Sportback functionality; lots of sporty fun; available all-wheel-drive; excellent performance from Ralliart model; intense performance from the Evolution model
The 5-seat Lancer comes in two distinct body styles, with a few engines options and a couple of trim levels for each. Lancer DE and ES sedans and Sportbacks are powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder, producing 152 hp and mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission.
The Lancer DE comes with plenty of features, such as power windows, doors and mirrors, a 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with speed-compensated volume and equalization control, remote keyless entry and anti-theft immobilizer, a 12-volt power outlet, anti-lock brakes, passenger and driver airbags, a knee airbag and side-impact airbags. The ES adds on air conditioning, keyless entry and steering wheel audio controls. The ES also has a 60/40 folding rear seat.
Further up the Lancer food chain is the 2.4L 4-cylinder, which delivers 168 hp and powers both the GT and SE Lancer. A 5-speed manual is standard on GT models, but a continuously variable transmission is available and is the only transmission choice on the all-wheel-drive SE. DE, ES and GT Lancers are, by contrast, front-wheel drive.
Next is the Lancer Ralliart. It derives its 237 hp and 253 lb-feet of torque from a turbocharged 2.4L 4-cylinder. That power is put to all four wheels through Mitsubishi's advanced, rally-inspired Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST). The Ralliart includes fog lights, rear spoiler, sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels and a limited-slip differential at both the front and the rear. The Ralliart is also available with a couple of nice options, including a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate system, a navigation system and Recaro sport seats.
The Lancer Sportback is the wagon variant. Available in ES and GT trim, designers kept functionality in mind as much as sportiness and gave it a cargo floor that can be lowered three inches for more space and a rear door that extends all the way to the bumper for loading heavy or cumbersome gear.
The top-of-the-performance-heap Lancer Evolution is an impressive performance sedan by any measure. It features a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 291 horsepower and 300 lb-feet of torque, front and rear limited-slip differentials and a high-tech electronically controlled center differential. Mitsubishi used its knowledge and experience on the rally circuit to perfect the computer-controlled all-wheel drive system found in the Evolution and the result is impressive levels of control and safety even at high speed. The Lancer Evolution is available with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a twin clutch 6-speed.
The Evolution also comes with Brembo 4-piston brakes, 18-inch Enkei alloy wheels, aluminum body panels, a large rear spoiler, fog lamps, active stability control and sports-tuned anti-lock brakes.
Most of the Changes for 2013 pertain to the all-wheel-drive SE model. All-wheel-drive models are often sold to customers with an active lifestyle, so Lancer SE models are now designed to accommodate Thule cargo racks directly with a simple plug in design. Also new on the SE are 16-inch alloy wheels in an attractive five spoke design. 2013 SE Lancers may now be equipped with the Premium Option Package, which includes a Rockford Fosgate premium audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio, a 6-CD changer, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a few other upgraded interior trim parts.
At the base level, the Lancer packs plenty of fun and safety features into a sub-$15,000 package. The Ralliart model features a mild turbocharged engine but enough performance to still surprise. Sportback models add increased functionality. The base Lancer returns great fuel economy, achieving 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
The Lancer Evolution continues to be one of the best performance values available. A 291-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine combined with Mitsubishi's famed Super All-Wheel Control system makes for intense power and control at a price around $35,000.
Vehicle Price: 16,790.00
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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