2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Sedan

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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 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 120 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer

  • Although the Lancer ES, SE and O-Z Rally models are underpowered, the more powerful Ralliart is worth a look if you're shopping for a fun-to-drive economy sedan with an inviting cabin.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Spacious and nicely appointed interior, smooth power delivery, comfortable ride, spirited acceleration in Ralliart model.

  • Cons

    Weak acceleration on ES, SE and O-Z Rally models, small trunk.

  • What's New for 2006

    All 2006 Mitsubishi Lancers receive new front fascias, daytime running lamps, a front-seat occupant sensor for airbag deployment and new seat fabrics for 2006. The ES model gets new wheel covers and a rear stabilizer bar, while the Ralliart now features standard side-impact airbags. Antilock brakes become optional for the ES and O-Z Rally. Late in the model year, a new trim level -- the SE -- debuts. It slots between the ES and O-Z Rally.

Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Excellent car for price

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

I bought my car in 2005 with 12000 miles on it. I am now crossing the150k mark. I have not had any major issues. I have performed all recommended maitaince. The only major repair so fair was a LF inner wheel which was done last year at 125K miles. I am now routinely making 1200 mile round trips to another state and this car powers through the drive. Pretty good for it's value, not the prettiest car on the road but if you are looking for good value for your money then this is it. I still get an average of 25 miles in town. On my last trip out of state I did 30miles/gallon on highways.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Value value value

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

I've owned my Ralliart since January of 2005. I am about to cross the 90k mile marker, and I can honestly say every single mile has been a blast. You wont find a comparable 2005 of any make that can touch the value of this car. Other comparable cars have higher peak hp numbers (only slightly higher too), but cant match the ralliart torque. What other 2005 under $20k can do a standing burnout without bouncing off the rev limiter? What other car comes from the FACTORY with an upper suspension brace?

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car!

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

I bought this car in 1yr after it came out and it only had 12miles on it. I've had it for 6yrs now and never had a problem with it. (During those 6yrs my spouse went through 2 cars). It is the most reliable car ever. Just keep up with regular maintenance and you should have no problems.

Most reliable i have ever

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

So here is the deal. I have had a slew of other cars and non of them can match up to the reliability and fuel mileage of this car. I have owned it for about 3 years and I have only had to do the basic maintenance stuff (Brakes, tires etc). I also get 38 MPG at 65 mph on the highway and about 30-32 around town. Not sure why anyone who wants a small car would spend thousands more on a civic or corolla when this car is just as good or better in some regards.

Great car, bad company

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

Bought this car new for myself, drove the wheels off and enjoyed this car completely. It had a 10 year 100k mile warranty that was rather reassuring but when the motor blew, Mitsubishi refused to honor the warranty. I will never again purchase anything Mitsubishi and I advise all to heed this caveat.

Great, fun to drive &

by on
Vehicle: 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer

I purchased this car used, as I had a limited budget. The dealer was selling it below kbb value and the carfax was clean, so I wanted to see why. I test-drove it and didn't want to let it go. Everything was clean inside, and was in excellent working condition. The car is very strong, you won't even notice that you're doing 70-80 already unless you look at the speedometer. The shifter is sweet! Short throw and a perfect match to the engine. I also liked the exhaust note. The former owner of the car customized the sound system of the car, so that was an added bonus too. I am planning on keeping this car until it's at least 10 years old already. I am totally happy with this car!


Full 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Review

What's New for 2006

All 2006 Mitsubishi Lancers receive new front fascias, daytime running lamps, a front-seat occupant sensor for airbag deployment and new seat fabrics for 2006. The ES model gets new wheel covers and a rear stabilizer bar, while the Ralliart now features standard side-impact airbags. Antilock brakes become optional for the ES and O-Z Rally. Late in the model year, a new trim level -- the SE -- debuts. It slots between the ES and O-Z Rally.


