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2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Overview

Jerimy Grafenstein
Automotive Editor - February 14, 2013
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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.