Saturday, April 02, 2011

Mitsubishi Lancer ES test drive .



-THE LOOK.
The current Lancer is a few years old, but still manages to look just fine.
Although that might change soon with recent designs like the new Focus and Elantra.
But it is still much nicer looking than a Corolla.


-THE INTERIOR.
The interior design is OK, nothing special. It's not ugly or anything.
Just rather boring.

But everything you touch feels cheap. Panels, switches, everything has a bargain basement feel to it.
More so than the basic 2012 VW Jetta, which has been criticized a lot for "feeling cheap".

The base stereo sounds fine. Seats are OK.
Nothing is really, really bad. But nothing is more than OK...

-THE DRIVE.

-Ride.
The ride is one of the best aspect of the Lancer. It is always very comfortable and smooth.
Although not as smooth as the new Jetta. And without the solid feel of the VW.

-Engine

The engine does remind me of the base 2.0 Liter in the new Jetta.
Super quiet at idle, but rough, noisy and slow when you push it.
It is rated at 148hp, but most of them are on a permanent hiatus.
And the whole thing doesn't ever feel more powerful than the 115 VW engine.

It is rated at 24 City and 33HWY which pretty much matches what I got.

My test car was equipped with the standard 5 speed manual. Which felt rather mushy and unexciting.
And not much fun to drive. The clutch was even hard to engage at times.


-SO???

The Mitsubishi Lancer ES is a hard car to recommend.
It just doesn't do anything really well. Everything is just OK.

One of the worse aspect is how cheap it feels. Even the doors are the cheapest sounding I've experienced in a long time.
The whole thing reminds you of inexpensive cars from the 80's.

Pretty much every other car in the segment is a better choice.
Even smaller cars like the Mazda2.

No wonder Mitsubishi is having a hard time these days. They just need better cars.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

and you rag on the Civic but this one looks just fine. Whatever.

This thing looked dated and dumpy the moment it hit the dealerships. Which may be one of the reasons for its very sucky sales.

Anonymous said...

Shocking how they can't figure out what sells in the USA. Why do they even bother? The interior quality on their cars has been crap for decades.

How does it compare with the Corolla interior?

Anonymous said...

talk about irrelevant...

FuioptimaSX said...

Once Mitsu announced the death of the Eclipse, I knew it was pretty much over. It's too late for them to restart as an eco-electric brand. If they had that in mind, they should have already introduced models that fit their new lease on life.

The Lancer is the only respectable Mitsu in the bunch....and it shouldn't be.

The Galant should be in a serious Tango with the Mazda 6 and Altima right now, but they have been handing then the "sporty mid size sedan" segment each year past 2005. I'm surprised they bother even making them anymore. The Galant Ralliart and similar models could have blown them out of the water. The funny part is that they even gave some of their performace market over to the Malibu SS back when they made those!

Discontinuing a halo car may have not caused a devastation in sales for Honda or Toyoda, they also invested much effort into their other models. Killing the EVO is the nail in the coffin.

Btw, do they still make the sportback or was that killed to?

Anonymous said...

The Lancer is a terrible vehicle.

Mitsubishi is a terrible company.

Why would you ever purchase a Mitsubishi when their future in the US is very uncertain. Their owner satisfaction ratings are the worst in the industry, their reliability is poor, their residuals are nonexistent (worst in the business), and their dealer network is beyond thin.

It is a garbage product sold by a garbage brand. The only respectable models they sell is the Evo and a loaded Outlander.

barrios said...

soooo much better than my corolla. I have had my mitsu 1 year. a better car than a toyota any day. Mines red like this one.

Anonymous said...

Why is Mitsubishi even selling cars to begin with? None of their cars are competitive or attractive

Anonymous said...

I would take this over a Corolla any day. That said, it does seem like they could do better than this. This is clearly the dirt-poor version.

Anonymous said...

I would rather have the Corolla.
Owned Corollas for the last 20 years.
Only costs me in gas, tyres, insurance and the odd oil change.
And with the high resale value,
my wallet and bank account remain great while everyone else is broke spending their money on countless repairs with owning other brands.
Especially european brands.
You can own a Mitsi if you don't believe in low cost ownership.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think the Corolla might be my least favorite vehicle of ALL time.

BUT.

I'd still take one over this Lancer. At least it would be bulletproof reliable and would have a great resale value when sold. The Lancer is crap.


Vince, I agree with you. The Mazda2 is a MUCH better vehicle even with less horsepower. They are a blast to drive and they have hatchback practicality. This isn't fun to drive and it is a piece of garbage.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 4:40

I'm more interested in keeping and enjoying my car, and less worried about selling it. And I haven't gone broke maintaining my cars... a BMW X5 and an Audi S4. I've had no defects at all in the last five years of owning my Audi aside from replacing a problematic cup holder mechanism. The X5 is less than a year old, but no problems yet. BTW, the resale on both of these vehicles, and most German makes, are outstanding. But I keep cars for well over 100k, so I don't care about that really.

If you look at your car solely as a commodity, which you appear to, then drive a Corolla. I've driven many of them, and they're fine as a rental or as a first car. But they are buzzy and tinny and are far from perfect. If you must drive one because that's your budget, it's a perfectly solid choice. It's not necessary to look foolish by talking crap to people who are less price sensitive and choose better vehicles that are more suitable to their needs.

Regarding this car... it looks significantly downgraded from the ones I see on the road. The Lancer is a good looking small sedan, but it's clear that Mitsu really cut costs with the ES. When it comes to base versions of economy cars like this, buy a solid pre-owned Civic, Accord or Fusion which are more substantial.

Anonymous said...

"I'm more interested in keeping and enjoying my car, and less worried about selling it. And I haven't gone broke maintaining my cars... a BMW X5 and an Audi S4. I've had no defects at all in the last five years of owning my Audi aside from replacing a problematic cup holder mechanism. "

Just wait a year of two. A friend of mine just had the brakes replaced on his BWW X5. The brake pads were worn out but the 4 disc rotors are soft and were badly worn and needed to be replaced as well. All this at 30,000 miles of normal driving..

Anonymous said...

"Just wait a year of two. A friend of mine..."

I'm not too worried. My X5 is a replacement for an older one which I was very happy with. While I do ask friends for their opinions, I don't put much value behind "a friend of mine" type of statements on this site. You generally replace your front rotors and pads long before replacing the rear ones. 30,000 miles is completely unheard of. If this is truly what happened, your friend should stop riding his brakes.

Anonymous said...

"You generally replace your front rotors and pads long before replacing the rear ones. 30,000 miles is completely unheard of. If this is truly what happened, your friend should stop riding his brakes."

This is quite common with european vehicles. The disc pads and rotors are quite soft.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that Mitsubishi didn't get things "right" with this car. I do think the exterior styling is quite attractive.

Anonymous said...

I like it. Inside & out. Good design. Sales will likely be poor since they have very few dealers. (One for every 25 cities in our state).