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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer

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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 332 Ratings for the 2008 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great value

By on Friday, July 22, 2016

I owned and sold this car

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
9/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "reliable"

Cons: "unexciting interior"

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

"This was a very reliable car during the 2 years we owned it. IT had plenty of power and the 4 wheel drive never let us down. Fun to drive. The interior was very basic. nothing special. A lot of plastic. There are many other vehicles out there with more attractive interiors at this price point. But Mitsubishi vehicles are great value super reliable. We bought another Mitsubishi. Love em."

My Mitzubishi Lancer is a dream

By on Saturday, May 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "3"

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

"I doubt I'll sell it but I would sell my car if I could get a truck in as good of a condition as my car is for the same price"

great handling car

By on Saturday, April 30, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,650

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun and easy to drive,great sterio and styling"

Cons: "TOO MANY BLIND SPOTS"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Own this Lancer three months.NOT FOR HILL CLIMBING but good acceleration on flatroads.mpg 24 city, handles well on country roads, like exterior look with spoiler and running lights. Sun pkge options w/ kickin sound, sun roof. OVERALL HAPPY SO FAR WITH IT."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Incredible vehicle

By on Saturday, April 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,744

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Really fun to drive"

Cons: "A little loud"

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

"The Lancer has a really fast response when picking up speed to be a 4 cylinder. It's the most amazing 4 cylinder I've ever driven. It runs smooth, it has a cute sound, it connects to my blue tooth within 3 minutes after I get into the car and start driving. It connects to my music as well not just to my phone calls."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

makes ya giggle when you drive it

By on Thursday, March 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "quick, FUN, knife sharp handeling"

Cons: "mpg could be better"

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

gettin ready to go cruizin......

"There is only one reason i did not give this car a 10 across the board...just a bit dated. That being said, the fun factor removes that from your brain quite rapidly. The heated Recaro seats are top notch. The auto up/down windows and auto open/close sunroof are a great touch. Now on to what you are here for...DRIVING IT. This is, (next to my integra type r), the most fun car I have driven on the street(I have driven plenty, my NSX is the most fun on the track). Anyway.....This car is not made anymore and that is a shame. If You can find one that has not been modded....GET IT. I think the GSR(5 speed) or the MR(auto with proper paddle shifter(fixed on steering column not on steering wheel) would make you a happy driver....a true petrol head car."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

gettin ready to go cruizin......

On My Second Mitsubishi Lancer

By on Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very reliable. Handles very well. Sporty Looking."

Cons: "Gas Mileage is a bit low. Road noise on highway."

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

"This is my second Mitsubishi Lancer based on this body design (introduced for the 2008 model year). My first Lancer was the 2008 Lancer GTS with the CVT transmission (the first year the GTS came with the 2.0L engine). I drove that car for 7 years in New England (hot summers, cold snowy winters) and it was not garaged (my classic car took up that space). When I traded it in, it had 189,990 trouble free miles on it. The car never went in for an unscheduled maintenance. Extremely reliable. At first I wasn't to sure I made the right decision going with the CVT variant, as I never owned a car equipped with that type of transmission. But, after a while I found I preferred the smoothness of accelerating without the bumping of gear shifts. Now when I'm in a regular automatic, it just feels weird. I was happy to see that the CVT was as reliable as the rest of the car. So, when I was shopping for a new car, I made sure to keep another Lancer on my list of possibilities. I decided, this time, to go with the AWC SE model over the Subaru Impreza that was in the running (another very nice car). While the Subaru had the better interior (options, materials...)and quieter cabin on the highway, I liked the no-nonsense and spartan layout of the Lancer, even after all these years. Everything that you need is there and logically laid out. Also, the Mitsubishi was less expensive than the Subaru and has a much better warranty (10y/100k). The 2.4L in the Lancer also put out more performance that you could feel when test driving between it and the Subaru (at a cost to gas mileage though). The Mitsubishi AWC is superior to that of the Subaru in my opinion, as it lets you switch between front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and four-wheel lock drive. This way you can drive it in FWD in the hooter months and switch between AWD/4WD in the winter, depending on the situation. The system is controlled by a simple three-position rocker switch located in the center console that can be switched on the fly. I used it this past winter and it performed wonderfully.Very nice feature. There are some other updates to the Lancer since 2008, but it is basically the same car. Right now, I am enjoying the SE model more than the GTS model I originally had. Sure I lost the paddle shift capability (hardly ever used them after the novelty wore off), the sporty rear wing (all it did was block my rear view) and the bigger 18" rims (more expensive to replace tires). But the awesome AWC system more than makes up for it and then some. I would have no problems recommending this car to any of my friends and family."

36 people out of 56 found this review helpful

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