Mitsubishi Lancer — A good value proposition

By David Finkelstein

Positioned in the popular sub compact category for 2017, you'll discover the Mitsubishi Lancer four door sedan. It is cross shopped with such nameplates as the Toyota Corolla, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Mazda3, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra. The Lancer has a base starting price point of $17,795.

Lancer is manufactured in three trim levels, ES 2 wheel-drive (front-wheel-drive), SE-AWC (all-wheel-control/4WD) or the high end SEL-AWC version. With the all-wheel-control feature, you'll have the opportunity to select between 2 wheel-drive or 4 wheel-drive with the flick of a three position rocker control switch conveniently located near the center console. If you opt for their SEL-AWC model, the pricing on that edition stickers out at $23,595, before option packages. The fact that the '17 Lancer is available in all-wheel-drive, sets it apart from most of the competitive competition.

Overall, the car's outer body design is quite modern with its fairly sleek footprint. The contemporary looking front is supple with a tasteful grille assembly and bright headlamps with clear cover lenses.

The fact that the car's front presence isn't an “in your face” design, but a more laid back, clean appearing architecture — and that's in the plus column. The side profile is gracefully laid out with a welcomed side body crease in the stampings, giving the car a meaningful and pricey accomplished look. The rear trunk area is a busy design with quite large integrated tail lamps, bumper cover reflectors and badging that makes it unmistakable that it is in fact a Mitsubishi. It's quite harmonious overall as the sum of all of the car's styling tends to feed off of each other with its innovative matrix.

The exterior is also showcased with auto-off halogen headlights and rear combination taillights, heated side-view door mirrors, chrome upper and lower grille assembly, rear window defroster with automatic countdown timer and fog lights.

Additionally, Lancer has all new 16” two-tone alloy wheels (ES model) with 205/60R all weather tires. On the SE and SEL versions, it comes with 18” alloy wheels with low profile 205/45R performance tires.

Powering this five passenger automobile is one of two different four cylinder engines. The base car comes equipped with a 2.0-liter in-line, 16-valve engine, generating 148-horsepower. With the standard 5-speed manual transmission, the EPA fuel consumption numbers reflect 24 mpg city/33-mpg highway and if you elect to upgrade to the continuously variable automatic transmission, EPA numbers show 27 city/34 highway.

The optional 2.4-liter duel overhead cam engine produces 168-horsepower as the fuel usage numbers show 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway with the all wheel control/4WD system and with the CVT transmission.

The interior is nicely laid out for the most part. The color LCD multi-information display screen is a nice touch, as is the high-contrast speedometer/tachometer gauge cluster and the standard heated front seats on the SE grade. Automatic air condition climate control is welcomed, coupled with the standard 6.1” touch panel and140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 display audio system with Digital HD and satellite radio.

The rear-view back-up camera system telegraphs a clear-cut view to the driver. The car's passive key entry system with panic alarm feature (SE trim grade) is also a must to consider. Mounted on the steering wheel are functions for the audio, cruise control, and the Bluetooth hands-free system.  Also standard is electronic power steering, power windows and door locks, LED running lights, 60/40 split fold forward rear seats, in-cabin micron air filtration system, rear heated floor air ducts, adjustable tilt steering wheel, carpeted floor mats and a fairly large center console accessory storage box.

Under the umbrella of safety for the '17 Lancer, the factory includes seven air bags. This also includes a driver’s side knee air bag, dual-stage front air bags with occupant seat position sensors as well as front and rear seat side-impact air bags. Anti-lock braking system with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Active Stability Control is also included. The car is also featured with traction control logic, tire pressure monitoring system, an engine immobilizer anti-theft security alarm system, child safety rear door locks and a patented “Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution” body cell construction. Braking and steering feel is on par with other competitive makes in it's class.

Also included is Mitsubishi's fully transferable 5-year/60,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty plus a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty. Also standard is roadside assistance support for 5-years and unlimited miles.

At road test, the 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer SEL AWC sedan I drove had an MSRP of $24,430. This price also includes optional power operated overhead sunroof and the premium audio system with 9 speakers. The car  was assembled and imported from the company's manufacturing facility located in Kurashiki, Japan.