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#35

in 2012 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $11,300 - $19,685
Original MSRP: $15,695 - $27,995
MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
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2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Interior

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

The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer’s interior is only decent. Most adults will be uncomfortable because there isn’t enough passenger space and the seats aren’t supportive. Interior quality isn’t stellar either. The cabin is built with cheap plastics, and the design is drab. Even the features leave much to be desired. The base sedan doesn’t have air conditioning, and a USB port is optional.

  • "The cabin decor is solid enough, but cost-cutting is evident in many places. Materials in all models are nothing special, especially when considering the Ralliart's stiff price premium." -- Consumer Guide
  • "While the … Mitsubishi Lancer's chiseled exterior lends an air of aggression, its interior design and materials tend to drag down the vehicle's overall appeal." -- Edmunds

Seating

While a few auto writers say the Lancer’s seats are comfortable, most think the opposite. Up front, the driver’s tilt-only steering wheel and poor thigh support make it hard to find an ideal driving position. The rear seats are supportive, but as with most small cars, there is only enough space for two adults. Sportback models have slightly less rear-seat headroom because their roofs slope.

Sport seat fabric is available, but only comes standard on GT and Ralliart sedan trims and GT Sportback trims.

  • "Headroom and legroom are more than sufficient for 6-footers. The GT and Ralliart have sport seats that hug tightly in fast corners; seats in the DE and ES are unexceptional for shape and support. Shorter drivers sit low, but a height-adjustable driver seat is standard on all but the DE. Regardless of model, high windowsills impart a slightly closed-in feeling. Outward visibility aft and to the right-rear isn't great. … (Rear seat) The seat is supportive, but space is cozy for two medium-size adults, let alone three. Headroom suffers on the Sportback because of its sloping roofline. Sedans are fine, however. Entry and exit are also a bit tight, though OK for the class." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Taller drivers will likely bemoan the lack of a telescoping steering wheel and the lack of under-thigh support. … On the other hand, the rear seats are quite comfortable, with a generous amount of legroom." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The standard features list for the Lancer sedan is pretty short. It comes with a basic four-speaker audio system, but doesn’t have a standard USB or auxiliary port, which means you can’t hook up portable music players. Air conditioning isn’t standard equipment, either. These comfort and tech features are basic equipment in many small cars. A USB port, Bluetooth, steering wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls are either standard or optional on the second lowest trim.

Sportback models have more features, which include standard air conditioning, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls and Bluetooth. A USB port and navigation are optional.

Both models offer a Rockford Fosgate sound system that reviewers like a lot. Other features aren’t as popular with reviewers. More than one says that the USB port is hard to find, and that the optional voice-activated Fuse system, which lets you make phone calls, play songs or find a location via the navigation system,  is difficult to use.

  • "In the main instrument pod, a large, clear speedometer and tachometer flank an electronic information display whose legibility is quite good. The climate controls are large, easy to use, and convenient to access. …The standard audio system's display washes out in most lighting conditions, making it hard to decipher information at a glance." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Rockford Fosgate audio system delivers lots of power and bass." -- CNET
  • "Much like Ford's Sync system, selecting a destination or your favorite music is only a voice command away. The Mitsubishi (Fuse) system lacks some of the Sync's functions and commands, but we still prefer it to the tricky touchscreen layout in any case." -- Edmunds
  • "The placement of the USB port was a bit inconvenient. We actually had to consult the car's manual to find it, as it is mounted in the top of the glovebox. We prefer USB ports mounted in the console, as they are easier for the driver to reach quickly, useful if you are constantly plugging and unplugging a device." -- Motor Trend
  • "Sure, the design is clean, but the abundance of mid-grade plastics is a bit of turn off, lacking in both richness (see Volkswagen) and refinement (see Mazda)." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

The Lancer sedan only offers 12.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is less than what sedans like the Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra offer. The Ralliart has an even smaller 10 cubic feet, which is very low for the class. Sportback models, however, have more cargo room: 13.8 cubic feet with the seats up and 46.6 cubic feet with the seats folded.

  • "The sedan's trunk has a useful shape. The Ralliart's cargo hold is slightly smaller due to that model's all-wheel-drive hardware. Sedans' cargo area lack height for taller items. Sportbacks provide very good space with low liftover. We appreciate the spring-loaded release levers on the Sportback's sidewalls, which make dropping the split seat backs exceptionally easy." -- Consumer Guide

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Used car average prices are provided by ClearBook™, a TrueCar™ product