By Cars.com EditorsSeptember 22, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback GTS. It competes with the Mazda Mazda3 and Subaru Impreza.
(opening music) Cars.com auto Review. Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with cars.com. You're probably familiar with hatchbacks like the Mazda Three and Subaru Impreza, in a new competitor to those models is the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback. It's new for 2010.
And it's going into that segment distinguished by its styling. The Lancer Sportback retains the aggressive, front-end styling of the regular Lancer sedan. But when you get back to the rear of the car, you can definitely see the dramatic take that Mitsubishi has given the car in interpreting this hatchback. The rear lift gates really slanted forward, which is unlike many other hatchbacks out there. It comes with this standard rear spoiler, and it just gives the car a completely different look than your traditional hatch. As you can imagine, the Sportback body style changes the cargo configuration of the Lancer. With a lift gate open, has a nice wide area to load luggage. We have two golf bags in here and they fit fine. What's nice too, is that this model has a subwoofer, but it's off to the side. So it's not in the way. If you have to load large cargo items, also nice is that the backseats split 60-40. So you can release the seats back here from the cargo area and they're flipped right down, make a flat load floor. You can also release the seats from the backseat itself. One of the other things about the Lancer Sportback that reminds me of the Mazda Three and the Subaru Impreza is that it's a lot of fun to drive. This model comes with a standard, 168 horsepower, four cylinder engine, and our model had the five-speed manual transmission and together they make a pretty engaging pair. Fuel economy for it is 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway. Mitsubishi's taken a minimalist approach with the design of the Lancer Sportback's cabin. You can see on the dash, there's not a lot of buttons up here. It gives it a clean look. The downside though, is that there's some buttons you wish that were here, specifically for the radio. There's no AM or FM button just to go directly to that band. Instead you have to cycle through this radio button, and that includes going past four satellite radio stations. The backseat of the Lancer Sportback's pretty accommodating for adult passengers. I have good leg room here, and headroom is also good. Your head though is pretty close to the lift gate, and that means at highway speeds, you can definitely hear wind noise around that rear Spoiler. Mitsubishi last offered a Lancer Sportback for the 2004 model year, but that model was a wagon. It only stuck around for one year, but I think this one has a chance of sticking around longer. Thanks to its sleek looks, sporty handling, and versatility. For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog kicking tires.net.