2012 Mitsubishi Lancer ES
(2.0L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 6/7/2011 (2011 Lancer ES)
The Lancer ES accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds and completed the quarter-mile in 16.2 seconds @ 86.6 mph. Neither result is impressive on a macro scale. But within its segment this is strong. Its 5-speed manual doesn't like to be rushed.
This is an economy car, not a performer. It's no wonder It's all-season tires offer average grip. We generated 0.77g on the skid pad and 63.5 mph in the slalom, with lots of body roll and understeer along the way.
Ride comfort is about average for this class. The Lancer ES does a decent job sorting through road imperfections -- it's nowhere near as stiff as the Evolution line of Lancers. The seats are reasonably comfortable over long distances.
On asphalt the Lancer is fairly quiet. But concrete and other surfaces are another story, because tire noise becomes quite intrusive. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is barely detectable until engine speeds exceed about 4,000 rpm.
It's easy to find and understand the stereo and climate controls, as well as the various secondary control levers and buttons. The driving position is fairly good, but it's too bad there isn't a telescopic steering wheel for taller drivers.
Forward visibility is respectable and blindspots are minimal. A tallish trunk lid limits rearward visibility somewhat in parking situations. The Lancer could stand to have larger side mirrors, though.
Seat Access & Space
Access is quite easy for most shapes and sizes, and the front seats offer ample leg- and headroom. Rear legroom is adequate but headroom is limited by the sloping roofline.
Cargo & Storage
Door pockets are wide and fairly deep. There is a center armrest and a storage cubby between the front seats. That's about it for the passenger compartment. The trunk is reasonably spacious, and 60/40-folding rear seats add versatility.
The Lancer is well put together for a vehicle in the economy class, though the materials used (cloth, hard plastic) reflect its affordable position in the market. Our test sample didn't have any obvious assembly problems or misfit panels.
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