Purchased new in Sept. 06, after shopping all the others, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc... we picked the Lancer. There is plenty of room for the driver, I'm 6'4". Will carry 4 adults and luggage. Handles great, good performance, for a 4 dr sedan. Very comfortable for short or long drives (took a 7 day 4k mile trip) gets 25-30 mpg around town and 29-36 hwy. have over 98k miles and still runs great, with only oil changes, tires and timing belt replaced, still has factory brakes! one of the best if not the best car I have every owned/driven (have owned 36 cars/trucks)
I did not know of the exsistance of this particular Lancer model, but I was forced to research this car due to rising insurance costs. I went to the dealership and was handed the keys to the Lancer ralliart W/5 speed manual transmission, the moment I slipped the transmission into first gear and rolled away, I knew deep in my heart that my search for a car was offically over. I took a left turn out of the dealership and headed straight for the interstate where I merged into traffic with authority. The smooth clutch and short throw transmission were a pure joy to operate. Torque is present in abundance with no need to downshift to pass. The handling is telepathic and this car has a great sounding exhaust.
As of October 2010 with over 55,000 miles still loving my 2006 Lancer SE. I had to get new tires at 50,000 miles and the brakes are about due for service (at 58,000 miles!!). I used to tell people my 1993 Honda Civic was the best car I ever owned, but I think my Lancer has beat it. Nothing but regular maintenance after 55,000 miles and 4 years, incredible!
Bought the basic model. After 118K miles full tune up, oil change , tires, struts, valve cover gaskey and seals. Plus all belts minus the timing belt. Car should run great for the next few years for my only daughter. She loves the visibility in the window design as a new driver. Only issue is AC compressor went out at 103K miles and out of warranty. $750 to fix.