KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 5/31/2013
The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer lineup of compact cars isn't the freshest in the industry, but it's certainly one of the most diverse. With a sporty sedan, versatile hatchback and race-worthy Evolution rally car – not to mention turbochargers, all-wheel-drive capability and innovative transmissions – there's a Lancer flavor to suit a variety of tastes. Competitors such as the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze boast better fuel economy and larger dealer networks, but few compact cars can match the sporty nature and something-for-everyone personality offered by the Lancer.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a sporty, sharp-handling compact car that stands out from the crowd and comes with a comprehensive warranty, the Mitsubishi Lancer deserves a look. If you want your morning commute to feel like a World Rally Championship special stage, the Evo is your ride.
You May Not Like This Car If...
You won't find a bevy of creature comforts like ventilated front seats or watchful safety features such as blind-spot monitoring in the aging Lancer lineup. For the latest in tech, safety and comfort features, look to models like the Kia Forte, Mazda3, or Chevrolet Cruze – all of which offer better fuel efficiency, too.
What's New for 2014
Mitsubishi has dropped the base DE Lancer sedan from the menu, with the slightly costlier but better-equipped ES now the entry model. New audio and navigation systems arrive across the board, along with minor interior changes on select trims.
With power output that ranges from 148 horsepower to a turbocharged 291, engine choice has a profound impact on the Lancer driving experience. That said, the whole lineup favors responsiveness, balance and driver involvement. All-wheel-drive models, including the well-priced Lancer SE, are especially adept at clinging to pavement when thrown into corners. Even front-wheel-drive models such as the mid-range GT model we tested are impressively composed and grippy. The slightly smoother and quieter ES is well-suited to around-town driving duties, though it still talked to us about the road surface and what the tires were doing. The pinnacle performer is the Evo, which has screaming acceleration and black hole-like adhesion. The Evo feels rally-ready, but be warned: Its utterly stiff ride will jar your back and your brain. A happier medium is the all-wheel-drive Lancer Ralliart, which offers turbocharged thrills and a more compliant ride.
ROCKFORD-FOSGATE SOUND SYSTEM
Mitsubishi's premium sound system of choice is loud, proud and clean in sound. This available audio system packs nine speakers and 710 watts of rocking pleasure.
6-SPEED AUTO-SHIFTING TRANSMISSION
In Mitsubishi's parlance, it's a TC-SST, that alphabet soup standing for Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission. To us it's just an excellent automatic (with manual-shift mode) that rifles through gears faster than we ever could.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…