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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer

Overview
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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Review

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Although the high-tech, high-performance Lancer Evolution is among the most respected, most sought-after enthusiast cars on the planet – a bona fide "bargain exotic" at its sub-$30,000 starting price – the Lancer sedan on which it's based has never amounted to much more than an also-ran in this country's currently-burgeoning small car market. By combining more aggressive sheetmetal, more invigorating performance and a host of compelling in-cabin technologies, however, the 2009 Lancer is now well-positioned for newfound success.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer will prove most appealing to those who appreciate both its sporty demeanor and the combination of in-cabin technology features not offered by any other car in the category.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2009

The GTS trim gets a larger 2.4-liter engine good for 168 horsepower. When equipped with the CVT automatic, the GTS includes a six-step Sportronic mode with magnesium steering-wheel paddle shifters.

Driving the Lancer

Driving Impressions The laws of physics dictate that it's easier to make a small car handle well than it is to give it a smooth highway ride. Still, we were impressed with...

just how tenacious and composed the Lancer GTS proved to be on twisty roads. We also liked the fast shifts afforded by the paddle shifters and six artificial "gears" of the optional continuously variable transmission – although it's important to note that Lancers with the five-speed manual transmission are more than a second quicker to 60 mph, according to Mitsubishi. Out on the highway, we preferred the less-aggressive setup of the ES model, which resulted in a more comfortable and less noisy – but still not quiet – ride. Beneath the din of wind and tire noise that we counted as a Lancer weak spot, however, was a reassuringly solid compact sedan.

30-Gigabyte Hard Drive
Lancer's hard drive-based navigation system responds more quickly than more common DVD-based units. It also allows you to store up to six gigabytes of digital music taken directly from CDs, or about 1,200 songs.

Keyless Entry and Start
The available FAST Key system lets you unlock and start the Lancer without ever touching the key/transmitter.

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Details
2009 Mitsubishi Lancer photo Interior

Swathed in contemporary, minimalist styling and plenty of mid-grade plastic, the new Lancer's otherwise attractive passenger cabin falls short of the category's best in terms of richness and refinement. Each of the Lancer's three distinct trim levels has unique seat fabric and trim pieces, and the top-level GTS features a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, chrome interior door handles, high-contrast gauge faces and more deeply bolstered sport seating.

Exterior

Taller, wider and more aggressively styled than the previous-generation Lancer, the 2009 Lancer commands a much larger presence on the road. With a front end inspired by the air intakes of fighter jets, the base Lancer DE is adorned with black door handles, black mirrors and 16-inch covered steel wheels. The Lancer ES projects a far more polished appearance, with 16-inch alloy wheels, color-keyed door handles and mirrors and a chrome grille surround. The top-level GTS is further distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels, front and side body extensions, fog lights, a rear spoiler and a chrome exhaust outlet.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base Lancer DE includes a four-speaker, 140-watt CD/MP3 sound system, power windows, side-curtain airbags, driver's knee airbag, tilt wheel and a trip computer. The ES adds air conditioning, power locks, steering wheel mounted controls for the cruise control and audio, an auxiliary audio input jack, remote keyless entry and anti-lock brakes (ABS); if the ES model is within your reach, we'd recommend taking that step up. GTS models gain 18-inch alloy wheels, a 2.4-liter engine, automatic climate control, Bluetooth hands-free communication, sport bucket seats and a sport-tuned suspension.

Optional Equipment

Some of the Lancer's most desirable options are a hard drive-based navigation and audio system and the Sun and Sound Package, which includes FAST Key keyless entry and start, a 650-Watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system and a sunroof. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) serves as the automatic transmission option.

Under the Hood

For DE and ES trims, the only powertrain decision facing a Lancer buyer is whether to stick with the five-speed manual or go for the continuously variable transmission (CVT). The GTS, however, gets a more robust 2.4-liter engine, which shows noticeable improvements over the 2.0-liter in the areas of vibration and low-end torque. The CVT-equipped GTS model includes steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and six simulated gears that, effectively, give the driver control of a quick-shifting manu-matic. The GTS also includes 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and bigger brakes. Lancer DE and ES models sold in California are PZEV-rated and deliver 143 horsepower and 143 pound-feet of torque.

2.0-liter in-line 4
152 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
146 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual), 22/28 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
168 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
167 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 (manual), 21/27 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 315 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great AWD for the price

By on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "warranty term, sporty look, awd"

Cons: "gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I purchased this 2015 Lancer SE because it was the cheapest brand new AWD vehicle. The gas mileage isn't great but the car is perfect for someone who does a lot of traveling but wants the added security of AWD. I drive about 55 miles per day and avergae around 26mpg in this vehicle. You also can't beat the 5 year bumper to bumper warranty!"

19 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Love this car for high speeds ...and just looking

By on Friday, October 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive,fast,turbo,AWD, mean looking"

Cons: "jerky transmission"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have so much that I can say about this car, but I'll keep it short. If you want a car that can pick up speed fast when you're already going 70 mph, the Lancer Ralliart is awesome! If you frequently get stuck in stop and go traffic, you will likely get annoyed. This car is a little jerky in stop and go situations as it straddles between 1st and 2nd gear. You can feel the engine wishing it could just open up and GO! The interior is a mix of sporty and luxury, but more sporty. I drive 1-1/2 every day too and from work and this car makes it so much more enjoyable. You never get tired of hearing the turbo either. I've taken this car in off road situations and it handled really well. I live in AZ and there's soft dirt that 2wd cars get stuck in and that didn't happen with the ralliart. I probably won't get rid of this car until its repair bills are more than it's worth. I haven't had to do anything to it except regular maintenance (tires, brakes, oil) If you are thinking about getting a ralliart, DO IT ALREADY! !"

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Incredible car for the price

By on Sunday, October 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "turn circle, Recaros, headlights, reliability,"

Cons: "Exhaust note no macho"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Ralliart has multiple outstanding qualities not usually mentioned in reviews: 1)Turning circle is awesomely tight;2) Recaro seats are the most supportive and comfortable ever; 3) Car has been totally reliable, literally no unscheduled work needed in 58K miles; 4) Accel is great for the price; 5) HID beam pattern is the best I've seen anywhere, both low and high beam."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great daily driver

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,144

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Looks, value, comfort."

Cons: "Power, too much hard plastic & tighter suspension"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the 4th Mitsubishi I have owned. I purchased my kids twin lancers in 2003 and a large Montero in 1994 - while waiting for our new Mercedes to be built this 2012 Lancer SE has impressed as a daily driver. We added the rear spoiler and rear defuser and fog lamps which makes this black beauty a real looker. Only wish they did not use so much hard plastic on the surface. The motor could use more power but enough to get around town. On road trips great gas mileage."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

excellant car to own or drive anywhere in the us.

By on Sunday, September 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Car is fast and responsive in country or city. Fast excelleration to get off the the stop signs to main lanes quickly."

14 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Good Vehicle, be ready for empty gas tanks!

By on Friday, August 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "listed above"

Cons: "listed above"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Car is exactly what you would expect from a small turbo compact. It has reallly low end torque, but at about 5th gear it begins to dog alittle. Sportronic shift is nice especially the multi-transmission mode. I don't use it much though. Eats up gas, disappointing especially in comparison to fuel milege on diesel turbo's out there. Don't be discouraged if insurance companies try to jack up your rates, there are insurance groups that will rate your car on your driving record alone, not just the stereotype of this car. Disappointed with the functional air scoops in the hood. Don't stand out like a WRX and are very restricted even though it looks open from the outside. 2 odd issues I have had, 1.) don't put your car keys in your pocket with Samsung S5 and expect to unlock the car with the keyless entry. The signal gets cancelled out. 2.) I lost all shift control of the odd gears after the car slid on an icy bridge and the antilock brakes went crazy. Had to restart the car to get 1,3,5 gears back. Overall great car, but if you are not used to driving a turbocharged engine, it takes some getting used to."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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