Category Archives: Mitsubishi

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door Hatchback

2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door Hatchback

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 4-Door Hatchback. The last time I reviewed a Mitsubishi was the 2015 Outlander Sport. Mitsubishi is probably the least famous of all Japanese car companies, but the cars they make are every bit as good as the others.

A little history:

Like most companies, their formation and continued operations have traversed troubled times since Yataro Iwasaki founded the company in 1870. It started as a shipping firm and many other offshoots. It was the first Japanese company to open overseas routes. It then got into copper and coal mining and grew into shipbuilding in Nagasaki in the late 1880s. The company continued to expand their positions in banking, insurance and warehousing. Later the company expanded into Paper Mills and Kirin brewery, and on into real estate, marketing and manufacturer of plate glass.

Mitsubishi introduced its first car in 1917.

I was not surprised to learn future presidents of the company were educated in the US and Britain. Yataro’s son, Hisaya who became the company’s president in 1893 graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (USA), and in 1916 at age 38, Koyata Iwasaki, a graduate of Cambridge University (UK), became president.

What we see today is a company with a rich and diverse history and great traditions of the Japanese people. I have spent a good deal of time in Japan and have always been impressed with its people and their culture. Those experiences prompt me to see the good in peoples from all over the world and see how the tides of change over time help to define ourselves as occupants of one planet. Sometimes it seems we’re quite different but we aren’t.

So, if I have an affinity to the people of Japan, I haven’t always been so sure about the products they produce. Many will remember how cheap “Made in Japan” meant in the mid-20th Century. Not so today and we all know how far our relations with Japan have matured. You may recall in 1967 a town was founded in Japan with the name Usa (oosa). Coincidence or was it a marketing ploy to give the appearance (inferior products at the time) were “Made in USA”.

General Information:

It is assembled in Chonburi, Thailand; Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Thailand 87%; Engine and transmission – Thailand; Classification is Compact Cars. Cars from Mitsubishi: iMiEV, Lancer, Mirage, Outlander and Outlander Sport.

Handling & Performance:

Although it has good mechanical, state of the art safety features, I found it to be a little light on its feet at higher speeds. To me this is a great around town or short trip car but not so good on the open highway with speeds over 75 mph.

In the 1960s VW Bugs were notoriously light and a stiff wind could move you from lane to lane at freeway speeds. That is not to say this Mirage is as light as the old VW Bug, but it will surely create a tenser driving experience on the open road. . . but then I tend to push the pedal and thus the upper limits.

Styling:

Basic economy car look. Nothing fancy as you would expect at this price point.

Fit and Finish:

Good.

Cost:

It is hard for me to understand why ‘anyone’ would be without ‘wheels’ in today’s world at these New Car price. Astonishing to me!

Conveniences and comfort:

Basic but good features and the seating is comfortable.

Consumer Recommendations:

If you are in need of a reliable commuter this class offers so much for so little. I’ve tested them all and personally owned a Ford Fiesta in my early years when economy was high on my requirements list for transportation.

Recognised Competition:

Mitsubishi $17,000, Chevrolet Spark $18,000, Hyundai Accent $17,000, Ford Fiesta $20,000.

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country/Origin Assembled
Mitsubishi Mirage 17,000 39 5 4 Japan Thailand
Chevrolet Spark 18,000 33 4 4 USA Korea
Hyundai Accent 17,000 30 5 4 Korea Korea
Ford Fiesta 20,000 30 5 4 USA Mexico

Good News:

Fantastic pricing and great fuel economy.

Bad News:

A little light on its feet at higher highway speeds.

Standard Equipment:

1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine, CVT transmission, front wheel drive, electric power steering, hill start assist, power ABS braking system with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, stability control, front, side curtain and driver knee airbags, tire pressure monitor, LATCH child safety system with rear door child locks, anti-theft engine immobilizer, fog lights, front and rear wipers, 15” alloy wheels, split folding rear seat, power front seats, power mirrors, leather wrapped tilt steering wheel, 6.5” display for audio and smartphone link, rearview camera, FM/AM/CD/MP3 4-speaker audio, Bluetooth technology, USB port, cruise control, steering wheel controls, remote entry and push button start, power windows and locks, 12V outlet.

