The Lancer competes against other small sedans like the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Mazda3, and there's a high-performance Ralliart trim level.
The Lancer Ralliart bears some resemblance to the high-power Lancer Evolution and features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, Mitsubishi's twin-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive. The Lancer Evolution and the Lancer Sportback, a five-door hatchback, are covered in separate reports in the Cars.com Research section.
New for 2011
The Lancer's four-cylinder engines are more efficient for 2011, Mitsubishi says, partly because the DE and ES models gain electric power steering that reduces drag on the engine. EPA ratings on the 2.0-liter engine in the DE and ES are up 2-3 mpg, depending on transmission. A USB port and voice-activated operation of phones, iPods and USB drives are now standard on the GTS and Ralliart and optional on the ES.
A forward-leaning grille serves as the focal point for the front of the car. The Ralliart version is more aggressive, with a gaping front grille and a subtle hood scoop. Exterior features include:
- Standard 16-inch wheels
- 18-inch wheels optional
- Optional rear wing-style spoiler
- Optional rocker-panel extensions
The Lancer sedan seats up to five and is available with an optional 60/40-split folding rear seat. A CD stereo is standard, and an optional Navigation and Technology Package includes a navigation system with a 30-gigabyte hard drive and keyless entry. Air conditioning is optional for the base DE Lancer. Interior features include:
- Odor-absorbing headliner
- USB port (standard on GTS and Ralliart, optional on ES)
- Optional chrome accents
- Optional heated leather seats
- Optional rain-sensing wipers
- Optional sound-deadening windshield glass
Under the Hood
The Lancer is available with a variety of engine and transmission choices. The Ralliart has all-wheel drive, and other Lancer sedans come with front-wheel drive. Mechanical features include:
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine on DE and ES makes 152 horsepower (143 hp in California) with either a standard five-speed manual or optional (ES) continuously variable automatic transmission
- GTS has a 168-hp (161 in California), 2.4-liter four-cylinder with either a five-speed manual or CVT
- Ralliart models get a 237-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 253 pounds-feet of torque and is matched to a six-speed, twin-clutch automated manual transmission
Standard safety features include:
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags for both rows
- Knee airbag for the driver
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
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