Vehicle Overview

The five-seat Lancer Sportback hatchback is offered with a choice of two normally aspirated four-cylinder engines. Competitors include the Subaru Impreza and Mazda3. The Lancer sedan and high-performance Lancer Evolution are covered in separate reports in the Cars.com Research section.

New for 2012
The high-performance Ralliart trim has been discontinued, leaving just ES and GT (formerly GTS) trim levels with front-wheel drive. The GT version adds a Ralliart-type front end, new 18-inch wheels, upgraded soft-touch door trim, and new interior fabric and instrument-panel trim.

Exterior
The Lancer Sportback retains the general design cues of the Lancer sedan in front, but it takes on a different look at the rear. The Sportback's liftgate is raked forward at an aggressive angle for a hatchback, and the overall look is a little ungainly from some angles. A rear spoiler near the roof finishes off the design. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 16-inch wheels
  • Available 18-inch wheels
  • Available fog lights
  • Available power glass sunroof
  • Available rain-sensing windshield wipers

Interior
Like the Lancer sedan, the Sportback has room for up to five people in two rows of seats. The big difference between the two cars is in the cargo area. Although the Lancer sedan is available with an optional split-folding backseat to increase luggage space, the shape of the car limits what you can fit in the trunk. With the Sportback, some of those restrictions aren't there because of its open cargo area, which has a maximum volume of 52.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Interior features include:

  • Available USB port
  • Available Rockford Fosgate stereo with a subwoofer
  • Available heated leather seats

Under the Hood
The front-wheel-drive Lancer Sportback offers a choice of two engines. Mechanical features include:

  • Standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine makes 148 horsepower with either a standard five-speed manual or optional continuously variable automatic transmission
  • GT has a 168-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with either a five-speed manual or CVT

Safety
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