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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 325 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

Great overall drivers car

By on Friday, May 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great value, Amazing handling, AWD drving dynamics"

Cons: "Basic interior, expensive NAVI option"

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

Snow Day!

"Super All Wheel Control! (SAWC) The active yaw control (AYC) introduced (in the US) for the EVO X sets it above and beyond. With AWD cars there will be the slight bias towards understeer. The AYC applies torque to the outside rear wheel while breaking the inside front wheel that really allows the car to rotate. Other competitors (cough 2015 STI) now have their, form however it is break vectoring by only only engaging the front inside break. The drive dynamics and feedback are unmatched. Imagine a GTR at 1/3 of the cost, and really that cost is for power, the aftermarket sector fixes that quick. If you want a car that handles amazingly and care about performance and function, rather than 'burning rubber' AKA you are a serious car and driving enthusiast, the EVO is for you! You prefer carving a nice curvy road, hitting the apex perfectly, and can push what you thought was the limit more and more and more, yes, the EVO is for you. Granted I have done some maneuvers that would leave my sideways in a ditch or true (god forbid) if I was in a RWD coupe. So the AWD gives you power you can use. There is no point totting (or bragging about) 455hp/tq if you can only use 25% of while driving or turning. Oh yeah, rain/snow, I get excited! So much fun in the snow, I wake up early before they plow to have a great time. The rain is free drift practice days (on a closed course). You can adjust the SAWC for dry(70/30), wet(50/50), and snowy(30/70) road conditions and it does make a difference. It will take you about a year or two to fully understand and drive in rain/snow conditions. The AWD is in 50/50 (rear/front power bias) by default and changes based on the SAWC setting when the tires start to slip. :) If you want an every changing driving dynamic car, again sir, the EVO is for you. I have the MR (SST), which is the dual clutch. This is not an automatic with a sloppy torque converter, this is truely a two clutch automated manual gearbox. If you are coming from a manual you will understand the feeling(I did). It does typically jerk in 1st when its cold, but all manuals (sport cars) do that. I drive the SST in manual mode 90% of the time, other times is in heavy, heavy traffic, or eating. The SST is great and shifts very fast (and sharp depending on settings). If you are absolutely serious about power and plan on building the motor for larger turbo setup, the SST upgrades are goings to cost you. Note, that bolt-ons are fine. However if you were going to do these upgrades with the 5spd MT you would still have to replace the stock clutch (however slightly less expensive). Some people bash the SST because stock it cannot handle 400tq+, but neither can the 5spd MT. So lets get to the bad. The car is not sexy, it looks ok/good, but there are competitors that 'look' better. Again, this car is not for looks, its for traction, performance, function, driving, and handling. The base interior is not great, barely good, just OK. The Recaro seats are fantasic (not in the USDM 2015 model). The heater leather Recaros are even better! Otherwise a non-car person passenger will get in the car and wonder why you spent so much on an average sedan. The Navigation unit helps classy it up a bit, but for $2500+ extra, not really worth it, when a $200 smart phones does the same thing (you can install stock navi for ~$1000). The car really wasn't made for looking at a navi, it was built very tight and solid. With that being said, if you get an exhaust you can feel its vibration and maybe rattling, but then again that was expected. Overall I am not trying to impress or wow anyone with my interior, and the EVO will not win any awards for it. I do have the leather heated Recaros and I am perfectly happy knowing my money did not go into gadgets and apps for the passenger to gaze at."

Snow Day!

Love this vehicle

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price; great radio system; comfortable"

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

"Purchased this vehicle at Hartford Mitsubishi. Very good service w/Josh the salesman. He was very helpful with what I wanted with the features for this vehicle and he was able to help me get the car I wanted. The car drives very comfortable. I am very glad I purchased this vehicle."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

It is easy and fun to drive. Good visibility.

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, appearance. long warranty"

Cons: "Plain interior. Some road noise"

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

"The Lancer is fun to drive and with the package including the moon roof and alloy wheels it looks expensive. Since I have an older Mitsubishi with almost 200,000 miles and still drive I believe the new Lancer should be very reliable."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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."

12 people out of 26 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."

8 people out of 17 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."

9 people out of 19 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

Buying this car?