Mitsubishi's sport-flavored compact appeared in 2002 as a replacement for the long-running Mirage. While it never achieved top-tier status, the original Lancer could be equipped to outperform most compacts of its day. Many buyers sought out after-market accessories to maximize the Lancer's sporty potential.
A 2008 redesign provided more aggressive styling and swifter acceleration across all models. Although still spunky, the current Lancer has fallen behind newer competition in interior quality, efficiency and overall refinement. Its main selling pointing these days is the available Ralliart package, which includes all-wheel drive and a 2-liter turbo with 237 horsepower. In terms of sheer performance, the Ralliart sits at the top of the compact class.