Gas Stats:

$3.15 Gal avg. January 5, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

37 City and 43 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $16,595.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2017 – An Automotive Love Affair

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT (1170)

Overview:
This is the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT 

The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander is one of four (4) other SUVs in its class, of the 11 that are listed below, with a third row seating. Although the third row is only comfortable for children or other small people. The Chevy Traverse is the only one that seats 8, and the best fuel economy is the Mazda CX-5 (4-cylinder). The quality of the materials in the cabin is very good but the cabin is a bit noisy for my taste. Some think it is weak in performance but I found it to be fast enough even though acceleration is indeed a bit sluggish.

The Outlander comes with a long list of features, many of which are only available in upper trims. In researching I found that while the infotainment system is satisfying, it’s not particularly user-friendly.

General Information: It is assembled in Okazaki, Japan Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Japan 93%; Engine and transmission – Japan; Classification is Small SUV. Cars from Mitsubishi: iMiEV, Lancer, Lancer Evolution, Mirage, Mirage G4, Outlander and Outlander Sport.

 Handling & Performance:

It is a perfect size even though it is technically a small SUV.

Styling:

Pretty Generic.

Fit and Finish:

Very Good.

Cost:

Just about right, price wise, and generally a good value in today’s world.

Conveniences and comfort:

Fantastic array of standard features. . . you’re going to appreciate.

Consumer Recommendations:

There is a large field to choose from. The only way to be sure it fits your expectations is for you to test drive. Or if you travel a lot you may want to schedule your rental car from one of these whenever you can.

Recognized Competition:

Mitsubishi Outlander $33,000, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport $33,000, Nissan Pathfinder $33,000, Ford Explorer $33,000, Ford Edge $41,000, Kia Sorento $36,000, Dodge Journey $31,000, Subaru Outback $36,000, VWTiguan $35,000, Chevrolet Traverse $34,000, Mazda CX-5 $31,000.

 Good News:

Well priced for what you get, 7 – seater, good safety features.

 Bad News:

More road noise than I like. They should fix that.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, power steering, all wheel drive, auto headlights, fog lights, heated power folding mirrors with turn indicators, Power glass sunroof, rain sensings wipers, rear window wiper, windshield wiper de-icer, 18” two tone alloy wheels, roof carrier  / silver rails, dual vanity illuminated visors, front map and floor lights, rear cargo area light, 7-passenger seating, drive mode selector, leather seating, heated front seats, 8-way power driver seat adjustment, 4-way power passenger seat, 60/40 rear split fold down seats with slide and recling adjustments, 50/50 third row seat with fold flat feature, dual zone auto climate control, leather wrapped tilt and telescopic steering wheel, remote hood and fuel door release, 9-speaker audio system, 7.0” smartphone link display with Apple carplay and android auto, dual USB ports, SiriusXM satellite radio, hands free link system with Bluetooth tech included on steering wheel controls, rearview camera, auto dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, power remote liftgate, fast Key passive entry system, one touch start/stop engine switch, ECO mode switch, cruise control, power windows and locks, 3 – 12 Volt accessory outlets, underfloor cargo and storage area, Blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist, Hill Start assist, electric parking brake, aBS braking system with Electronic Brakeforce distribution and brake assist, stability control, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, front, side and side curtain airbags, driver knee airbag, LATCH child restraint system and safety locks, anti-theft security with engine immobilizer. 

Gas Stats:

$2.59 Gal avg. December 3, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

20 City and 27 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $31,695.

2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV ES (1163)

Overview:

This is the 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV ES. Well – I have to tell you I’m not a fan of electric only vehicles. BUT – we cannot forget everything has a use. OK, so Politicians may be the exception.

Anyway, my point is that you must consider the what the right ‘tool’ is for the job you have. Let me be perfectly clear (sorry, I’m beginning to talk like a politician), you may be perfectly happy with this new technology vehicle.

Me – I live 50 miles from my office. (no wise cracks). The range on this EV is 60 miles… and takes 8-12 hours to recharge to a full charge. I like my job but I don’t intend on working 12 hours while my car gets recharged to get me home. Result of this is that I had to drive my internal combustion engine vehicle to get to work. Then if I have side trips to make during the work day I’m able to use my all electric vehicle as long as I’m not traveling more than 20 miles one way.

The real problem (for me) is the anxiety I feel when I venture out. Even if there were recharge stations for a fast charge it will always be at least an hour or more to get me back on the road. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to spend all my time planning how I get from charge to charge.

Let me be even more clear – it isn’t Mitsubishi’s error in providing cars to the public, it is the politically correct pressure for car companies to manufacture such modes of transportation. After all, you say, Tesla makes versions that cost $150,000 so it must be a good technology. Our company has a Tesla and the problems are only multiplied by the cost of the Tesla that is 7 times more than this Mitsubishi.

Well a little more clarification is that more than 100 years ago electric vehicles had a range of 100 miles. Granted they only traveled 20 mph but we have made precious little improvement. What does that say about the technology? Just say’n.

General Information: It is assembled in Kurishiki, Japan Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Japan 100%; Engine and transmission – Japan; Classification is SubCompact Cars. Cars from Mitsubishi: iMiEV, Lancer, Lancer Evolution, Mirage, Mirage G4, Outlander and Outlander Sport.

Handling & Performance:

Electric power is immediate power and it performs well around town or very short trips on the highway. Literature indicates that the annual cost of operation is $600 for this EV. That is somewhat less than the annual cost of a compact gas powered car.

Styling:

Unique styling. Remember the first VW Beetles in the 1960s? Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

Fit and Finish:

Good.

Cost:

Considering the size and constant need to recharge the cost is not very competitive with other options.

Conveniences and comfort:

This EV car does have several convenience features. However most, if not all, take energy and thus you must consider if the feature is important enough to shorten the range you can travel. So on a hot day I may be pressured to open the windows and not turn on the Air Conditioning. Lights, Radio etc. That fact defeats the usefulness of the ‘tool’ I’ve decided to buy / support.

Consumer Recommendations:

The real consideration is what you intend to use the vehicle for. You must also consider that you will be using electricity and there IS a cost comparable to a conventional gas powered car. You must also consider the continuous need to recharge once or more times per day, and you will never go long without thinking about where and how you will get your next ‘fix’ if I can use the analogy akin to having a drug addiction.

Among battery / electric cars on sale in the U.S., only three vehicles have sold more than 10,000 copies since 2010:  Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and BMW i3.

Recognized Competition:

Mitsubishi i-MiEV $24,000, Chevrolet Spark $26,000, Nissan LEAF $30,000. Tesla S $67,000

Others without sufficient data available: 2017 Chevy Bolt, Honda FCV, Hyundai ionig, BMW i3.

Good News:

All electric – no gas required

Bad News:

All electric – no gas possible. . . except indigestion.

Gas Stats:

$2.59 Gal avg. October 16, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

121 City and 102 Highway – Average is 30 KW hours per 100 miles.

Pricing:

MSRP $22,995.

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer 2.4 SEL AWD (1159)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer 2.4 SEL AWD. And in this class they are fairly basic general purpose 4-door sedans that seat 5. This Lancer is comparable in most respects and I enjoy all competitors listed here. All are affordable at around $22,000.

Some will determine their purchase based on country of manufacturer that include Japan, Germany, Korea and USA.  I’d be hard pressed to make a final decision and although I don’t presently need to make that call, you may.

Considerations will vary widely based on your particular situation. But if your current car will need major repairs all the way to simply needing tires, you can hardly go wrong replacing that car that also is likely 5 years old and pushing 70,000 miles. Make your choice and take the plunge – that’s my suggestion.

General Information: It is assembled in Kurishiki, Japan Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Japan 97%; Engine and transmission – Japan; Classification is Compact Cars. Cars from Mitsubishi: iMiEV, Lancer, Lancer Evolution, Mirage, Mirage G4, Outlander and Outlander Sport.

Handling & Performance:

Handling is perfectly fine. I enjoyed the ride all week and enjoyed the excellent fuel economy while I never felt shorted on the power it delivered. I was a happy camper.

Styling:

Basic… and that’s a good thing.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

Competitive.

