known for solid performance, but a lack of interior comfort.
The Lancer is sold with DE, ES, GTS, or Ralliart trim. DE trim is considered the basic trim. Its standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, powered accessories, and an audio system with four speakers. The ES has the DE options plus air conditioning, key-free entry, and audio system controls on the steering wheel. The GTS has a larger engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a tuned suspension. The Ralliart trim has the turbocharged engine, a manual transmission with dual clutches, and four-wheel drive. The GTS and Ralliart trims are eligible for the Touring package. It includes xenon headlights, leather seats, and a Rockford Fosgate audio system with nine speakers. A navigation system is available as an option for all trims but the DE. Most of the upper trims' features can be purchased for lower trim vehicles as a standalone option or included in a package.
The NHTSA awarded the Lancer a five star rating for driver side front crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Lancer as a Top Safety Pick for 2010. Independent automotive reviewers have complimented the Lancer's powerful engine options, but criticized the interior quality and small trunk.
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