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MSRP: $15,995 - $37,895
Invoice: $15,319 - $36,296
MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
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2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Review

While the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer’s higher trims impress test drivers with powerful engines and outstanding handling, they are disappointed with the cheap interior materials, low fuel economy ratings and meager cargo space that plague all Lancer models.

The 2013 Lancer is available as a sedan and a hatchback with four engines and three transmissions, depending on the trim you choose. Higher trims have standard all-wheel drive, which is a feature few models in this class offer. Even though shoppers have a lot of freedom in selecting their powertrain and body style, critics say that only upper Lancer trims have good performance. They enjoy the GT, Ralliart and Evolution models, which have sharp steering and strong brakes, but most are disappointed with the Lancer’s gas mileage. Fuel economy ratings for the Lancer Evolution are as low as 17/22 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA. The base model averages 26/34 mpg. Though its gas mileage is better, few critics recommend the base engine because it is underpowered. Lower 2013 Lancer trims lag behind competitors with sluggish performance and poor fuel economy, but all models have poor predicted reliability for the affordable small car class.

Automotive journalists say the five-seat Mitsubishi Lancer has spacious front and rear seats, but they mention that the front seats don’t have enough cushioning and that rear visibility is poor. They add that the cabin’s design is boring and that its materials are very cheap. The 2013 Lancer also lacks standard features such as air conditioning, a USB port and Bluetooth that are standard on many of its rivals. Reviewers say that cargo space in both the sedan and hatchback models is only decent for the class, though they do like that the hatchback’s opening is large, which makes loading items easier.   

  • "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
  • "Our favorite Lancer models are the Sportbacks. They are pleasant, practical, and reasonably fun to drive. Those looking for a small car that's a bit beyond the ordinary would do well to give it a look. 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)
  • "Not that the … Mitsubishi Lancer is a poor choice - far from it. But, in an extremely competitive segment with such heavy hitters as the Honda Civic and new Ford Focus - not to mention the new 40-mpg Hyundai Elantra - the middle-of-the-road Lancer can easily be overlooked." -- Kelley Blue Book (2011)

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Other Cars to Consider

If you prefer a sedan that’s focused more on comfort than performance, consider the Chevrolet Cruze. It has a large trunk and spacious front and rear seats. The Cruze comes with more standard features than the Lancer, and is also available as a fuel-efficient Eco model, which gets up to 28/42 mpg city/highway.

Like the Mitsubishi Lancer, the Subaru Impreza is available as a sedan and hatchback. It offers two high-performance models, the WRX and STI. Reviewers wish the base Impreza was more powerful, but they are impressed with its high fuel economy ratings of 27/36 mpg, which are impressive for a car with standard all-wheel drive. The Impreza has more standard features than the Lancer, as well as comfortable seating for five.

Compare the Lancer, Cruze and Impreza »

Details: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer

The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer is available as a sedan and hatchback. It comes in DE, ES, SE, GT, Ralliart and Evolution models. The base model has a four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission; higher trims have stronger engines. With a turbocharged engine and standard all-wheel drive, the Lancer Evolution is the most powerful model, and is available in GSR and MR trims. The Mitsubishi Lancer hasn’t changed much in the past few years, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2008 to 2013 model years.

See the full 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/21/14

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