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2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Overview

The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer comes wrapped stylishly and in some ways fills the bill as a frugal man’s, or woman’s, sports car. It looks good and can be an eye-catcher and offers a more sporty driving experience than most others among its small, affordable car brethren. That doesn’t mean the Lancer will any day soon be confused with a high-end sports car or perhaps even the Mazda3 or VW Golf with which it competes when it comes to getting a workout on the road. But that’s not necessarily the mission here, either.

The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer looks good and handles well. It boasts comfortable seats, does a nice job of getting around town, and scores well on safety tests, making it a solid choice for buyers. It comes up a little short, though, in the quality and design of its interior.

Mitsubishi offers the Lancer in four trims, the DE, ES, GTS, and Ralliart, and climbs the ladder of performance and amenities, and cost, with each. The first two trims, the DE and ES, come with a base 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine, good for 148 hp and 146 lb-ft or torque. They rate at 24 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway and have a five-speed manual transmission as standard fare. A variable-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional.

The GTS gets a 2.4-liter I4 with 168 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque. The Ralliart bumps up to a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 at 237 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, good for 17 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. It has a six-speed manual transmission with overdrive. The DE, ES, and GTS trims come with front-wheel drive, and the Ralliart features all-wheel drive. All Lancers come with a limited 10-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

As mentioned, as much as the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer gets good marks for its sharp-looking exterior, it takes its share of hits when the doors are opened. Reviewers, to be sure, note that Mitsubishi has been paying attention and making strides in upgrading the cabin. But they also feel the Lancer still has a ways to go. Most like the Lancer’s comfortable front seats, but the overall quality of materials in the interior, and its design, leave something to be desired. The Lancer also gets marked down for its engine noise.

Standard features for the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer DE include power windows, doors, and side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 140-watt CD/MP3 audio system. A Touring Package available for the GTS and Ralliart trims includes front seats that are leather and heated, a power sunroof, and a 6-CD changer/MP3 sound unit.

The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer scores well on safety tests and collected perfect scores in frontal driver and passenger safety tests. Lancers have a seven-airbag system that includes a driver’s knee bag and features active stability control along with four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.

Updated by A. Lessels

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