2011 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4-door sedan (851)


This week we’re looking at the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4-door sedan.

Remember when Studebaker was on the scene and people complained that you couldn’t tell whether it was coming or going because the front looked just like the rear end. I remember it mostly because my grandmother, born in Sicily before the turn of the 20th Century, visited us in California and thought we had weird cars here. In those days cars were distinctive for sure, but more important there were fewer brands so you weren’t confused by several hundred models. They were either Ford, GM or Chrysler cars. Today the computer kicks out pretty generic ho-hum similar looking cars. In the case of this Lancer, the grill is nearly the same as the Audi A4 turned upside down. Who did the design first I don’t know, but they are frightfully the same.

More observations about posted speed limits. While driving up State Highway 99 through the central valley of California I was reminded posted speeds are 70 mph in most areas. I have made that trip a lot since I have family and business in Southern Oregon. What I have observed is that traffic moves along at about 75-80 mph. Not much different from average commuter speeds in Southern California where the posted speed limit on the freeway is 65 mph.
There is a comfort zone in speed that drivers feel in control and the vast majority move along in packs at 75-80 irrespective of the posted limit. The bad guys can choose their prey at will because we’re all exceeding posted speed limits. Do you think there is a method to the madness of the law makers who set those limits?
In response to my belief that limits should be raised encouraged Bill says (summarized):
“I think current speed limits are just fine… (more importantly) Our highways are in great need of repair, and cause much wear on vehicles that drivers are not aware of, steel belts of tires broken from pot holes, wheels out of round, suspension damage, wheel alignment, shock and strut damage…

What about our growing population from south of the border and around the world, what kind of driving skills do they bring? Yes modern vehicles have many safety features… I argue that if the speed limit was 75 mph, drivers would drive 85/90 mph and while I’m not a Al Gore fan, after 80/85 mph fuel consumption goes sky high… As my wife say’s “If you are in that big of a hurry, leave sooner”. At the end of your article it says, “buckle up and drive safely”. How can driving faster be safer?
My whole point was that the limits are artificially low and serve only to raise money. Moving the limits up to what people persist on driving respects the will of the people, in spite of the obscene fines.
Handling & Performance:
Lancer provides just adequate power at 148 hp mostly because of the manual shifting. The low center of gravity provides excellent cornering.


In my opinion Mitsubishi cars are mostly designed for the younger driver which means they just don’t fit the over 40+ group. I wanted to see if was just me or is it a fact. The study noted below seems to support my feeling.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.


Well priced compact sedan.

Conveniences and comfort:

Nothing special, but the important features like traction and stability control are included.

Consumer Recommendation:

A new study recently completed by TrueCar.com, showed that Mitsubishi, Mazda and Volkswagen have the highest concentration of younger buyers. The study was completed in May 2010 and looked at the last full year of available data.

The brands with the highest percentage of buyers 18 to 34, is topped by Mitsubishi (18.3%), with its young skewing list of models that includes the Lancer and the Eclipse. Mazda (18%), with the popular Mazda3 and Mazda6, and Volkswagen (17.6%), which features the list topping GTI and Jetta, were next with Nissan (15.6%) and Mini (15%) rounding out the top 5.

Recognized Competition:

Mitsubishi Lancer $15-27,000, Audi S4 $47-49,000, Chevrolet Cobalt $15-25,000, Ford Focus $17-20,000, Honda Civic $16-25,000, Hyundai Elantra $15-20,000, Kia Forte $15-19,000, Mazda3 $16-23,000, Nissan Sentra $16-20,000, Subaru Impreza $17-20,000, Toyota Corolla $16-18,000, Volkswagen Golf $18-24,000, Volkswagen GTI $24-30,000.

Good News:

Well price, fun to drive, good safety features and very good fuel economy numbers.

Bad News:

A little under powered. You’d need to move to Ralliart for 237 hp with a price of about $27,000.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 148 horsepower inline 4 cylinder engine, 5-speed manual transmission, front Macpherson strut, rear multilink suspension, 4-wheel ABS front disc and rear drum brakes with electronic brake force distribution, front stabilizer bar, front and side curtain airbags with drivers knee airbag, LATCH child seat system, tire pressure monitor, engine immobilizer with anti-theft system, stability and traction control, air conditioning, height adjustable column, power steering with wheel mounted cruise and audio controls, multi information display, audio with CD/MP3 w/ 4-speakers, 6-way adjustable driver seat, 60/40 split fold down rear seatback, power windows, locks and mirrors, 2 12 volt outlets, remote keyless entry and auto headlights.

Gas Stats:

$3.33/ Gal avg. Jan 29, 2011
for more information.

24 City and 33 Highway MPG


MSRP $16,395.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2011 – An Automotive Love Affair


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