2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Sedan

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Mitsubishi Lancer Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 152 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer

  • Mitsubishi is once again a serious player in the competitive compact sedan segment with the 2008 Lancer. Its sleek new exterior and invigorated performance should appeal especially to younger buyers, while mainstream consumers will appreciate its improved build quality and impressive luxury options.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Stout chassis, confident handling, paddle-shift automatic available in GTS trim.

  • Cons

    No stability control or telescoping steering wheel, only one engine currently available.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer is completely redesigned. It hasn't grown much in size, but a sleek new exterior design, improved driving dynamics and a long list of features make the Lancer more appealing in the compact sedan class.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (16 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

So middle of the road

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I am looking for another car, and drove this tonight. Not a bad looker, but that's about it. You want slow? This is your car. Want a hard center armrest, tinny doors, clunky shifter and small backseat? This is your car. I pulled back into the dealer lot, and the salesguy asked, "So, what do you--" I cut him off with a firm, "Nope." Could be good, but long ways to go.




I love my lancer!!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I've had this car for almost a year now. I drove my pile of junk 2007 G6 all the down from NW Iowa to Kansas City to get this car. I love it!! I've had no problems except some jerk keyed it. : ( My brother ran his car along the side of it, but that's been fixed. It's sleek, sexy, faster than my Bf's Mustang. I agree a 6th gear would be nice but that's the only thing! If you want a quiet car, buy the automatic. Manuals are naturally louder. I haven't added anything to this car, yet. Also has awesome speakers. And as for the rattling in the door that's only from the junk you have in there, if you take all the CD's and stuff out it stops. Mine is black by the way. No paint chipping.




Affordable fun!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I've had the 08 Lancer ES with the sun and sound package for a year now. I've found it extremely enjoyable. I added a K+N air filter, and an axle back Flowmaster 40 series exhaust, and noticed a performance increase and MPG increase immediately. The sound system is great, gives a nice rounded sound without being overbearing. The transmission is smooth, and the car can be tossed around with relative ease. I love the interior design, there's beauty in simplicity. Everything is integrated into the dash, making it flow wonderfully. The only complaint I have is that after a year, the padding used on the rear dash to deaden rattles has worn out, causing vibrations with the music. Annoying.




There's much better

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Many complain that gas mileage is "poor under hard acceleration, no HID lights, no leather option, etc." This is an economy car people!!!! Of course mileage is bad when you drive aggressively, HID's come on cars that are typically $25K+ (as well as leather). I will review this car for exactly what it is and against it's competitors. The build quality is horrible. Paint is very bad as well. Mileage is excellent, though. Interior materials rattle, interior noise can be deafening. It's not "exciting" to drive, nor is it fast. SUV's smoked me at on-ramps. It looks good though. For the same price, VW Rabbit, Mazda 3, etc are all better choices. I got rid of my Lancer after 5 months.




Great car for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought the 08 new and have had it now for a little over a year. I have the "sun and fun" package along with the wing on the rear. The only real flaw I can think of is that the car should have had a 6th gear. Gas mileage would have been far better and the wear and tear on the engine would be reduced. I would buy it again




Love this car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I've had this car for about a year now, and I've never had ANY problems with it. Not even the paint chipping problems that some have had. The only reason I'd trade this car in, is for either the Ralliart version or Evo X.



Full 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer is completely redesigned. It hasn't grown much in size, but a sleek new exterior design, improved driving dynamics and a long list of features make the Lancer more appealing in the compact sedan class.

Introduction

Saab has been pushing a "born from jets" theme recently for its vehicles. We're not sure if it's done the company any good, but Mitsubishi apparently took inspiration from its own significant aviation history when styling the completely redesigned 2008 Lancer sedan. The Lancer's aggressive front end, with its thin-slit grille, was inspired by a jet fighter's air intakes to create what Mitsubishi calls a "shark-nosed" effect. Regardless of whether it's reminiscent of sea- or sky-born objects, the Mitsubishi Lancer is certainly a more attractive car than its predecessor. On a vehicle that competes in the often youth-oriented compact car segment, these edgy new looks, along with options like Bluetooth and navigation, should attract those looking for a little flair in their personal transportation.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer underwent more than just a face-lift, though. It's based on an all-new front-wheel-drive platform that bears some similarity to the one used for the Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass, but Mitsubishi specified its own components and tuning. With a slightly longer wheelbase, 2.5 inches more width and a much stiffer body structure, the '08 Lancer offers a more solid ride and handling feel than its predecessor.