Conveniences and comfort:

Basic in this class to me means it just doesn’t have that level of convenience including things like adaptive smart cruise control, Blind spot detection, Crash avoidance and the like. But that being said, it DOES include all the necessary features as standard equipment. I was, for example, surprised when it began to rain and the windshield wipers came on before I would have turned them on. Yep, rain sensing wipers. Cool.

And you know what, as I drove each day I appreciated simple things – like the radio that actually had knobs for volume and tuning. That is important because it gives me hope that some car makers still agree that knobs may be the best way to select stations. Not everything needs to be push button. A good example is the years that Chrysler employed a push button shift system. Predictably it didn’t last long.

Consumer Recommendations:

Mitsubishi has a long heritage and a very good reputation. I haven’t heard a lot about them and for me that is a very good thing. Why? Because as you may recall I was co-owner of an automotive repair shop in La Canada CA for many years. We simply didn’t work on many Mitsubishi cars.

Recognized Competition:

Mitsubishi Lancer SEL $23,000, Subaru Impreza $20,000, VW Jetta $25,000, Hyundai Elantra $22,000, Chevrolet Cruze $20,000, Mazda 3 $24,000, Dodge Dart $25,000. Kia Forte $21,000, Toyota Corolla $24,000.

Good News:

Fantastic price point value, very good fuel economy – what more can you ask of a lower cost family sedan / commuter.

Bad News:

A little light weight that IS this segment of the market. For example, you notice the “thin” and a bit flimsy sun visors and they don’t extend. I know it’s a small thing but it reminds me that I’m in a basic car priced accordingly and you therefore expect such things including a higher level of road noise and trunk lids and doors that sound tinny when closed.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine, power steering, all wheel drive, auto headlights, fog lights, heated mirrors, rain sensings wipers, 18” alloy wheels, heated leather front seats, 60/40 split folding rear seat, climate control, leather wrapped tilt steering wheel with audio, cruise and Bluetooth controls, am/fm/cd/mp3/siriur XM 6-speaker audio, bluetooth technology with usb port, rear view camera, keyless proximity entry system, power windows and locks, ABS brake system with brake force distribution and brake assist, stability and traction controls, tire pressure monitor, front and side airbags and driver knee airbag, LATCH, safety rear door locks, theft security alarm system and theft deterrent engine immobilizer.

Gas Stats:

$2.59 Gal avg. September 24, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

23 City and 31 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $21,995.

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR 4-door Sedan – Final Edition (1136)

Overview:

This is the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR 4-Door Sedan. It’s always sad when a brand is gone, but models are sold at the pleasure of the consumer. Sometimes the market isn’t broad enough to justify the model. A lot of devoted hearts will be crying because those who loved this high performance sports sedan and latched onto it won’t see it after this 2015 year model. The market segment, in my opinion, appealed to youthful drivers probably more than middle to late year adults. It was the youth who would ooh and aah over the Evo’s I have tested over the years.

The first generation was in 1992 and it was intended to be marketed only in Japan originally. Mitsubishi decided, however, to export the eighth generation Evolution to the United States in 2003 after witnessing the success Subaru had in that market with their long-time direct rival, the Subaru WRX.

When GM dropped the Oldsmobile and the Pontiac it was a heart breaker for many. I’m sure the reason that it was a difficult business decision for GM, and it ended a brand that was a century old. I’m sure when I’m 100 folks will want to get rid of me too.

Although the Evo, as a high performance car that is ‘fast and furious’, it isn’t as comfy as most would prefer. How else can you explain how smooth and quiet sells so well!

General Information: It is assembled in Kurishiki, Japan Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Japan 96%; Engine and transmission – Japan; Classification is Compact Cars. Cars from Mitsubishi: iMiEV, Lancer, Mirage, Outlander and Outlander Sport.

Handling & Performance:

All Evo’s use two litre, turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive systems. That spells performance in my book. No question they have provided a thrill a minute for drivers who have a need for speed.

Styling:

It has matured over the years and this Evo has become more sophisticated and pretty.

Fit and Finish:

Good.

Cost:

It is expensive but not so much if performance is your goal.

Conveniences and comfort:

It is well appointed with most of the safety driving features but is not as comfortable as I look for in a car. The features I missed on this car was Blind Spot Warning and Adaptive or smart cruise control.

Consumer Recommendations:

This may be a good investment if it becomes a classic in 25 years and if you have the time and patience to wait that long.

Recognized Competition:

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR $35,000, Subaru WRX $35,000, Audi A3 $36,000, Acura ILX $33,000, Cadillac ATS $42,000, Mercedes Benz C-Class $39,000, Volvo S60 $36,000. Averageprice of all is $36,571.

Good News:

Special high performance sport sedan and that’s one reason why pricing is as high as it is.

Bad News:

High road and engine noise level, stiff suspension may be a problem for some, touchy steering, runs at high rpm’s ( 3500 at 72 mph in 5th gear).

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter Turbo 4-cylinder engine, all wheel control, active Yaw Control, fog lights, aluminum fenders and roof panel,large rear spoiler, heated mirrors, intermittent wipers and washers, 18” alloy wheels with performance tires, 6-way driver & 4-way passenger manual adjustable seats, climate control, tilt leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum sport pedals,  remote fuel door and trunk release, 6.1″ AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with 6 speakers, SiriusXM satellite radio, FUSE Hands free link system with Bluetooth, USB port and steering wheel controls for cruise and audio, keyless entry system with panic feature, power windows and locks,12 volt accessory outlet, center console box with armrest, rear armrest with cupholders, sport ABS Brembo high performance brake system with brakeforce distribution, stabiltiy control, traction control, tire pressure monitor, front and rear side curtain airbags, front seat mounted side airbags, driver knee airbag, dual front airbags, LATCH child safety seat anchors and upper tethers, child safety rear door locks, anti-theft security alarm system and engine immobilizer.

Gas Stats:

$2.79 Gal avg. April 9, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

17 City and 23 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $34,495.

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWC (1118)

Overview:

This is the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWC (all wheel control). The stylish Outlander Sport is a capable competitor in the crowded compact crossover segment.

  • Compact crossover with seating for five
  • Adds a new transmission and electric power steering for 2015
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick award winner

Compact crossovers are abundant these days because they are profitable to the manufacturers. The Outlander Sport’s looks go up against the most popular of the bunch, including the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. One area it does very well in comparison is base price, starting at just over $3,000 less than the CR-V.

Included in standard stuff is a new FUSE hands-free link system that offers enhanced voice-activated commands for the Bluetooth and audio systems. I don’t find this is usually a very useful feature. Unless one week isn’t enough time to learn my voice inflections, I don’t find any that are anything but frustration. A question for you is, “do you have a differing experience with voice activated commands? As a side note, my iPhone just gets better and better every version of the software operating system. I have not turned on Siri lately because that was lousy and I got frustrated. When I find the voice recognition in autos gets to a point that it is useful I will report. In the meantime I’d like to hear your opinion on the subject. joe@atthewheel.com.

General Information: It is assembled in Normal, Illinois, USA; Parts – US/Canadian 29%, Japan 49%; Engine and transmission – Japan; Classification is Small SUV’s. Cars from Mitsubishi: iMiEV, Lancer, Mirage, Outlander and Outlander Sport.

Handling & Performance:

These crossovers are built lower to the ground than the earlier SUV’s and thus handle very well. It is a good size for a 5 seating SUV. That means easier parking and maneuvering generally.

Styling:

Generic, if you will, because all SUVs are close relatives. The designs have all fallen into that similar SUV look. CAD (computer aided design) tools are being used by all manufacturers to optimize fuel economy and high mileage reliable cars.

That being said, I especially like the unique front fascia grill work. Plus the 18” alloy wheels are a nice upgrade over most of the competition.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

At the lower end of the cost curve in this segment and at the upper end in delivering features and quality of ride.

Conveniences and comfort:

At the upper end of this class in segment.

Consumer Recommendations:

You should be able to get a great end of model year sale price. Don’t be shy. The 2016s are out and the 2015s will be offered at discount prices. Consider also that the improvements we expect each new model year aren’t significant enough from one year to the next. Remember also these are NEW cars. Save a bunch and consider a 2015 model year.

Recognized Competition:

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport $20-25,000, Toyota RAV4 $26,000, Honda CRV $28,000, Kia Forte5 $20,000, Buick Encore $26,000, Jeep Renegade $22,000.

Good News:

Priced well in class, good compliment of standard features, good quality.

Bad News:

n/a

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 4-cylinder 166 hp engine, electric power steering, all wheel control, sporttrinic padle shifters, auto headlights, fog lights, LED front and rear, side fender turn signals, roof carrier plug in , heated mirrors, intermittent wipers, rear window intermittent wiper / washer with defroster, rain sensing wipers, rear privacy glass, 18” alloy wheels, color LCD multi information display, dual visor vanity mirrors with illumination, rear dome light , rear cargo light, ECO driver light for CVT transmission, drive mode selector for 2 and 4 wheel drive, 5-passenger seating, fabric trimmed seating, heated driver & front passenger seats, 8-way driver & 4-way passenger manual adjustable seats, 60/40 split fold down rear seatback, climate control, rear heater floor ducts, tilt & telescopic leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, remote hooed and fuel door release levers6.1” touch panel display audio system, AM/FM/CD/MP3audio system with 6 speakers, SiriusXM satellite radio, FUSE Hands free link system with Bluetooth, USB port and steering wheel controls, rearview camera system, steering wheel audio controls, FAST key passive entry system with panic feathure, one touch start/stop engine switch, cruise control, power windows and locks, 2- 12 volt accessory outlets, center console box with armrest, cargo tie-down utility hooks, hill start assist, power ABS brake system with brakeforce distribution, stabiltiy control, traction control, tire pressure monitor, front and rear side curtain airbags, front seat mounted side airbags, driver knee airbag, dual front airbags, LATCH child safety seat anchors and upper tethers, child safety rear door locks, anti-theft security alarm system and engine immobilizer.

Gas Stats:

$2.97 Gal avg. December 19, 2015

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

24 City and 30 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $24,195.

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2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR (1054)

Overview: This week we’re looking at the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR which made its debut in 1992. If you love performance and, instant speed and unreal road grip, you will love driving this EVO. But if your budget doesn’t allow for a hefty price tag of $35,000 and you’re not among the diehard performance enthusiasts who might well pay that for this heart throbbing performer, don’t bother wasting your time test driving it. Most of us drive to get from here to there so there are few who get their kicks on Route 66 on your way to a road less traveled. You know, that’s where you can open up a rare car like this EVO that is capable of road hugging radical acceleration beyond the average run of the mill cars of today.
On the flip side of performance is the bad news. It has a stiff hard ride with associated road noise and loss of comfort. That being said, it will not deter those who buy this car for what it was made for – great performance. And it IS a kid’s car in my opinion but after driving it I wouldn’t want to give this to my teenage son to drive. It is way too much power and will temp anyone to test its potential. Most teens wouldn’t be able to keep it under control. Unintended consequences would include at the very least traffic citations and a worst case result – speeding accidents.

General Information: It is assembled in Kurashiki, Japan, Classification is Compact. Cars from Mitsubishi: Lancer, Mirage, Outlander, MiEV,

Opinion: I had a brain fart the other day when it occurred to me that if Caltrans in California and their counterparts in other states of the country would mark all lanes with speed limits it may very well speed up and smooth out the flow of traffic. Now, don’t laugh – hear me out. Lane 1 = 85 mph; lane 2 = 75 mph; lane 3 = 65 mph and lane 4 = 55 mph – think about that. Accidents are caused for many reasons but the ones affected here include lane changes because of slow traffic in fast lanes, road rage lane changes or rapid changes in speed and direction.

Those of you who have driven on the autobahns of Europe will know that speed alone is not as dangerous and rapid changes in speed and direction. Most highways in Europe are two lanes that include 70 mph fast lane and an extreme fast lane where 100 plus mph is commonplace. I never saw an accident while driving on the highways in Germany, Poland, Austria, the Checz Republic, Switzerland and Italy, but I did notice polite behavior and aware drivers. It was refreshing to see. Fast speed on the highway must conjure up respect because it is allowed and accepted by other drivers as the norm. We could learn some things from our friends on the other side of the Pond.

Handling & Performance: This GSR offers rapid acceleration from a 291 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It has amazing road grip that makes it feel like you’re on rails at a 6-Flaggs Magic Mountain theme park ride. But once you get going it also has impressive stopping power to assist it in being one of the more nimble handling highway legal race cars. This is all made possible because of the all-wheel-drive and communicative steering and short wheel base. It is a rare few that perform as well as this Evo.

Styling: The Evo is what I’d expect would appeal to young male drivers. It looks fast just sitting still and someone mentioned it is the proud recipient of more traffic citations than most if not all branded models.

I wasn’t thrilled at all with the “Rear Wing”. It is consistent with the overall design of a performance car. But does it add enough to the handling characteristics to warrant its inclusion. If it doesn’t, then it is a sure waste because it screws up rear visibility and is distracting. I didn’t like that at all. But I’m guessing to a devoted racer guy it looks very cool and that’s what really counts, right?

Fit and Finish: Very good, but it is a little more tinny noticeable when closing the doors and hood and trunk lids.

Cost: Real pricey for a commuter but real cheap for a race car.

Conveniences and comfort: I found the process of setting up the Bluetooth hands free to be very frustrating and finally I gave up. It is the worst I’ve ever seen. Remember if I can’t figure out any feature without reading the manual I give it a negative mark. Yes I would have spent the time if I would have the car for more than a week. Okay I would have had to read the manual very carefully. I have to admit I did pull the manual out and when I couldn’t find the answer instantly I weighed the time required and the benefit for the week and decided not to make calls while in the car.

I was also annoyed with the sun visors that are really quite useless. That is also a pet peeve of mine because I live in sunny California where there is 364 ½ days of sun.

Consumer Recommendations: If you are looking for a very cool performance car you won’t do much better at any price. But now that price is on the table it is not cheap either. But that is relative too. I have owned a Porsche, a Lamborghini and driven my brothers Ferrari’s. I have also tested most cars made on both oval tracks and road tracks. Trust me, in a road race I’ll take this Evo and at a small fraction of the cost of that Daytona and 275 GTB Ferrari both with V12 power. In a road race with a lot of tight corners all the power is not the most important factor.

In addition, take a look at the standard equipment below and it is sure to impress the sensibilities of race drivers and automotive engineers alike. I doubt it will impress those looking for a commuter and mom couldn’t care less about turbo acceleration. So consumers who will buy this car know who they are, and they will love what they see and appreciate more what they feel when they get behind the wheel on a curvy highway or mountain road. Simply a thrill a minute.

Recognized Competition: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution $35,000, Subaru WRX $35,000, Audi A3 $36,000

Good News: Super performance,

Bad News: Only fair fuel economy, expensive entry cost, poor rear visibility, road noise.

Standard Equipment: 2.0 liter 291 horsepower turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine, 5-speed manual transmission, all-wheel-drive, front mounted intercooler, Brembo Vented ABS disc brakes with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), rear air defuser, rear mounted battery, inverted front shock absorbers, front strut tower bar, front and rear stabilizer bars, front helical limited slip differential, activer center differential, active Yaw control rear differential, auto headlights, fog lights, flared fenders, large rear wing spoiler, aluminum roof panel and front fenders with vents, aluminum hood with heat extractor vents, 18” alloy wheels with 245/40 Yokohama advanced tires, auto air conditioning with micron filter, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, high contrast sport meter gauges, color multi information display, Recaro front sport seats, steering wheel mounted cruise and audio controls, 6” touch screen display audio, CD/MP3 audio head unit with 6-speakers, Fuse handsfree link systems with USB port, SiriusXM satellite radio, digital HD radio, power door locks, windows and side-view mirrors, 12V accessory outlet, remote keyless entry, front side and side curtain airbags with driver’s side knee airbag, LATCH system, engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitor, active stability and traction controls.

Gas Stats: $3.53/ Gal avg. October 13, 2014

www.fueleconomy.gov for more information.
17 City and 23 Highway MPG

Pricing: MSRP $34,995

2011 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4-door sedan

Overview

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.

Opinion:

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.

Styling:

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.

Cost:

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

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

24 City and 33 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $16,395.Overview

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.

Opinion:

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.

