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#38

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $17,195 - $38,195
Invoice: $16,469 - $36,584
MPG: 26 City / 34 Hwy
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Mitsubishi Lancer Review

The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer ranks 38 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mitsubishi Lancer, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer is ranked:

Though its higher trims are racetrack-ready, class rivals surpass the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer with more cargo space, better fuel economy and more refined interiors, critics say.

Reviewers agree that the 2014 Lancer performs best in higher trims like the Evolution, which features a powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine. However, these models offer a stiff, uncomfortable ride, reviewers say. The base Lancer has a smoother ride and its four-cylinder engine is capable of delivering adequate power, reviewers note. However, they also say that when the base engine is paired with an available continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Lancer is noisy and sluggish. Equipped with the CVT, the base Lancer gets an EPA-estimated 26/34 mpg city/highway, which is acceptable for the class. Several trims offer all-wheel drive, which is unusual for a compact car. The 2014 Lancer comes standard with seven air bags, including a driver’s knee air bag. However, the Lancer’s safety score is among the lowest in the class.

The Mitsubishi Lancer’s cabin looks and feels cheap and outdated, test drivers say, citing cut-rate materials, hard plastic surfaces and a bland interior design. There’s also a lot of cabin noise, test drivers say. Some reviewers note that the lack of a telescoping steering wheel makes it hard to find a good driving position, though they also report that both rows of seats are spacious and comfortable. Still, the Lancer sedan has less cargo space than what many rivals have. Standard features include a four-speaker CD audio system, keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls and an auxiliary audio jack. Drivers have to upgrade to get features that are now standard in some rivals, including Bluetooth, satellite radio and a USB port. Additional options include a rearview camera, a sunroof and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system with a touch-screen display. Test driver’s say the Lancer features clear gauges and straightforward climate controls. However, some write that the Lancer’s available touch-screen audio system would be easier to use if it had more physical buttons.

  • “You won't find a bevy of creature comforts like ventilated front seats or watchful safety features such as blind-spot monitoring in the aging Lancer lineup. For the latest in tech, safety and comfort features, look to models like the Kia Forte, Mazda3, or Chevrolet Cruze - all of which offer better fuel efficiency, too.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There's no getting around the fact that our GT tester, at $22,240 as-tested (with no options) is awfully expensive for a car only slightly peppier, not usably larger, and not better equipped than the segment's best compact cars." -- Left Lane News
  • “If you look toward the top end of the Lancer lineup, there are some interesting attributes, such as all-wheel drive and a pair of feisty engines that are available. But the entry and midlevel trims -- the ones most folks in this segment actually buy -- are merely average, notably in key areas such as performance and fuel economy. Moreover, they are below average in a few others, like powertrain refinement, interior quality and trunk capacity." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "Sedan versions of this compact are otherwise unexceptional, save for the sporty Ralliart. Those Lancers are strong performers, but high-for-the-class fuel consumption and sticker prices limit their appeal." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking for more interior comfort, reviewers say the Ford Focus has one of the nicest cabins in the class, as well as superb handling. The base Focus also gets good fuel economy for the class, and reviewers praise the high-performance Focus ST for being exceptionally fun to drive.

The Mazda Mazda3 has been redesigned for 2014, and test drivers say that it handles nimbly and is very fun to drive. The Mazda3 also gets excellent fuel economy for the class, and it’s available with a long list of tech features.

Compare the Lancer, Focus and Mazda3 »

Details: 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer

The five-seat 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer is available as a sedan or hatchback. There are six available trims, ranging from the base Lancer ES, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission, to the high-performance Lancer Evolution MR, with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an automated manual transmission. The base model has front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is standard on SE, Ralliart and Evolution models. The Mitsubishi Lancer gets some revised standard equipment for 2014, but hasn’t changed much since its last redesign in 2008. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2008 through 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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