in 2009 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $7,746 - $10,071
Original MSRP: $14,540 - $19,540
MPG: 22 City / 30 Hwy
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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer has a well-thought-out interior when it comes to seat comfort, interior features and the optional audio system. But it misses the mark with its less-than-ideal driver position and bargain-basement materials.

  • "Inside, the Lancer is roomy for its overall exterior size." -- USA Today
  • "The Ralliart's interior is the only part of this car that didn't thrill me. I like my in-dash controls easy to find and use, but there's a fine line between simple elegance and just plain drab. The Ralliart is a bit of a yawn inside." -- Mother Proof 
  • "While improved over the previous generation, the Lancer's interior still felt cheaper than that of many of its competitors in the compact segment." -- The Detroit News
  • "The interior styling, materials and noise levels don't convey the same sense of refinement delivered by competitors like the MAZDA3 or Honda Civic." -- Kelley Blue Book

Mitsubishi Lancer Pictures

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Front Seats

Writers say the Mitsubishi Lancer has comfortable front bucket seats, especially the GTS' sportier version. But the absence of a telescoping steering wheel can make the driving position awkward.

  • "The front seats are comfortable and keep occupants firmly in place. They're covered in a microfiber material that should be easy to keep clean, though they could be static electricity magnets in the winter." -- Cars.com
  • "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." -- USA Today
  • "The driving position for taller drivers is poor, with no telescoping steering wheel and little under-thigh support." -- Edmunds
  • "For those with longer legs and shorter arms, driving the Lancer can be an uncomfortable proposition." -- About.com

Rear Seats

Most reviewers are pleased with spaciousness of the 2009 Lancer's second row.

  • "The Lancer's back seat is comfy and easy to get in and out of." -- About.com
  • "Seat comfort is very good, though, with an impressive amount of rear seat legroom." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Appreciation grows for the Lancer's instrument gauges the higher the trim is. But several reviewers take issue with cabin quality, even for the top-of-the-line models.

  • "The climate controls are large and simple but are a bit low for easy access. Some testers found the audio controls to be an uncomfortable reach and its dashboard screen hard to read in sunny conditions." -- Consumer Guide
  • "It also had a multi-function information display, multiple steering wheel controls, Bluetooth and other options you'd find in more expensive vehicles. Nicely done." -- Motor Trend
  • "The Lancer's interior is its principal weakness. Materials quality is on the cheap side, while the dull overall design doesn't live up to the precedent established by the exterior." -- Edmunds
  • "Inside, the Lancer feels like you found it in the discount rack. Compared to the Civic, Corolla, and Jetta, its dash and interior trim are dated and a little cheap." -- About.com

Stereo and Entertainment

The 2009 Lancer's DE and ES have a 140-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with four speakers, while the GTS gets two speakers more and MP3 connectivity. But if you can swing it, reviewers suggest the ES and GTS' optional 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate Premium Audio system, with a hard drive capable of storing 1,200 songs.

  • "One extra-cost feature not to be missed is the 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate Premium Audio system, which may be best in class. It sounds strong, clear, and appropriately thumpy." -- Motor Trend
  • "The first thing we noticed about the Lancer was that 650 watts is an awful lot of audio power. Still in mild San Francisco traffic, the acoustic bass coming through the Lancer's 10-inch in-trunk subwoofer from a Sirius jazz station set off numerous parked cars' alarms as we idled by." -- CNET


There's high praise for the available 30-gigabyte navigation system's ease of use, but it loses some of its appeal with reviewers by absorbing entertainment functions.

  • "Lancer's hard drive-based navigation system responds more quickly than more common DVD-based units." -- Kelley Blue Book.
  • "The touch screen navigation system in the Lancer is very easy to use." -- CNET
  • "We also have mixed feelings about the touchscreen navigation system: It's well-equipped in terms of features, but its lack of volume and tuning knobs, and not-quite-logical layout make operation tricky at times." -- Edmunds


The Lancer's 12.3 cubic feet of available cargo space is acceptable for this class, but its rear seats 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. Otherwise, for cargo hauling you're probably better off just leaving the seats up and placing cargo on the rear floor and seat cushions." -- Cars.com
  • "Lancer's trunk has a useful shape but isn't that large. … Trunks also lack height for taller cargo, as does the trunk opening." -- Consumer Guide

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