Mitsubishi Lancer Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.52/5 Average
667 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

The original Mitsubishi Lancer never exactly blew us away. It was underpowered and not particularly entertaining to drive, its interior was simply OK and its styling was dull to boot. The second-generation Lancer has corrected two of those problems, especially with its aggressive new styling featuring a "shark nose" fascia. It's also kind of fun to drive, thanks to solid handling dynamics and (apart from the base engine) peppy engine choices.

All in all, count the Lancer as one model that has greatly improved from generation to generation. However, compared to more recently redesigned compact sedans, the Lancer's refinement, interior quality and fuel economy trail considerably. While the latest Lancer is an attractive, sporty sedan, we suggest thoroughly looking around at its many competitors.

Current Mitsubishi Lancer
Mitsubishi's stylish compact sedan is offered in DE, ES, SE, GT and Ralliart trims. The Sportback body style and high-performance Evolution are reviewed separately.

The two lower trims are front-wheel drive and powered by a 148-horsepower (143 hp in California-emissions-level states) inline-4. The all-wheel-drive SE and front-wheel-drive GT get a 2.4-liter 168-hp four. Should that not be enough, there is the Ralliart, which offers a 237-hp turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on all but the Ralliart, while Mitsubishi's continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional (except on Ralliart). The Ralliart comes with a quick-witted automated-clutch manual transmission.

In reviews of the Mitsubishi Lancer, we've been impressed with its secure handling, sporty styling and high-tech optional features. The Rockford Fosgate hard-drive-equipped audio system drew particularly high praise. On the downside, we've found the Lancer's base four-cylinder rather lacking in both power and refinement, and the CVT does nothing to help the situation -- in fact, we feel it saps power from the engine. We would therefore suggest sticking with the five-speed manual transmission or going with a GT, though fuel economy isn't impressive with any model. The Lancer's cabin also falls short of the segment leaders in terms of materials quality and lacks a telescoping steering wheel, which makes the car uncomfortable for many tall drivers.

Used Mitsubishi Lancer Models
The current Lancer generation dates back to the 2008 model year. Originally, only DE, ES and GTS trims were offered and all came with the base four-cylinder listed at 152 hp until 2011. The GTS was similar to the current car's GT, but it possessed a sport-tuned suspension. The 2.4-liter engine and the Ralliart showed up for '09. Stability control was available only on the Ralliart until 2010, when it became standard across the board along with four-wheel antilock brakes. ABS had previously been optional on the DE (that trim switched to four-wheel discs for 2010, but then reverted back to drums a year later). Some revised exterior and interior styling for certain trims and standard power door locks also showed up for 2010. The SE trim was new for 2012.

The first Mitsubishi Lancer was launched for the 2002 model year as a replacement for the Mirage sedan. It originally came in three trim levels: ES, O-Z Rally and LS. The ES came with a fine list of standard features, such as power accessories, a CD player and air-conditioning. The O-Z Rally trim offered a sportier look thanks to 15-inch O-Z alloy wheels and special interior trim upgrades. The LS distinguished itself with cruise control, ABS (not offered as an option on the ES or O-Z Rally) and remote keyless entry. All trims came with the 120-hp 2.0-liter engine and a five-speed manual. A four-speed automatic was standard on the LS and available as an option in the other two models.

Running changes included the 2004 debut of the Lancer Ralliart trim level, which boasted a 162-hp 2.4-liter engine, ABS, alloy wheels, sport exhaust and a sport-tuned suspension. Ralliart sedans came standard with a five-speed manual transmission. That year, Mitsubishi also introduced the Lancer Sportback wagon, available in LS or Ralliart trim. The 162-hp engine powered both wagon trim levels, but the Sportback was only available with a four-speed automatic. Mitsubishi discontinued the Lancer LS and both Sportback models in 2005. In 2006, the Lancer SE, featuring a sunroof, six audio speakers, cruise control and remote keyless entry, was introduced to freshen up the lineup.

