Friday, January 14, 2011

2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Automotive Review

The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer ranks 17 out of 33 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 50 published reviews and test drives of the Mitsubishi Lancer, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer is one of the sportiest options among Affordable Small Cars. While it receives solid marks for its handling and comfortable front seats, its cheap interior and subpar engine keep it at the bottom of the ranks.

The automotive press is very clear about what it likes and doesn’t like about the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer. Reviewers find its front seats comfortable and handling adequate for highway driving and city cruising. They detest the cheap and spartan interior that is outdone by competitively-priced cars like the Mazda3 and the Honda Fit.

The press also complains about the Lancer’s lethargic performance. The car gets the job done, but doesn’t accomplish much else. "These cars are almost perpetually ignored by the media and the public at large, cursed as they are with low horsepower numbers and a lack of drama,” critiques Automobile Magazine. “They do not, to coin a phrase, get all the good drawers."

If you want a car with a more aggressive feel and have nearly 30 grand to spend, the Lancer Evolution, which is reviewed separately, is a huge step up from the base Lancer. The main difference between these two, besides the nearly $15,000 price difference, is the Evolution’s two-liter four-cylinder engine that hammers out 291 horsepower. This car packs a considerable punch. If you can’t afford the Evolution, the Lancer Ralliart, the Lancer’s upmost trim, costs about $6,000 less than the Evolution.

Overall, the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer is a good choice for shoppers who won’t do more than drive to work and get groceries. Mitsubishi didn’t design the car to be a drag racer, and consumers shouldn’t expect any more than a little spunk from the Lancer – unless they opt for the Ralliart or Evolution.

Other Cars to Consider

Although the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer is available, you can still get a 2010 model. With lower financing rates and generous customer loyalty rebates, you could save money by choosing last year’s model. Plus, if you do your research by cross shopping car deals you may be able to save even more on the 2010 model.

The Mazda3 is a bit more expensive than the Mitsubishi Lancer, but it has a lot more going for it because its sporty exterior matches its performance. Aside from the eternal smile on the 3’s front grille, reviewers have few complaints. The Mazda3 has a nice interior, a refined engine and a sophisticated suspension that produces a fun and aggressive driving experience. The Mazda3 has more standard features and better high tech options than the Lancer, and it’s only about $500 more. The Mazda3 also has a five-door hatchback model, but it’s more expensive and starts at $19,685.

The Volkswagen Golf’s plain exterior doesn’t match the Mitsubishi Lancer’s aggressive attitude, but it still tops the Lancer in the Affordable Small Car rankings because of its nice interior, powerful engines, peppy attitude on the road and optional diesel engine. The VW Golf is more expensive than the Mazda3 and the Mitsubishi Lancer, but reviewers say that for what shoppers get, the price is fair. To save money, check out the 2010 Volkswagen Golf. It’s almost identical to the 2011.

Details: 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer:

The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer is available in four trims: DE, ES, GTS and Ralliart. The base DE trim starts at $14,995. Meanwhile, the Ralliart, which has more horsepower and all-wheel drive, begins at $27,495. The Lancer Sportback, a five-door hatchback, is also available and starts at $19,190. There are two variations for the Sportback: the GTS and the Ralliart. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a high-performance vehicle, is reviewed separately.
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer
2011 Mitsubishi Lancer2011 Mitsubishi Lancer


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