The 2.0-liter inline-4 engine is also new, boasting variable valve timing, a lighter aluminum block and most importantly, 32 more horses. Mitsubishi's first continuously variable transmission (CVT) replaces the old four-speed automatic and actually gets 1 mpg better on the highway than the standard five-speed manual. For now, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder is the only engine available, though a Lancer Ralliart model with a larger 2.4-liter motor will be offered later on. In addition, the famous, performance-oriented Evolution variant will once again be offered.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer is further proof that economy sedans are no longer just "basic" transportation. Along with an increasing number of other models in the sub-$20,000 market, Mitsubishi's compact sedan is offered with an impressive array of high-tech features that up until recently were reserved for luxury automobiles. Keyless ignition, automatic climate control, a touchscreen navigation system, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system are just some of the niceties standard or optional on the three trim levels. Also improved this year are the look of the interior and the quality of the interior materials.

Struggling Mitsubishi is desperate for a hit in this competitive price category, and its redesigned Lancer looks like it has the basic ingredients for success. As there's only one engine choice for now, the Lancer can't match key competitors like the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 or Nissan Sentra in terms of miserly fuel economy or straight-line performance. But it does have a better warranty than those cars, and its agile handling and edgy styling are bound to appeal to young hipsters especially if they have an affection for jets or sharks.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer is a compact sedan available in DE, ES and GTS trim levels. The base DE comes with 16-inch steel wheels, rear drum brakes, tilt-only steering wheel, power windows and mirrors, tire-pressure monitor, a four-speaker CD/MP3 stereo and a trip computer. The A/C and Power Package adds ABS, air-conditioning and power door locks to the DE. The Lancer ES comes standard with the items in that package and adds 16-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, upgraded upholstery, manual driver seat height adjustment, steering-wheel audio and cruise controls, keyless entry and a 60/40-split rear seat with center armrest. The top-level GTS ups the Lancer's luxury and sport repertoire with a mild body kit with rear spoiler; 18-inch alloy wheels; a sport-tuned suspension; automatic climate control; a leather steering wheel and shifter; sport bucket front seats with different fabric; six speakers for the CD/MP3 stereo and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

The Sun & Sound Package offered on the ES and GTS includes a sunroof and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate "Punch" sound system with a six-CD/MP3 in-dash changer, auxiliary input jack and satellite radio. When equipped with the Sun & Sound Package, the GTS is also eligible for a Navigation & Technology Package that adds keyless ignition and a navigation system that features a 30GB hard drive capable of storing MP3 music files.

Powertrains and Performance

All Lancers come with a new 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that makes a respectable 152 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. In California, the Lancer is a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) with a downgraded 143 hp and 143 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, while Mitsubishi's first CVT is optional for those who'd rather not deal with a clutch (or gears). When equipped with the CVT, GTS models come with "Sportronic." This feature adds two paddles behind the steering wheel; tugging on them allows a driver to shift through six fixed ratios for optimum engine control. Fuel economy is average for this class of car. EPA estimates for 2008 are 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway for the five-speed manual and 22 city, 29 highway for the CVT.

Safety

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer comes with a solid array of airbags, including front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag. A tire-pressure monitor is standard on all models, while ABS is standard on the ES and GTS, and optional on the base DE. The ES and GTS come standard with four-wheel disc brakes, while the DE has rear drums. Stability control is not offered.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Lancer's interior is spacious, particularly in the rear seating area. The dashboard is not nearly as exciting as the Lancer's sporty, shark-nosed exterior (or the Civic's futuristic space pod layout), but buyers should appreciate its clean, straightforward design and quality materials. The long list of standard and optional features on the ES and GTS create an environment consistent with the recent (and welcome) trend of including luxury trappings in a small, economical package. One item not available, however, is a telescoping steering column a feature often standard on other models in this class.

Driving Impressions

While added weight is never a good thing for performance or fuel economy, the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer's additional 200 pounds over last year's model actually gives it a substantial, almost German sense of over-the-road confidence. The steering requires more effort than before, but it's not heavy and doesn't make the car feel cumbersome. This weightiness similarly describes the car's ride quality and chassis reactions, but in a good way. The Lancer can't be flung through corners like the top-handling cars in this segment, but its excellent grip should please buyers just looking for a sporty small sedan. Due to its weight, though, it doesn't feel especially quick with the 2.0-liter engine, so enthusiast-oriented buyers will likely want to wait for the Lancer Ralliart and its larger 2.4-liter motor.

Read our Mitsubishi Lancer Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Talk About The 2008 Lancer

Read more about the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs