Mitsubishi 2012 models

Mitsubishi 2012 models DEFAULT

2012 Mitsubishi Lancer: new value-priced all-wheel control Lancer SE plus new features for entire model lineup

In the highly competitive automobile market, Mitsubishi has been able to stay ahead of its peers by maintaining the industry's most comprehensive sports sedan compact car line up available today.

Ever since its introduction in 1973, the Mitsubishi Lancer has been known for its exceptional reliability, engineering and value - without sacrificing performance. From the affordably-priced Lancer DE right up through the incomparable agility and speed of the incredible Lancer Ralliart, the Japanese auto manufacturer has an attractively-styled and well-equipped version of their well-rounded 5-passenger compact sports sedan to suit just about any consumer shopping for a new car.

New for the 2012 model year is the Lancer SE - an exciting new iteration that combines Mitsubishi's legendary All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system with an eye-opening low price.

New for 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer

All-New Lancer SE with All-Wheel Control
The 2012 Lancer SE includes Mitsubishi's advanced All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system at an exceptionally-low price point that's sure to make it a hit in the snow country sections of the United States, providing excellent traction and inspiring driver confidence in adverse weather conditions.

DE Model Upgrades
The entry-level Lancer DE - already chock-full of welcome standard features and innovative safety technologies - receives a helpful up-shift light to signal the driver when to change gears for optimal fuel efficiency as well as a new design for its 16-inch wheel covers for 2012.

ES Model Upgrades
A Mitsubishi best-seller, the Lancer ES enjoys new equipment including the 16-inch wheel cover design included on the 2012 DE model but also gains stylish new fabric for its seating surfaces and instrument panel trim plus helpful “ECO” and up-shift indicator lights to help the driver maximize fuel efficiency.

The available Deluxe package now adds a sharply-styled lower chrome grille section as well as improved soft touch upper door trim and high contrast meters with color LCD display.

GT Model Upgrades
Formerly the GTS, the Lancer GT sees the addition of a handsome new 18-inch alloy wheel, improved seating fabric as well as the aggressively-styled front clip from the high-performance Lancer Ralliart model added to its impressive list of standard equipment. The Touring package adds the convenience of a backup camera with display inset in the rearview mirror.

Ralliart Model Upgrades
The high-zoot 2012 Lancer Ralliart now includes a new 18-inch alloy wheel design while the Touring package adds a handy backup camera with display housed within the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The 2012 Lancer is the Answer

The Mitsubishi Lancer is such a refined and well-engineered vehicle that its chassis serves as the global underpinning for both the rally championship-winning, Lancer Evolution ultra-high-performance turbocharged sports sedan as well as the Mitsubishi Outlander crossover utility vehicle (CUV) - highly regarded vehicles in the eyes of both consumers and the automotive media alike.

And with such forward-thinking fuel-efficient technologies as Electric Power Steering (EPS) and a capable, normally-aspirated 148 horsepower 16-valve 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine that features Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) for improved power production and reduced exhaust emissions (Lancer DE and ES models), the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer achieves an outstanding EPA fuel economy rating of 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway with the CVT.

Included amenities found on the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer include a 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) control and 4 speakers, speed compensated volume and equalization control; power door locks and mirrors with driver-side auto up/down; a tilt-adjusted steering column, 4-way adjustable driver's seat; remote keyless entry and anti--theft engine immobilizer; and a convenient 12-volt power outlet in the center console - the latter item perfect for recharging a cell phone or a hand-held GPS.

Welcome standard exterior features and design touches include auto-off reflector-type halogen headlamps, black slotted-mesh grille with black surround, side air dams, and clear and black tail lights.

Safety is always of utmost importance, so Mitsubishi engineers have loaded every Lancer model sold in the United States with a plethora of the latest and greatest safety technologies and innovations. These include advanced tool-stage front air bags with the occupants seek position sensor; side-impact head protection curtain air bags; front seat-mounted side air bags; driver's side knee air bag; anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL); a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); height-adjustable headrests and three-point seat belts for all three rear seating positions.

These advanced safety features, along with Mitsubishi's highly effective Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) energy-absorbing body construction in the event of an impact, has made the Lancer compact sports sedan an award-winning “TOP SAFETY PICK” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) several years running (Note: Results pending for 2012 model Lancer).

The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer is available in 6 eye-popping colors: Wicked White, Apex Silver Metallic, Graphite Gray Pearl, Rally Red, Octane Blue Pearl and Tarmac Black Pearl.

All-New 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer SE with All-Wheel Control (AWC)

An exciting all-new entry into the expansive 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer model range is the all-wheel drive Lancer SE.

The new Lancer SE is tailor-made for residents of cold weather climates that are looking for a versatile and affordably-price sports sedan that provides the enhanced tractability, performance and peace of mind of an all-wheel drive system like Mitsubishi's highly regarded technologically-advanced All-Wheel Control has to offer.

Standard amenities on every 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer SE include heated front seats and side mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels and an aesthetically pleasing chrome lower grille.

Powering the all-new 2012 Lancer SE that comes equipped with All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive is a potent 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that includes MIVEC variable valve-timing technology to produce a full 168 horsepower. What's more, the new value-oriented Lancer SE features an advanced continuously-variable transmission (CVT) that further aids fuel efficiency and performance.

2012 Lancer GT and Ralliart: Performance Sports Sedans Ready for Takeoff

Aimed at the automotive connoisseur in the hunt for a luxury-laden 4-door that offers sports car-like performance, the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer GT and the Lancer Ralliart are right on target.

