2014 Mitsubishi Lancer: Enduring Mediocrity

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer. Images © James Raia/2013

The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer continues the enduring legacy of the compact sedan. It’s now 41 years old.

The Lance is rarely mentioned first and often mentioned among the least favorite options for compacts in a car segment with more than 40 options, including perennial favorites like the Honda Civic, Ford Fiesta and Mazda3.

But the Lancer has endured. During its first 35 years ending in 2008, more than six million Lancers were sold worldwide by nearly a dozen different names.

Available in five trims, including the top-line, performance-oriented Ralliart and Evo models, my test drive for the week was the GT edition.

The base model includes a good chunk of standard features: automatic headlights, keyless entry, a tilt-only steering wheel, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a 60/40-split rear seat, front and rear center armrests, a height-adjustable driver seat, steering-wheel audio controls and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

As the high-end trim, the Lancer GT trim features the standard base model equipment and healthy list of upgrades on the SE trim and upgrades specific to the GT trim: 2.4-liter front-wheel drive engines, 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, foglights, a sports-oriented front fascia, rear spoiler, keyless ignition/entry, automatic climate control, upgraded front seats (with extra side bolstering), leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, shift paddles (with the CVT), the 6.1-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Fuse, Bluetooth, a USB input and a six-speaker sound system with HD/satellite radio.

The Deluxe package: Sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, a six-speaker stereo, the Fuse voice-activated electronics interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, USB/iPod integration, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and padded door panel inserts.

The Touring package: Leather upholstery, xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, Rockford Fosgate audio, a sunroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Adding this package also substitutes a more discrete rear lip spoiler for the larger rear wing.

Overall, the automotive industry doesn’t make many bad cars. And certainly, the Lancer doesn’t function poorly on any level. But nor does it shine any specific area.

And while the interior is spacious, the console and other interior sections are made with only marginal quality materials.


Rough Continuously Variable Transmission shifting.

Plain front grille only adds to the Lancer’s bland appearance.

Interior design, quality of materials mediocre.


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