3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer

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Expert's Rating

3.6Good

MPG 22 City / 31 Highway
Pros
  • Unique styling
  • Many standard safety features
  • Low base price
Cons
  • Base models meagerly equipped
  • Fuel economy not as lags behind competitors
  • Just average interior quality
, Automotive Editor -
One of the more interesting entry-level sedans, the Mitsubishi Lancer offers several trim choices and a wide variety of options for buyers.

Introduction

The 2013 Lancer is moderately good at many things without excelling in any one particular area. But that doesn't mean it's not worth a look -- especially when it has options like all-wheel drive and turbo power.

The Lancer is available in five separate trim levels: the DE, ES, SE, GT and Ralliart. The DE and ES feature a 2-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Both models come with a five-speed manual transmission, and a continously variable transmission (CVT) is available as an optional upgrade.

A 2.4-liter four cylinder engine with 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque powers the SE and GT. The SE has all-wheel drive and a CVT, while the GT has front-wheel drive and a five-speed manual transmission with an optional CVT.

The Ralliart packs an impressive turbocharged 2-liter inline-4 engine with 237 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive and an automated dual-clutch manual transmission are standard.

Interiors aren't a Lancer strength. Materials have a somewhat cheap look and feel, and the design of the dash and front console doesn't impress. Upper trim levels contain some additional features that improve its appearance, however. Split folding rear seats are a nice touch, and the seats are surprisingly comfortable.

The driving experience depends solely on the Lancer model you choose. Acceleration with the base engine is adequate for everyday driving, but no more. Even the fuel economy in DE and ES models is decidedly average. The CVT is rather inefficient and noisy, but improves mileage. Performance from the GT, SE and Ralliart is more impressive. Both the 2.4-liter and turbocharged 2-liter engines have punch. The Ralliart is a quick dart of a car, and especially fun to drive with the dual-clutch automated transmission.

One area where the Lancer does excel is in its option menu. With several trim levels, engine choices, transmissions and options including roof racks, upgraded wheels, and brakes, and several technological features, the Lancer is very customizable -- which compensates for its general averageness.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer
Starting price
$11,999

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer DE

Recommended for: Cost-conscious buyers needing a reliable sedan

The entry level Lancer DE features a 2-liter four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a five-speed manual transmission are standard. A continously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. Standard features of the DE include: full power accessories, automatic headlights, a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, 16-inch steel wheels, tilt steering and a trip computer. Options are limited on the DE but there are several appearance packages available that add aesthetic components like a rear spoiler, chrome tipped exhaust or front air dam.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer
Starting price
$11,999

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer ES

Recommended for: City dwellers needing options without a lot of increased cost

The Lancer ES features the same 2-liter four-cylinder engine as the DE. Front-wheel drive and a manual five-speed transmission are standard. A continously variable transmission (CVT) is an optional upgrade. The ES includes all the same base features as the DE plus the following: air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver's seat, steering wheel audio controls, an auxiliary audio input jack, split rear folding seats, upgraded upholstery, cruise control, keyless entry and chrome exterior accents. In addition, an Alloy Wheel package is available and includes a 16-inch alloy wheel upgrade, a rear stabilizer bar, and replaces the rear drum brakes with discs. The exterior upgrades available on the DE are also available on the ES.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer
Starting price
$11,999

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT

Recommended for: Entry-level sedan buyers wanting more speed

The Lancer GT is based on the SE trim level and features the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The GT is front-wheel drive and has a five-speed manual transmission, though a CVT with manual mode and steering wheel shift paddles remains an optional upgrade. The GT features 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, keyless entry, keyless ignition, fog lights, an upgraded front fascia, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, upgraded upholstery, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, a color display screen, Bluetooth, Fuse voice interface, and a six-speaker sound system. Options for the GT include a Touring Package which adds: a sunroof, leather upholstery, a smaller rear spoiler, xenon headlights, and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system. Also available is a navigation system with media storage and a larger rearview camera monitor.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer
Starting price
$11,999

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

Recommended for: Perfomance enthusiasts wanting an affordable and well disguised ride

The Lancer Ralliart features a 2-liter four-cylinder engine with 237 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive and an automated dual-clutch manual transmission with shifter paddles are standard. The Ralliart features everything found on the GT plus: a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded upholstery, aluminum pedals, a sport steering wheel, hill-start assist and a satellite radio. The Touring Package available on the GT is available on the Ralliart, as is the navigation system upgrade.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer
Starting price
$11,999

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE

Recommended for: Sedan enthusiasts wanting all-wheel drive

The Lancer SE features a 2.4-liter engine with 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive and a continously variable transmission (CVT) with manual shifting paddles on the steering wheel are standard on the SE. The SE contains all the standard features found on the ES, plus the Alloy Wheel Package and roof rack mounts. Options are limited to a Premium Package which adds a sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system, upgraded door trim and a color display screen.

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