2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 168 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback

  • A versatile hatchback by another name, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback increases the desirability of Mitsubishi's entertaining small car by offering sports enthusiasts and shopaholics a generous cargo hold.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Practical hatchback body style, competent handling, strong performance, full array of available high-tech equipment, edgy styling.

  • Cons

    Lackluster fuel economy, subpar interior materials, awkward touchscreen interface.

  • What's New for 2010

    The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback makes its debut for 2010 as essentially a hatchback version of the Lancer offered in only the two upper trims -- the sporty GTS and the rapid Ralliart.

Full 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Review

What's New for 2010

The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback makes its debut for 2010 as essentially a hatchback version of the Lancer offered in only the two upper trims -- the sporty GTS and the rapid Ralliart.


Until now, some of the current-generation Mitsubishi Lancer's competitors offered four-door hatchback body styles while the Lancer didn't. With the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, the "triple diamond" carmaker changes all that. Yes, Sportback is just marketing speak for hatchback, a word that Americans stuck in the '80s tend to unfairly equate with functional but dull economy cars. But the reality is that the new Sportback is anything but boring, as it is offered only in the Lancer's uppermost trim levels -- the entertaining GTS and the even more capable Ralliart.

The Lancer Sportback GTS has an appealing mix of performance and value thanks to a smooth and energetic 2.4-liter inline-4, a sport-tuned suspension and welcome standard features such as Bluetooth and automatic climate control. The Lancer Sportback Ralliart takes it to the next level with 237 turbocharged horsepower, an automated dual-clutch manual transmission, all-wheel drive and an even more aggressively tuned suspension. In most respects, the Sportback mirrors the personalities of its sedan counterparts, meaning it provides communicative steering and a composed cornering attitude but suffers a bit in terms of interior quality. Of course, utility is the Sportback's calling card relative to its sedan siblings, as it offers up to a healthy 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

This dynamic duo of Lancer Sportbacks is challenged mainly by the Mazda 3 and Subaru Impreza hatches and their related high-performance variants. In our tests of the Ralliart and Impreza WRX, we found the Lancer to be sharper and more in tune with the driver's will, while the WRX offered a softer ride over the bumps. The new Mazdaspeed 3 boasts extraordinarily athletic handling along with a compliant ride, a nicely trimmed cabin and a price tag that's thousands less than the other two, and even the base Mazda 3 hatch is a thoroughly entertaining ride. All of these models are worth a look, but overall we think pretty highly of the new Sportback and its endearing collection of virtues.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is a compact four-door hatchback available in GTS and Ralliart trim levels.

The GTS comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, lower body skirting, a roof spoiler, a chrome exhaust outlet, a tilt-only steering wheel, keyless entry, full power accessories, automatic climate control, a trip computer, cruise control, sport bucket front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 60/40-split rear seat with a center armrest, manual driver-seat height adjustment, Bluetooth and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo (with steering-wheel audio controls and an auxiliary audio jack). The Ralliart ups the performance ante with a turbocharged engine, an automated dual-clutch manual transmission (with shift paddles), all-wheel drive and keyless ignition/entry.

The Sun & Sound package available on the GTS includes a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer and satellite radio. Also optional is a navigation system that features a 30GB hard drive capable of storing digital music files. The Ralliart can be outfitted with a Recaro Sport package that includes the namesake sport seats as well as the Rockford Fosgate audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

The Lancer Sportback GTS has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 168 hp and 167 pound-feet of torque. It's paired to either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The latter includes a manual mode with simulated gear ratios operated via paddle shifters. The Ralliart features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four (237 hp and 253 lb-ft), an automated dual-clutch manual transmission with shift paddles, and all-wheel drive.

Though we haven't yet tested the Sportback versions, we clocked an otherwise identical GTS sedan with a manual transmission at a quick-for-its-class 7.7 seconds in the 0-60 dash, while in the same test a Ralliart sedan turned in a sizzling 5.8-second time.

Fuel economy is subpar for this class. The GTS with the CVT is rated at 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined, while the manual version rates 20/27/22. The Ralliart is rated at 17 city/25 highway and 20 combined.


The 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback comes standard with front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, antilock four-wheel disc brakes and stability control. In our braking tests, a Lancer GTS sedan stopped from 60 mph in a scant 115 feet; the hatchback's performance should be similar.

In government frontal impact crash testing, the Lancer Sportback received a perfect five-star rating for the driver and a four-star rating for the passenger.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Lancer Sportback's interior is one of its principal weaknesses. Materials quality is on the cheap side, and the dull overall design doesn't live up to the bold statement made by the eye-catching exterior. The driving position for taller folks leaves something to be desired, with no telescoping steering wheel and little under-thigh support.

