This week we’re looking at the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart 5-door Hatchback. The Sportback is my favorite of the Lancer models because I like the rear styling and it is more of a family car. The Evolution is fun to drive with 291 horsepower and more a kids car. The Sportback sports a 237 hp engine but the turbo gives it a real boost. Some won’t like the head jerking touchy pedal when the turbo kicks in. As you will recall, a Supercharger is belt driven off of the engine so power boost is instant whereas the Turbocharger depends on RPM of the engine and as it increases it adds boost that is delayed. I did get used to the touchy-ness – kind-a.
The first observation I made driving this Lancer was the unlikely comparison with the Nissan 370Z that I had just finished test driving. Well I traveled the exact test mountain course I frequently drive and I was amazed it was performing as well relative to the “Ride on Rails” performance of the Z. I suspect that in large part was due to the AWD (all wheel drive) feature of the Lancer compared to the rear wheel drive Z. So all things considered you have to be impressed with this Lancer.
Those pesky big rig trucks who share the highway with all of us are a nuisance but necessary. I think instinctively we all give them a wide berth, but I look at it with 3 reasons why those of us driving cars and small trucks should be aware of these big rig work horses.
- They are bigger than us.
- They can’t stop on a dime and certainly not as fast as we can
- They haul up to 50 times the load volume of smaller trucks that are only a third to a quarter the footprint of the 18 wheeler. Therefore they take up a lot less space on the highway to do the important work of transporting everything we consume.
The point is don’t pick a fight that you’re sure to lose. Be courteous to them. They are professional drivers and have the patience of saints to put up with some stupid moves of car drivers.
Handling & Performance:
Very good. Lots of power with the Turbo.
Bold grill work that I like. Some take exception that it is too big and is a copy of Audi’s signature feature.
Fit and Finish:
In the hunt with the added benefit of being an all wheel drive car, but it still has some stiff competition.
Conveniences and comfort:
Cruise control surfaces are flat or flush with the wheel and although they look good I prefer raised controls.
Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback $19-28,000, Audi A3 $27-31,000, BMW 1-Series $29-40,000, Chevrolet Cobalt $15-25,000, Ford Focus $16-19,000, Honda Civic $15-25,000, Hyundai Elantra Touring $16-20,000, Kia Forte $14-17,000, Mazda 3 $15-22,000, MINI Clubman $20-31,000, MINI Cooper $19-34,000, Nissan Sentra $15-20,000, Saturn Astra $17-20,000, Subaru Impreza $17-27,000, Subaru Impreza WRX $25-35,000, Toyota Corolla $15-20,000, Toyota Matrix $17-22,000, Volkswagen Golf $18-23,000, Volkswagen GTI $23-24,000, Volkswagen Rabbit $16-19,000.
Fair to good fuel economy, fun to drive sporty car for a 4-door sedan.
Cruise controls need reconsideration.
2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbocharged 237 hp engine, twin clutch sportronic transmission with paddle shifters, dual front, side & side curtain airbags, drivers side knee airbag, LATCH system child anchors, tire pressure monitoring, engine immobilizer with anti theft system, stability & traction control, turbocharger, all wheel drive with front Helical & rear mechanical limited slip differentials, sport tuned suspension, anti lock brakes with electronic brake distribution, front and rear stabilizer bars, climate control air conditioning, leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, Audio with CD/MP3 and 6-speakers, aluminum pedals, 60/40 split fold down rear seat, power window, locks and mirrors, Bluetooth hands free system, fog lights, rear wing spoiler, rear wiper, and 18” alloy wheels.
$2.99/ Gal avg. April 27 ‘10
for more information.
17 City and 25 Highway MPG
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