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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)

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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 321 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

Drives super like no other cars i've driven.Amazin

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Evo amaze all around"

Cons: "Stock audio system."

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

"X MR is Amaze commuter for dd.Can upgrade for potent hp and performance.Will dust most of fast cars on the streets and tracks.Recaro makes balance for comfort and high speed drive."

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Very good vehicle

By on Sunday, March 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Lots of pep and easy to park. Nice car."

Cons: "Could use improvement with road noise, blind spots"

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

"Really nice car overall. Only complaints are the road noise and blind spots. Cup holders are too small."

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

this is one of my favorite cars I have owned.

By on Saturday, February 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

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

Pros: "fun to drive, sporty, auto/6sp shifter"

Cons: "for me? its not an SUV"

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

"Automatic with 6-speed steering wheel paddle shifter option. keyless entry and keyless start. no need to dig out your remote to get in and out of your locked car, this car detects your remote and unlocks with the touch of your hand. Rockford Fosgate stereo system with multiple cd disc changer. sunroof. This car is a bright blue with black interrior. I have the factory floor mats. and the interrior is in great condition. This car is fun to drive and gets plenty of compliments and attention. it gets great gas mileage. The only reason I want a different car is that I want an SUV. I bought it used it had only one owner before me."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Love this car - don't believe expert reviews

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, value, styling, rear leg room"

Cons: "on average gas mileage (but as good at the Golf)"

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

"OK this car is not the latest and greatest in technology but who cares! The car is fun to drive (I have a MT), it looks great and I actually like the simple and sparse interior. I traded in a VW Golf and although these are highly rated the quality was poor, gas mileage not great and even changing a light bulb was a major issue. The Mitsu has more room, is cheaper, drives just as well, has a better warranty and according the UK site "Reliability Index" is the number one rated compact car. Not sure why the experts give this car such consistently mediocre reviews. I guess because it does not push the limits on the latest technology or engineering then it gets slated. Wait until all these cars with fancy electronics and CVT transmissions break down and my MT Mitsu will still be running."

33 people out of 65 found this review helpful

The. Best FWD car I have ever owed

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great car to modify. fun to drive"

Cons: "Poor tire selection when new very bad in winter"

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

"The Lancer GT is one of the secret little cars out there that most people ignore. test drive on the GT. If you're looking for a car with all the bells and whistles don't need to drive . Then look at some other automakers."

14 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Very Impressed with the reliability

By on Sunday, December 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,298

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to Drive, Efficient, Comfortable, Reliable"

Cons: "Cheap Interior, A bit of tire and road noise"

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

"I have owned this car for the past 6 years and I love it. It may be a bit weird looking at the outside but its really comfortable for me and my family. The only thing that have happened to the car is that one (or more - really not sure) of the ABS sensors is damaged but it stills works except for the wheels that have the sensor damaged and that the Air Compressor died at 5 years of use but you can replace it only costed 140 dollars with my personal mechanic. One of the bad things of the Lancer is the interior because its pretty much of full hard plastics and that's not great but the car has been reliable comfortable and the best part the 2.4 liter with the 5 speed is an incredible combination and its fun to drive for being a family sedan so that's great and the best part is that the car is very fuel efficient for what it is (and how I drive)"

36 people out of 62 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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