After a complete makeover in 2008 that featured a new platform - Mitsubishi's Outlander crossover SUV - Mitsubishi recorded its best global retail sales in four years with a 15% increase. The 2008 Lancer lineup has added a new engine that can be found in the GTS trim.
The new 2.4-liter variant of the base four-cylinder engine produces 168 hp and 167 ft-lbs of torque. The new bored and stroked engine features 16 valves and MIVEC, Mitsubishi's variable timing system, on both intake and exhaust cams. To further increase smoothness, balance shafts are incorporated. The GTS comes standard with a five-speed manual and offers an optional paddle-shifted Sportronic CVT transmission. EPA estimates are 21/28 mpg for the manual and 21/27 mpg for the CVT. Motor Trend estimates a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds with the five-speed manual.
Motor Trend's reviewers felt the GTS's extra torque on the road, especially with the optional six-step, paddle-shifted Sportronic CVT. The car has some torque steer with its front-wheel drive, but acceleration is "exhilarating." The GTS features a sport-tuned suspension that includes a front strut tower brace.
The Lancer cabin seats five comfortably and retains its upscale appearance from the 2008 makeover. Rear seats feature a 60/40 split, and a CD stereo is standard. Sport bucket seats, automatic climate control, a tilt-adjustable steering column, and a 140-watt Mitsubishi AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers are some of the amenities at this trim level. The GTS also offers an optional nav system, a keyless entry system, traction control, xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, and new gauges for 2009. GTS external features include foglights, front and lower side air-dam extensions, a rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip.
Standard safety features include front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags with a driver knee airbag, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. ABS with brakeforce distribution, 18-inch alloy wheels, and daytime running lights are also standard on the GTS.