In road tests, our editors found this Mitsubishi Lancer comfortable, though not especially fun to drive. Its power and performance weren't exactly overwhelming. But its spacious interior, particularly for rear passengers, and comfortable ride might appeal to those looking for a pleasant and roomy sedan at a decent price. The sport-tuned Lancer Ralliart, with its more powerful engine and tighter suspension, offers higher performance at an affordable price, making it the best choice of this Lancer generation.

Previous to the Lancer, Mitsubishi's small-car offering was the Mirage.

User Reviews:

Showing 71 through 80 of 667.00
  • Great Car - 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer
    By -

    Just bought it about a month ago, I got it with the mud flaps and hood deflector. The hood deflector looks sexy (adds a touch of design at the front while it protects). No stone chips at all from me driving but it did have 2 or 3 at the front from the previous owner who did not put a hood protector or mud flaps on. It is the CVT auto and I dont know why people say it doesnt have enough power, its plenty and when I switch to the manual sports mode, it goes well enough. Unless you want to race with this car, its gonna cut it, plenty. It has more power than my old 96 civic which still had a lot of HP left. The paint job, might be a little fragile but it should technically hold out.

  • The Lancer Rocks! - 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer
    By -

    Ive been a fan of the mitsubishi Lancer / evolution series for a long while. I felt i just had to own one. VERY roomy for its size. Lots of space in the trunk. Very comfortable to drive and loads of fun. I Thought it could be just a tad bit faster than what it is. BUt with some basic Modifications, this thing will tear up the road! Great car if u dont like Honda Civics (like myself!). Id recommend this to anyone 18-29 yrs old, Anyone that wants to customize an import car, or any one that wants an excellent car, with out spending a a fortune!

  • Love my 08 Lancer!!! - 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer
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    I have had my lancer for 2 years now and I work at a GM dealership believe it or not. I love my lancer. I was surprised to see all the problems that people were having with paint chipping and noise in the cabin as I have not experienced any of these. I have the GTS with AWD and it handles absolutely beautiful on the snow here in upstate New York. Im going to keep this car till it hits 200-300k. In the meantime I am buying a 2010 Camaro for a toy.

  • Great Car & Lots of features - 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer
    By -

    I purchased this car in hopes of having a nice ride with optional MP3 & Sat Radio options for trips. Well i found out i can even watch movies on this Rockford Fosgate System w/ sub & i get 32 mpg on the HWY @ 80 mph. I traded an old civic in for this & it has definitely grabbed me. I would say test drive & see how responsive they are vs. a Scion TC or Corolla you get much more & better fuel economy for less coin ;)

  • Lancer OZ rocks! - 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer
    By -

    My OZ moves pretty fast. I can take corners in excess of 40 mph and the car is very stable. For the amount of money and the deal I got from Mitsubishi, I have no complaints about this car. So, if youre looking for an inexpensive and fun car to drive or race, definitely pick the Lancer-OZ. If you want to learn more about the Lancers, visit the Lancer forums.

  • LANCER - 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer
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  • IF YOU LIKE DRIVE - 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer
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  • Love my lancer 2 - 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer
    By -

    After 25,000 miles I had to update my review of my 2006 Lancer SE. Still love it! After reading reviews of Honda Fit and Kia Rio5 (by the way my first choices), reviews cite poor mileage (well below EPA estimates), and some quality issues with the Kia. My Lancer is still running strong, Ive done nothing but regular maintenance, and even though I was originally disappointed with the mileage, after further research it looks good (above average). My Mitsubishi has been very reliable

  • RalliArt VS. Cavalier Z24 - 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer
    By -

    I just got out of my 2002 Cavalier Z24 and switched to my 2004 Lancer RalliArt. Man, what a switch! My Cavalier gave me nothing but problems, because of how cheap its made. Lancer, beats it in every catagory hands down. Believe me, Ill never go Chevy compact again!

  • lancer - 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer
    By -

    I love the look of the car. Its different. Sporty but not extravagent. The engine department could use a little more power. But, I am extremely impressed in the gas mileage. The handleability of the vehicle is ok.

Mitsubishi Lancer Reviews By Year:
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