Used Car: 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Review
A poor reliability score, low-rent interior and tight seating are among the reasons the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer ranks lower than many other small cars.
The Mitsubishi Lancer, available as either a sedan or hatchback, is available with four engines and either front- or all-wheel drive. The most powerful engine is found in the Lancer Evolution, a high-performance version of the car that reviewers loved for its power, grip and acceleration. For the most part, though, reviewers felt that other Lancer models are average performers, with underwhelming engine power and a coarse continuously variable transmission. Reviewers found that lower trims offer a more comfortable, soft ride, while GT, Ralliart and Evolution models are more athletic and nimble. The Lancer achieves up to an EPA-estimated 26/34 mpg city/highway, which is somewhat low for the class.
Critics said that the Lancer’s cabin is rife with hard, cheap plastics and an uninspired design. Reviewers gave the seats mixed reviews as well. They liked the supportive buckets in the sportier models, but said those in the base models were less supportive and comfortable. Cloth seats are standard, and leather seats are available. There are few other notable standard features, but a Rockford Fosgate stereo, satellite radio, a power sunroof, navigation and a USB port were all available when the Lancer was new. The Lancer sedan has 12.3 cubic feet of trunk space. Hatchbacks offer up to 46.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded down, which is less than what rivals like the Honda Fit offer.
Other Cars to Consider
The 2012 Ford Focus ranks highly, and has good safety and reliability scores, as well as a reviewer-liked interior and refined driving dynamics. Like the Lancer, the Focus is available as a hatchback or a sedan. Though it isn’t available with all-wheel drive, the Focus also gets better fuel economy than the Lancer.
With a good safety score, peppy engines and athletic handling, the 2012 Mazda3 ranks well among 2012 small cars. Skyactiv models also get very good fuel economy for the class, and like the Lancer and Focus, the Mazda3 is available as either a sedan or hatchback.