Fun to drive compact cars are appreciated by the tuner set, enthusiasts who take their rides to the next level by adding custom body paint schemes, spoilers, special lighting and various performance parts including cold air intakes, cat-back exhaust systems or superchargers.
Some models, including the Mitsubishi Lancer, or more specifically the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart need few enhancements. The Ralliart offers explosive performance due to its 2.4-liter turbocharged four mated to a twin-clutch sporttronic shift transmission. For this overview we include the Ralliart, but leave out the inspiring Lancer Evolution, a performance beast unto itself.
Chief competition for the Mitsubishi Lancer includes the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, Nissan Sentra and the Chevrolet Cruze. On the performance side, competition for the Lancer Ralliart includes only the Subaru WRX STI — both of which are all-wheel-drive.
Most shoppers though consider the base Lancer and compare this model to what the competition has to offer. The current generation Lancer, introduced in 2008, greatly improves on the previous generation model, offering a more aggressive nose, improved handling and more trim levels including the Ralliart according to Edmunds.
The base 2.0-liter four offers 152 horsepower, plenty of standard performance for this class. The 2.4-liter four is rated at 168 hp, but for serious performance the 237 hp Ralliart must be considered. This model is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four and is able to sprint from 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds. Besides all-wheel-drive, the Ralliart features traction and stability control, front and rear stabilizer bars and four-wheel independent suspension. You’re driving a front-wheel-drive car, but the handling is considered exceptional in this segment.
The standard Lancer seats five and features such amenities as 16-inch steel wheels, power windows and locks, ABS, and optional navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity. Special sport and popular equipment packages are also available, but for the price buyers should look at newer models from Hyundai, Ford and Chevrolet. The Mitsubishi’s base competitors are newer, offer far better safety features and cabin amenities and get better gas mileage.
Indeed, 31 mpg on the highway isn’t particularly good and is far off from the 40 mpg threshold achieved by all models of the Hyundai Elantra and select versions of the Ford Focus and the Chevrolet Cruze.
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Specifications
|Standard Engine||2.0-liter 4-cylinder MIVEC|
|Transmission||5-speed manual or continuously variable automatic
|Horsepower||152 @ 6,000|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||146 @ 4,250|
|Optional Engine #1||2.4-liter 4-cylinder MIVEC|
|Transmission||5-speed manual or continuously variable automatic|
|Horsepower||168 @ 6,000|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||167 @ 4,100|
|Optional Engine #2|
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder MIVEC turbo
|Horsepower||237 @ 6,000|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||253 @ 3,000
|Curb Weight (pounds)||2,911 to 3,462|
|Passenger Volume (cubic feet)||105.8; 103.5 (Railliart)|
|Storage (cubic feet)||12.3; 10.0 (Railliart)|
|Fuel||regular; premium for Railliart|
|Gas Tank (gallons)||15.6; 14.5 (Ralliart)|
|EPA Gas MPG||20/28 or 22/31 (manual); 22/29 or 23/30 (CVT)
See Also — Seeing is Believing: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage
Source: Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.