Is Mitsubishi about to follow Suzuki to the exit?The Lancer looked sharp (in GT trim) when it was introduced for 2007, and this generation definitely has aged well.
With the increased popularity of sport-utility vehicles and crossovers, Canada is becoming more and more of an all-wheel-drive market as each year passes. Subaru once had a monopoly over the all-wheel-drive car market, but there have since been some new players in the game. Over the past few years, vehicles such as the Ford Fusion and Taurus along with various Suzukis have added AWD to their equipment list to give the consumer peace of mind during icy winters. Always having been a fan of Mitsubishi’s Evolution, I jumped at the opportunity to drive the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC.
Priced at $27,998, the GT AWC (which stands for “all-wheel-control) tops out the Lancer range, save for the Ralliart and the Evolution. Those are naturally vastly more fun. The Lancer is sized and priced in one of the most competitive car segments out there. It has the absolutely brilliant Dodge Dart, the Hyundai Elantra, the Honda Civic, and the Toyota Corolla to beat. Even when it was new, the Lancer was never really “innovative”, so Mitsu relied on its style to bump sales.
The Lancer GT putters along thanks to a 2.4L inline-4 putting out 168-horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque. Coupled to a continuously-variable transmission, the car doesn’t really feel like it’s going anywhere. The Sportronic® “magnesium paddle shifters” are quite gimmicky and don’t help the feeble performance of the car. Given that I didn’t have the car during the winter months, I decided to save myself fuel by leaving it in 2WD mode; which netted me 9.9L/100km in combined driving. One must keep in mind that in order to actually keep up with traffic, the Lancer has to be driven somewhat spiritedly, which results in questionable fuel economy numbers.
The styling is where the little Mitsubishi redeems itself. The Lancer looked sharp (in GT trim) when it was introduced for 2007, and this generation definitely has aged well. The front end is aggressive and still looks fresh, and the rear looks sleek and well thought out. The factory spoiler is, for once, a great touch and adds to the styling of the vehicle. The interior is slightly bland when compared to the likes of the Honda Civic or the Hyundai Elantra, but is definitely “function over form” and everything is easy to use.
I had a bit of sticker shock the first time I looked up the numbers on this car. $28,000 for a Lancer with no turbocharger is steep no matter how you look at it. Luckily, nobody really pays full price for a Mitsubishi anymore. A quick call to a local store confirmed that this car can be had for $22,000 before even trying to negotiate serious numbers. For that price, it all begins to make a little more sense. Especially given that the GT AWC comes with heated leather seats, a power sunroof, satellite radio, and a Rockford Fosgate sound system that sounds absolutely awesome for its class.
This past winter we extensively drove the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi, a car with roughly the same amount of horsepower, a CVT, and all-wheel-drive. Though the Kizashi definitely felt significantly more fun than this Lancer GT, both cars are a unique alternative to all the other cookie-cutter cars that people seem to shop in this class. In all honesty, the all-wheel-drive is a huge added bonus. The handling of the Lancer is superb. It may not have very much go in the straights, but the GT definitely redeems itself in the corners.
I’m a believer in putting faith into the little guys. I’ve walked into Chrysler or Ford dealerships numerous times without so much as a hello from a salesperson, but it seems that my local Mitsubishi store is incredibly welcoming. I suppose the staff has to be, but unlike others, the sales staff actually seemed particularly genuine. I really do hope that Mitsubishi Motors doesn’t pull out of the North American market like Suzuki just did, because we’d be missing out on quite a bit. I know I’d want Mitsubishi to stick around if only to see what the next Evolution would look like…
2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC Gallery