Introduced in 2002 as a replacement for the aged Mirage sedan, the Mitsubishi Lancer came to market boasting upscale style and more rear-seat room than most of its rivals. Apart from that, there was really nothing that separated the Mitsubishi Lancer from the Civics, Corollas, Sentras and Elantras slugging it out in the economy sedan arena, especially since the only engine choice was a weak 120-horsepower four-cylinder. An effort was made (and still is today) to market the O-Z Rally as a sporty sedan, but with just the base engine, it remains all-show and no-go. For 2004, continuing its quest for young, active buyers, Mitsubishi introduced a new compact wagon known as the Sportback and brought out more powerful Ralliart versions of both the sedan and the wagon. For 2005, Mitsubishi discontinued the Sportback wagons, leaving only the sedans once again. The lone remaining Ralliart sedan model still offers 162 horsepower, quite a boost over the base 120.

Ralliart is Mitsubishi's international performance brand, engineered by the same people who worked on Mitsubishi's high-performance Lancer Evolution sedan. Mitsubishi uses the Ralliart sedan to grab a little market share in the econosport sedan and hatchback group. In service of this mission, the Lancer Ralliart has a sport-tuned suspension for tighter handling in the turns.

Despite their well-appointed interiors and smooth ride quality, the base, SE and O-Z Rally models handle a little too sloppily for our taste, and their lack of power doesn't help matters. The Lancer Ralliart, with its more potent motor, better suspension and standard safety features, is a much better choice. These aspects, combined with an attractive interior, make the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer a pretty compelling small sedan.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer sedan is available in four trim levels: ES, SE, O-Z Rally and Ralliart. ES sedans come with items like 15-inch wheels; air-conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; a tilt steering wheel; a height-adjustable driver seat; and a CD player. The SE adds alloy wheels, chrome door handles (inside and out), Alcantara seating, power sunroof, cruise control, keyless entry, intermittent wipers and six-speaker audio. The O-Z Rally trim adds O-Z Rally alloy wheels, ground effects, white-faced gauges, cruise control, a split-folding rear seat, keyless entry, unique interior trim and embroidered floor mats. Top-of-the-line Ralliart models add foglamps, lower body kit moldings, 16-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and sport seats. The ES can be had with most of the O-Z's additional equipment through a convenience package, and O-Z Rally and Ralliart buyers can further upgrade with the Sun and Sound package, which provides a power sunroof and a 315-watt Infinity stereo.

Powertrains and Performance

The ES, SE and O-Z Rally sedans are powered by a 120-horsepower, 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder. The Ralliart sedan upgrades to a 2.4-liter engine tuned to produce 162 hp and 162 pound-feet of. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on all models, with a four-speed automatic available as an option.


Antilock brakes and side airbags are standard on the Ralliart models, and optional on the ES, SE and O-Z Rally. In NHTSA crash testing, the 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer scored five (out of five) stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side-impact tests, the Lancer received a subpar two-star rating for front-occupant protection (without side airbags) and four stars for rear-occupant protection. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the Lancer received a "Good" rating (the highest possible). In IIHS side-impact testing, a Lancer without side airbags received a "Poor" rating (the lowest).

Interior Design and Special Features

The Lancer's interior is surprisingly stylish and constructed with quality materials. This car also has one of the roomiest cabins in its class. Rear-seat legroom, at 36.6 inches, comes close to what many midsize sedans offer. Ralliart models provide an all-black interior with carbonlike accents and sport bucket front seats.

Driving Impressions

Like its Galant sibling, the smooth-riding Mitsubishi Lancer does a fine job of isolating passengers from nasty jolts on the roadway. Base models provide adequate power around town, but highway travel will make you wish you had more than 120 hp. With 162 horses to go around, the Ralliart model is much more enjoyable, especially when equipped with the slick-shifting five-speed manual. Although standard Lancers offer modest handling capability, the sport-tuned Ralliart model has sharper reflexes and is fun to drive.


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