By KBB.com Editors
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-$35,000 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. After a thorough makeover last year that combined more aggressive sheetmetal, a more invigorating performance and a host of compelling in-cabin technologies, the 2010 Lancer is now well-positioned for success.You'll Like This Car If...
The 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer will prove most appealing to those who appreciate both its sporty demeanor and the combination of in-cabin technology features rarely offered in this 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 Mazda MAZDA3 or Honda Civic.What's New for 2010
Changes for 2010 include new tail lamps, a short pole antenna and a larger side air dam design, as well as the addition of electronic stability control on all models. The GTS trim receives a new high-contrast multi-color LCD display, leather-wrapped parking brake and new interior chrome accents.Driving It 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.Favorite Features
40-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.