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.
The only changes to the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer line are a few additions to the all-wheel-drive SE model, including Thule plug-in roof-carrier accommodation, new-design 16-inch alloy wheels and an available Premium Package with sunroof, Rockford Fosgate audio system and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever.
For 2012, Mitsubishi introduces a new SE trim with standard all-wheel drive (AWD), heated seats and outside mirrors, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and the GT model's more powerful 2.4-liter engine. Additionally, the Lancer Sportback no longer offers a manual transmission and drops the performance-based Ralliart edition from the lineup.
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.