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2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Overview
Mitsubishi took its popular Lancer sedan and added some sass to the rear. The result, dubbed the Lancer Sportback, was introduced in 2010. With similar looks in the front to the sedan's, a quick sidestep around reveals an elongated tail with a fifth door and rear spoiler at the top of the window. This model was launched in 2010, and it has no new changes for 2013.
The car was designed to appeal to youthful families who need a little more room than the traditional Lancer offers. This is accomplished by the stylish hatchback, which allows access to 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.
The Sportback is available in 2 trims. There’s the ES, which has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque, and comes with a 6-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT). The GT is a tad more aggressive, with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 168 hp and 167 lb-ft; this engine is also mated to the 6-speed CVT, but with the addition of sports tuning and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, it adds a little more fun to the commute. Both the ES and GT have front-wheel drive. The ES sports 16-inch steel wheels, while the GT has 18-inch machined aluminum ones.
As the auto industry continues to embrace “green” technology, the ES comes standard with an ECO indicator, which lights when the car is being driven for optimum fuel efficiency. This will help drivers achieve the ES's 25 mpg city/32 highway EPA estimate, although those numbers are still below average for cars of its class. The GT fares even worse with 22/29.
Other standard features for the ES include a 4-speaker audio system with MP3 playback, electronic power steering and keyless entry; Bluetooth is optional. The GS adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, sport bucket front seats and a 6-speaker audio system and makes Bluetooth standard.
The reviews have not been stellar. Many report the interior feels and looks cheap and that the ride is noisy. On the other side, the drive itself can be nimble and agile, especially in the sportier GT. Backed by Mitsubishi’s 10-year powertrain warranty, many drivers feel secure that the Lancer Sportback will continue to perform.
Safety features include front airbags, side-impact airbags for the front and side curtain airbags for front and rear, as well as a knee airbag for the driver. Stability control and antilock brakes are also standard.
by Stephen Moramarco
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