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2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

$1,248 — $6,452 USED
Sedan
5 Seats
26-30 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?
(4.8) 9 reviews

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

What to Know

about the 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer
  • 120- or 162-hp four-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic
  • FWD layout
  • Rally-car heritage
  • Three trim levels

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

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 ...
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

What drivers are saying

4.8
9 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(5.0)
(5.0)

This was my first car and I LOVED it.

by me on October 25, 2017

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 ... Read full review

(5.0)

A far better car than I'd hoped for

by Bruce B from Chehalis, WA on June 3, 2017

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 ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer currently has 6 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer has not been tested.

Latest 2005 Lancer Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Lancer received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker