According to Mitsubishi, the Lancer has become a Kiwi tradition. You’re bound to know someone who owns a Lancer or has owned one in the past, and we really can’t disagree with that too. Driving around in the Lancer for three weeks in Auckland has actually opened my eyes to see how many Lancers there were out on the roads, whether it was a Lancer Evo to the Lancer LS Hatchback. They are actually pretty popular cars out on the roads!
In terms of exterior design, the Lancers are known for their fierce look especially at the front grille. The hatch is no different, and it almost could be mistaken for a wagon with its height to length ratio of the body! As mentioned before, the back seats can be split into the 60:40 configuration in the hatch for slotting in those long items such as a surfboard.
While most hatches (like the Swift/ Corolla etc.) are pretty small, this hatch is actually pretty spacious for its type. The boot space is able to be enlarged by folding down the rear seats to a 60:40 split, with a one-touch folding system. Even without splitting the seats, the boot space is already pretty generous!
The Lancer has a 2L MiVEC engine and it produces 109kW of power and 197Nm of torque, at a theoretical, manufacturer’s fuel consumption rate of 7.2L/100KM. During my three weeks’ time with the Lancer LS driving around town and rural areas namely the Kumeu area, I managed to get an average of 7.9L/100KM which was taken just before each refuelling. Speaking of power, the Lancer LS did struggle with acceleration with 5 people in the car. It was also noticeably loud when it went up the rev counter, due to the amount of power it required to accelerate.
The LS is the most basic model of the Lancer fleet, with a regular key to start the engine, no auto rain sensing wipers, no auto headlights, and fabric seats (which don’t feel cold when sitting on them in the early hours of the morning)! It does have the usual 5-star ANCAP safety rating (I mean, even if a car has 4 and a half stars it is still not good enough), 7 airbags, Bluetooth Handsfree phone system, power windows and cruise control as the most tech in it. The next model up, the Lancer GSR (Hatch and Sedan) come with the added 16″ machine finished alloys, leather steering wheel and 2 extra speakers in the car (tweeters) to make it a total of 6 speakers. At the time of driving this vehicle, there was another higher up model to the Lancer called the SEi model. However, that seems to have disappeared off the radar for now.
There is however, a limited edition model of the Lancer: the Lancer GTI. There are only 180 units of this model and it features an enhanced 2.4L engine providing 123kW of power and 223Nm of torque, 18″ alloy wheels and enhanced sports suspension. The interior resembles mainly of the Lancer GSR model with the addition of paddle shifts, cloth sports seats and include performance pedals which are light alloy with a high-grip surface. You will know a Lancer GTI on the road when you see its specialised decals on the outside of the vehicle.
The Lancer LS had good handling around corners and the steering was fair. This is due to the hydraulic power steering found in these models, as opposed to the newer electric power steering found in higher end models.
The 6.1″ infotainment system on this vehicle was a typical Mitsubishi system, starting to get a bit dated. However, it just works and there’s no fuss when switching to radio, phone or Bluetooth. Trying to call a number from the phonebook is not very user friendly, but I’ve heard and seen great improvements to this in their new infotainment system which can be seen in their Pajero Sport and the new Outlander. The new system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay!
A hassle I did have with the infotainment system was when the reversing camera came on. Due to the nature of the type of screen Mitsubishi have used, it meant the reversing camera could not be seen at all in broad sunlight. Whether the sun was too bright or the screen was too dim, you could not see the camera virtually making it ineffective for use.
In conclusion the Mitsubishi Lancer is a decent vehicle to take around town: do the shopping run, the school run, the after-school activities run due to its good fuel economy. While the Lancers are not considered to be a high-end luxurious car, for a RRP of $30,000 plus, it is a great new vehicle to be considered for future purchase. You would also be covered by one of the country’s most comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty, valid for up to 10 years! It’s decent performance, style, safety and practicality, makes it a very viable choice and no wonder it is a Kiwi tradition to own a Lancer!
For more information, please visit: https://www.mmnz.co.nz/lancer