Styling:

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.

Cost:

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

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

24 City and 33 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $16,395.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE 2.4 AWD (966)

Overview: 

This week we’re looking at the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE 2.4 AWD. It gets thumbs up from consumers as well. They were impressed with the warranty which is one of the best in the industry at 10 years or 100,000 miles powertrain and bumper to bumper 5 year or 60,000 miles.

I thought it was just me but consumers have wondered why the company doesn’t blow its own horn more about their great warranty and more for me, why don’t they market more aggressively. It may not be true, but seems that Mitsubishi doesn’t do as much advertising as many of the other brands.

General Information:

Parts from the US / Canada 0%, Japan 99%, engine and transmission is from Japan. It is assembled in Kurashiki, Japan. Classification is Compact. Cars from Nissan:

Handling & Performance:

168 horsepower doesn’t sound like much but it is plenty and gets you from zero to 60 mph in about 7 seconds. And a real plus is fuel economy of 30 mpg which makes it well balanced in power and cost of operation. The CVT transmission gives it smooth undetectable shifting from speed to speed / gear to gear. And that is makes it the efficient car that it is.

A continuously variable transmission, or CVT, is a type of automatic transmission that provides more useable power, better fuel economy and a smoother driving experience than a traditional automatic. While an automatic transmission has a set number of gear ratios (a.k.a. speeds), usually 4, 5 or 6, the CVT can constantly change the relationship of engine speed to car speed. You never hear or feel the transmission shift, but simply raises and lowers the engine speed as needed, calling up higher engine speeds (or RPMs) for better acceleration and lower RPMs for better fuel economy while cruising.

Styling:

With an Icon grill design Mitsubishi is quickly identifiable. And this is in answer to Laura’s question, “why do all cars today look the same”? True enough that unless you do what I do and have occasion to go to car shows, test drive and track testing, it would be more difficult to tell one from the other.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

Excellent pricing for a 4-door sedan even for a compact.

Conveniences and comfort:

Good selection of available features generally but the test car I drove did not have a Bluetooth phone connection. That I think should be standard on ALL brands just like seatbelts are required, so should things like Cruise Control and Bluetooth connectivity. We simply do not get along well without our cell phones and while in the car not having Bluetooth is more dangerous than no seatbelts or airbags. Cruise is a necessary feature since it helps to even out the flow of traffic by encouraging consistent speed. It is the speeding up and slowing down that causes accidents and the more radical the changes the worse the accidents.

Consumer Recommendation:

A perfect compact family sedan that is economical and a well handling car. I would surely include the VW offerings in your search. And if you can upgrade the TDI (turbo diesel) is a great option. Of course the Korean cars should impress you as well – Hyundai and Kia.

Recognized Competition:

Mitsubishi Lancer $20,000, Audi S4 $20,000, Dodge Dart SE $16,000, Ford Focus $18,000, Honda Civic LX $19,000, Hyundai Elantra $17,000, Kia Forte SX 19,000, Mazda 3 SV $17,000, Nissan Sentra S CVT $17,000, Subaru Impreza 2.0 $20,000, Toyota Corolla LE $18,000, Volkswagen Golf 2.5 4-Door $20,000,  Volkswagen GTI $25,000, Volkswagen Jetta $19,000.

Good News:

Priced well, economical to operate with about 30 mpg fuel economy, smooth CVT transmission and generally comfortablejoe.

Bad News:

No complaints.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter 168 horsepower inline 4 cylinder, continuous variable transmission, front side and side curtain airbags with driver knee airbag, LATCH system, tire pressure monitoring system, engine immobilizer, anti theft alarm, active stability  control and traction control, all wheel drive, ABS brake system with electronic brake force distribution, air condition, steering wheel mounted cruise and audio controls, audio with CD and MP3 with 4 speakers, tilt steering wheel, 8-way adjustable driver seat, heated front seats and mirrors, 60/40 fold down rear seat, power windows, locks and mirrors, 12 v outlet, remote keyless entry, auto headlights, 15” alloy wheels.

Gas Stats:

$4.29 / Gal avg.  Feb. 23, 2013

www.fueleconomy.gov

For more information.

22 City and 29 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $20,295.
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com