Avg. Price Paid:$6,770 - $8,970
Original MSRP: $13,990 - $18,590
MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
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2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer was new.

The 2008 Lancer's interior is average for an affordable small car. The Orlando Sentinel says the Lancer's bucket seats "are very comfortable and supportive at all angles," and adds that the cabin controls "are nicely arranged and easy to use." However, Kelley Blue Book notes the minimalist styling and mid-grade plastic mean "the new Lancer's otherwise attractive passenger cabin falls short of the category's best in terms of richness and refinement."

Later, Kelley Blue Book writes, "Although the Lancer feels well-built where it counts most, the interior styling, materials and noise levels don't convey the same sense of refinement delivered by competitors like the MAZDA3 or Honda Civic." Previous generations of the Lancer have been notable for their cheap quality interiors, but Motor Trend reports, "Mitsubishi is tired of being hammered over boring interiors and cut-rate materials. Much ground has been gained here...the new Lancer is worlds better -- build quality, materials, room and overall layout are all improved markedly."

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The DE and ES models share front bucket seats that "are comfortable and keep occupants firmly in place," says Cars.com. On the base model DE, those seats are covered in a "grippy nylon cloth," according to The Auto Channel. ES models step up to a height-adjustable driver's seat and a "microfiber material that should be easy to keep clean, though they could be static electricity magnets in the winter," writes USA Today. GTS models come equipped with sport seats, an entirely different seat design than those found on the lower-end models, and are "covered in a grippy suede-like material," reports Road and Track. These seats were particularly well liked. USA Today says that the "GTS' scooped-out bucket seats are a treat. They hold you in place during exuberant episodes without the wrenching contours of some sports seats that convince you there's really somewhere else you'd rather be."

Interior Features

Most appreciate the 2008 Lancer's intuitive controls, but take issue with their quality. The Detroit News finds "knobs and switches on the dash are easy to use," but "felt like they might snap off if I pushed or twisted too hard. The orange digital readout display between the speedometer and the tachometer seems outdated." According to USA Today, "The dashboard bows in the center, as if handing the driver the stereo and climate controls. But climate control knobs clack cheaply through their settings. Radio knobs are small enough, and stick out so little, that they are difficult to grasp." Several reviewers note that the cabin allowed a disturbing amount of road and wind noise.

While the DE does come with power windows, the base Lancer DE forgoes standard air-conditioning or power locks, which are available as part of an option package. The ES adds A/C, remote entry and power locks. The top-trim GTS features automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

The GTS also offers a well-liked Fast Key system. The Detroit News says the system "works like a key fob and allows you to unlock the doors without using a key. It simply unlocks when you pull on the handle or open the trunk. Once relegated to high-end luxury cars, it's nice to see this device in a compact."

Stereo and Entertainment

Standard on the 2008 Lancer is a 140-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with four speakers for the DE and ES models, and six speakers and an MP3 input jack with the GTS. But according to some, an extra feature "not to be missed is the 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate Premium Audio system, which may be best in class," reports Motor Trend. "It sounds strong, clear, and appropriately thumpy." CNET.com writes that the nine-speaker system with an eight-channel amplifier has bass that's "bone-rattling, and the rest of the range doesn't disappoint," the review notes. "Substantial audio control via Digital Signal Processing and a nice touch screen interface means the sound can be tailored and centered very precisely." The Rockford-Fosgate Premium Audio system also includes a 30-gig hard drive that can store approximately 1,200 songs.


An available navigation system wins praise. "Lancer's hard drive-based navigation system responds more quickly than more common DVD-based units," says Kelley Blue Book. CNET says the touch-screen is very easy to use, because a "good degree of setup customization is allowed."


The Lancer's 11.6 cubic feet of available trunk space is fairly standard for this class, but is hindered by fold down rear seats that don't fold flat into the cargo floor. "I can't think of much I'd need to fit in such a space beyond a set of skis," notes Cars.com's writer. "Otherwise, for cargo hauling you're probably better off just leaving the seats up and placing cargo on the rear floor and seat cushions."

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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