2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

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$14,299

starting MSRP

2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Performance
  • Interior space

The bad:

  • Ride comfort on rough surfaces
  • Clutch operation
  • Instrument brightness
  • IIHS side-impact crash-test rating
  • ABS not offered on all models

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • 120- or 162-hp four-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • FWD layout
  • Rally-car heritage
  • Three trim levels

2005 Mitsubishi Lancer review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Introduced for 2002, the compact Mitsubishi Lancer wasn’t developed as an economy car. Instead, the four-door front-wheel-drive sedan had a competition background that evolved from the Lancer Evolution World Rally Car.

Three versions are offered. Base ES and O-Z Rally models use a 120-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Introduced for 2004, the Ralliart sedan is equipped with a larger four-cylinder rated at 162 hp and a sport-tuned suspension.

Ralliart models get a new grille and sport pedals for 2005. Mitsubishi also offers a high-performance Lancer Evolution that’s listed separately in the Research section. A Lancer Sportback model was added for 2004, but it lasted only one season.

Exterior
The Lancer’s cab-forward profile incorporates a high roofline on a comparatively long, 102.4-inch wheelbase. Aerodynamic wraparound headlights have a multireflector surface, and the front bumper has a large opening for efficient airflow. Ralliart sedans have unique fog lamps.

A four-wheel-independent suspension uses front struts and a rear multilink configuration. The Lancer ES gets 14-inch tires; the O-Z Rally edition rides on 15-inchers, and Ralliart sedans have 16-inch rubber. Racing alloy wheels, bumper extensions and side air dams give the O-Z Rally a distinctive look.

Interior
Up to five occupants can fit inside the Lancer. A low instrument panel and belt line aid visibility, and a high hip point for the seats should ensure easier entry and exit. The ES has air conditioning, a 140-watt CD stereo, and power windows, locks and mirrors. Extras on the O-Z Rally include a sport-touch steering wheel and white-faced gauges.

Under the Hood
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder develops 120 hp and 130 pounds-feet of torque. A 162-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder goes into the Ralliart sedan. Each engine teams with a standard five-speed-manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic.

Safety
Side-impact airbags are optional on O-Z Rally and Ralliart sedans. Antilock brakes are standard on the Ralliart. The front seat belts have pretensioners and force limiters.

Driving Impressions
Even when fitted with sporty details, the Lancer fails to stand out in its class. Despite its motorsports heritage, the manual-gearshift O-Z Rally edition lacks the secure confidence of a sport sedan. Still, it’s wholly adequate and satisfying as a small family car.

Acceleration is peppy when pushed hard. Some engine buzz is noticeable, but the Lancer is as quiet as most four-cylinder-powered cars. Even though the clutch operates adeptly, it lacks sufficiently smooth engagement.

Handling is adequate. The Lancer corners easily, but some drivers may prefer more tenacity in turns. Choppiness is minimal but not absent.

The front seats are firm and provide ample space. The gauges are easy to see in the daytime but aren’t bright enough at night. Rear-seat headroom is adequate, but legroom and foot room are terrific.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.6
  • Performance 4.8
  • Value for the money 5.0
  • Exterior styling 5.0
  • Reliability 4.9

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Best daily driver I’ve ever relied on.

The vehicle is fantastic for all drivers. Whether they’re new on the road or just like a simple stylish little car to commute with. It’s comfortable, smooth, reliable, and fun, and cheap.

5.0

This was my first car and I LOVED it.

I really loved this car. It's a 2005 but feels newer. It is super easy to drive and comfortable. It was my first car and I loved it. I bought it for $3500 with over 140,000 miles which was a steal for a car this nice. It had no signs of wear and tear at all. Highly recommend this car if you can get your hands on one! I miss mine so much.

4.6

A far better car than I'd hoped for

In 2012, I had a Ford Ranger pickup that was adequate but uncomfortable to drive, so I traded it in on a 2005 Lancer O-Z Rally automatic. It had nearly 160,000 miles and I wasn't familiar with Mitsubishi's car lines so it was a roll of the dice at the time. Five years and 55,000 miles later, I have nothing but good things to say about this car. It's an attractive ride, a white 4DR yet rather sporty-looking with a spoiler in back...one of the easier-on-the-eyes cars I've had. Nothing really stands out but it looks good. The interior is pretty roomy, especially the legroom up front. I'm 5'9" so don't need a lot but there's more than enough. Have been told there's decent room in the rear seats. Front seat is comfy and easy to adjust. The steering wheel can also be adjusted so your positioning while driving is not a problem. Stock stereo isn't super, but speakers seem to handle about 30-40 watts apiece and are more than adequate. While it isn't huge and doesn't open into the back seat area, the trunk is fine and holds a fair amount of luggage, et al. The engine is a 2.0-liter 4-banger running on 120 hp. It doesn't roar (although it can get a little noisy like many 4-cylinder engines), but has more power than you'd think. Just to see how fast it goes shortly after I bought it, I hit 108 mph before backing off but it felt like I could've taken it higher (note to police: I haven't done it since). It can take hills pretty easily as well. I often use cruise control and it works well. The MPG is so-so; I generally get 31 per gallon on the highway, 26ish in town. The thing that stands out for me is that in the five years I've had it, there has NEVER been a problem with this car. Oil change every 5K miles, a periodic tuneup and an A/C charge (the A/C works well, BTW), and that's pretty much it. All in all, since I didn't really know what to expect, this is easily one of the best cars I've ever owned for many reasons. I've considered trading it in on a 3/4-ton or 1/2-ton long bed pickup to put a camper on, but I'm holding off because it makes so little sense to get rid of a car that's been a better vehicle in almost every way than I'd hoped for when buying it. Why let go of that?

See all 10 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Mitsubishi
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Remainder of original 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain
Remainder of original 10-year/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
123-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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