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2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Overview

Lancer variations continue to increase for 2004; there are now three distinct models for Mitsubishi's compact car. Last year the Lancer was joined by the high performance Lancer Evolution, and this year brings a new wagon body style. The wagon has been badged the Sportback, and it houses a more powerful engine. The Lancer receives a front end face lift this year, highlighted by a new grille, integrated bumpers and halogen headlamps.

There are now four trims for the Lancer sedan. The ES, LS and O-Z Rally styles return, and the Ralliart model debuts this year. The Ralliart is more performance-focused than the O-Z, thanks to a larger engine. All Lancers come standard with air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, full power accessories, auto-off headlamps and a CD player.

There are now two engine options for the sedan. The ES, LS and O-Z Rally house a 2.0 liter inline four, which makes 120 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. On the ES and O-Z, buyers may choose between a five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic. The LS comes only with the automatic. The new Ralliart is powered by a 2.4 liter inline four, generating 162 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. This performance model is only available with the automatic. Fuel economy for the 2.4 is estimated at 23/29 mpg.

The Lancer earns high marks for performance, specifically with the 2.4 liter Ralliart. Testers report a 0-60 mph time of 8.1 seconds, which nearly leads this class. The 2.0 liter acceleration is reasonable with the manual transmission, and more restrained with the automatic. The Ralliart also offers very responsive steering and agile handling. Unfortunately, stopping confidence is hindered by the lack of ABS on most models.

One of the most common owner complaints is the lack of standard safety features. ABS and side airbags are not available on the lower trims.

Updated by Anonymous

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