We also have mixed feelings about the touchscreen navigation system: It's well-equipped in terms of features, but its lack of volume and tuning knobs and not-quite-logical layout make operation tricky at times. Rear seat comfort is very good, though, with an impressive amount of legroom. With the seats up, the Sportback offers 13.8 cubic feet of storage. Maximum cargo capacity is either 47 cubic feet with the Ralliart or 52.7 cubes with the GTS, as the latter features an adjustable rear cargo floor.

Driving Impressions

The GTS model is an enticing choice for buyers on a budget who are looking for a more spirited driving experience than they'd find in a typical economy car. The 2.4-liter engine has adequate low-end power and a smooth, willing nature. Furthermore, the GTS's sport-tuned suspension provides unusually sharp handling for this class.

The Ralliart is built to thrill with its powerful engine and super-quick gearchanges (whether done via the column-mounted shift paddles or by the transmission itself in automatic mode). Overall, the Ralliart has an energetic, "on its toes" personality that makes for quick passing and merging maneuvers. The only caveat is that the tire fitment for the Ralliart could be better, as we've found that the capable chassis is let down by the tires' substandard grip.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Fun car... but

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

Purchased my Certified Pre-Owned Lancer GTS Sportback Ralliart iin 2013 with 28,000 miles. So far, great car to drive. 4WD is amazing. Drove this winter in Indianapolis with 8+ inches of snow and past countless SUV's and trucks. Turbo is great so far and no issues. A few problems: The car has a sport pack option which includes an aluminum gas tank cover. If you live in a colder region, avoid this option. The gas tank cover does freeze under 25F. The Rockford navigation system is a bit awkward and takes some time to adjust. Voice command inside the car is hopeless. Also the rear window in the sport back has poor visibility.


by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback GTS 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

I wanted the '11 but the selection on colors and models was outrageously slim. They say it's due to the earthquakes, which I don't doubt, but I think it's mostly because they have SO many '10 models left. MSRP was 24k, bought it for 19K (excluding tax and license)+ tint + 4 yrs free oil change. The car handles really well, the look is what sold me, storage space is ample, leather seats are a minus, the paddle shifters are fun but I think the GTS should be comparable to the SI and SPEC-V. Overall, what I got for the price is more than I could have asked for. It has the sporty but classy look I was looking for.

Just bought a 2010 sportback,

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Vehicle: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback GTS 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

So I saw the local Mitsubishi dealer had a few 2010 Mitsus still on the lot. The 2011s are on their way out so I decided to see if I could get a bargain. I found my Black on Black Lancer GTS Sportback sitting there. Why it was still there I have no idea. Beautiful car. Performs great, handles great, and I am getting great gas mileage. The dash display give plenty of MPG info to keep you driving smart and still maintains it's sporty nature. Some reviews complain about the plastics in the interior. One thing the fail to mention is that the dull finish plastics do not reflect the sun. Glare is practically non-existant in this car. I think the interior is comfortable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Not my audi tt, but

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback GTS 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

I use my Mitsubishi Lancer SB/GTS for driving to work and chores. I have an 2009 Audi TT 2.0/Quattro I drive when I'm not going to work. When I'm driving the Lancer, I often wonder where the $20k difference in price is. The Lancer has many of the same features like auto. headlights and wipers, heated leather seats, pwr windows, ABS/ATC/ASC, 4 wheel disc brakes,anti-theft system, 18" aluminum wheels(extra $850 on the TT), cruise control, paddle shifters, steering wheel mounted controls, automatic temperature control... So where is the difference? The Lancer exceeds the mpg rating. I'm averaging 30 with mixed driving. Plus the Lancers 6CD sound system puts the Audi's to shame.

Really enjoy the car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

I was looking to replace my 2004 Mazda RX8 which was no small task especially considering I didn't want a dedicated sports car. I tried a lot of cars and kept coming back to this car. It is not the fastest but the AWD, the dual clutch transmission, and the look really sold me. It is fun to drive and handles fairly well and does not beat you up with an overly stiff ride like most sporty cars. I regret not opting for the Recaro package as I have a bad back and the standard seats cause discomfort on long drives (seat upgrade is in the works). I wish it had telescoping wheel, the turn signal is ridiculously quiet, and the horn is the weakest I have ever heard. Great car for the money. Love it.

Great sports average car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback GTS 4dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

I think it's a great car. It has a good looking design. While it's not totally up to par with the Mazda3, it is still excellent. The fuel mileage is not the best, but then again it's a sports car. I've been told by the passengers that the room in the back seat is surprisingly spacious. Great stereo system. Feels great to drive

Talk About The 2010 Lancer Sportback

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Discussions See all Started By

2010 lancer sportback...

Lancer Sportback was advertised a lot during the winter Olympics. Before & after that, the Outlander commercial with the invisible people has been running. I still see the Lancer Sportback comme...

can look at my post on edmunds.com under mits lancer sportback 2010 consumer reviews for more info. That sportback is very similar to all other gts's. The only difference is the regular gts has the ...

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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