People always associate the Mitsubishi Lancer with the super-hot Evo variants, but the ordinary car has long provided sensible, experience-free transport. And this is the new Evo X’s dowdy sister, now available with saloon and five-door hatchback bodystyles.
Behind the contemporary styling the proportions look a bit unusual, but a bold grille, sporty sill extensions and a tail spoiler give some visual links between this four-door GS3 and the star-turn Evo. Modern mechanicals and a fairly generous equipment count should tempt a much wider audience than that which went for the old car.
The four door saloon tested here will remain relatively rare - it’s the five door Sportback, out this summer, that will be the mainstay seller - but mechanically they are the same. Larger-than-average dimensions also provide it usefully more cabin space than most of its competitors in the Focus/ Golf segment.
What’s it like?
Mitsubishi has chosen not to aim too high – pitching the Lancer as a rival to the Mazda 3. And, like the Mazda, the Mitsubishi drops points for having a hard-feel dashboard in place of the soft-feel interiors of the class leaders, and you also feel short-changed by a steering column that only adjusts for rake and stepped seat recliners – the combination makes it hard to find a perfect driving position.