Like the all-new all-wheel drive Lancer SE model, the 2012 Lancer GT features a potent 168 bhp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine under its hood. But in this instance the performance-oriented GT is available with either a precise-shifting 5-speed manual gearbox or with the optional continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with INVEC-III (Intelligent & Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control system) that "learns" a driver's particular driving manner to better execute shift performance. The CVT-equipped Lancer GT also includes Sportronic® shifting via magnesium-alloy steering wheel paddle shifters for the ultimate in driver enjoyment and control.

Other included amenities on the 2012 Lancer GT are newly designed 18-inch alloy wheels, new interior fabric and instrument panel trim, the sporty front fascia from the Lancer Ralliart model, sport-tuned suspension, a 6 speaker audio system, sport front bucket seats, automatic climate control, Mitsubishi's FAST-key with panic feature and leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake.

For the 2012 model year, the Lancer GT features a backup camera with a display screen house within the rearview mirror on the available Touring package. The Touring package on the Lancer GT includes leather seating surfaces and front seat heaters, power glass sunroof, auto on/off headlamp control, auto-off Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and a premium 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate® sound system with 10-inch subwoofer, 6 CD/MP3 in-head unit and SIRIUS® satellite radio with 3-month prepaid service.

For all-out performance and features, the 2012 Lancer Ralliart rests atop the Japanese auto manufacturers compact sports sedan pyramid.

Powered by a 237 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled MIVEC-equipped 4-cylinder engine and a lightning-fast 6-speed automated manual Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST), the Lancer Ralliart's athletic ability reaches new heights thanks to the inclusion of advanced Mitsubishi electronic driver aids such as full-time all-wheel control (AWC) with Active Center Differential (ACD) along with a front helical limited-slip differential, a rear limited-slip differential and Hill Start Assist (HSA), the latter element allowing the vehicle to remain in a stationary position on the slope for several seconds after the driver removes their foot from the brake pedal and implements the accelerator pedal.

Standard amenities on the 2012 Lancer Ralliart model above and beyond the Lancer GT's equipment package include premium sport fabric seating surfaces, an aluminum hood with heat extractor vent, chrome side lower door molding, and leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, shift knob and shift boot. Like the Lancer GT, the Lancer Ralliart has an optional Touring package that adds a backup camera system with display screen inside the rearview mirror for the 2012 model year.


2012 Mitsubishi Lancer

The Mitsubishi Lancer offers an enticing range of compact cars from practical economy to sensible all-wheel-drive sedan to sporty liftback to rally rocket. The Lancer sports a tidy, sleekish shape with a bold and distinctive shark mouth. Its interior is clean, seating is comfortable, instrumentation is blessedly simple.

Good engines give it good value, with its base model bringing 26/34 miles per gallon City/Highway, according to the EPA. Seven airbags, including one for the driver's knee, help make it safe, in addition to anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and the mandated tire pressure monitor. Lancer was last redesigned for the 2008 model year.

The 2012 Lancer SE is a new model. It uses Mitsubishi's all-wheel drive system called AWC (all-wheel control), with the proven 2.4-liter engine making 168 horsepower. Ready for the Snow Belt, the Lancer SE comes with heated seats and mirrors.

The base Lancer DE is not bare bones, with its power doors and windows, keyless entry and auto halogen headlamps, but it lacks air conditioning, folding rear seat, and cruise control. Lancer DE uses the good 148-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that features Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) with double overhead cams and 16 valves.

Driving gets more civilized with the Lancer ES with air conditioning and better seats, front and rear. For 2012, Lancer ES gets new interior fabric and instrument panel trim. The Lancer ES Sportback is a smooth-looking 5-door. We found the Lancer ES offers decent steering response and tracks well through corners, with no excessive body lean.

The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer GT is last year's GTS model with a changed name. It uses Mitsubishi's excellent 2.4-liter engine, a gem of a powerplant, coupled with a sweet 5-speed gearbox or 6-step CVT (continuously variable transmission) with paddle shifters that's rated 23/30 mpg. We got good seat time in a Lancer Sportback GT 5-speed with front air dam and rear spoiler, looking sleek in Graphite Gray Pearl and 10-spoke alloy wheels. Lancer GT is compelling for its good looks, enjoyable driving characteristics and fuel economy. If you don't need all-wheel drive or turbocharged acceleration, the GT is the one, especially as a Sportback with its great cargo area.

The all-wheel-drive Lancer Ralliart moves into high-performance land with an intercooled and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine making 237 horsepower, and showcasing Mitsubishi's racy 6-speed twin-clutch automated manual transmission. The 2012 Lancer Ralliart is available only as a sedan, with flared fenders, hood scoop, vents like shark gills, optional Recaro seats. The sharkmouth gets a chrome ring that shines it up to make it look more like silver lipstick on a largemouth bass.

The Lancer Evolution, or Evo, pumps out 291 horsepower. Sedan only, with 5-speed Evolution GSR model, or with 6-speed twin-clutch Evolution MS, which adds Bilstein shocks and lighter brake rotors. Have fun at the track, your car is ready.

Model Lineup

The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer DE ($15,695) comes with a 2.0-liter engine with variable valve timing making 148 horsepower, cloth upholstery, AM/FM/CD/MP3 with four speakers, power doors and windows, halogen headlamps. Air conditioning is optional. (All New Car Test Drive prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)

Lancer ES ($16,995) comes with a 5-speed gearbox, and ES Sportback ($18,395) comes with a 6-step CVT with paddle shifters. Standard equipment includes premium fabric upholstery, air conditioning, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, power door locks with keyless remote, 16-inch wheels, rear stabilizer bar, six-way adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seatback with folding center armrest, front map lights, floor mats, the auto-up driver-side window, silver interior accents, body-color outside mirror housings and door handles, anti-theft security alarm and pre-wired Bluetooth. ES options include a power sunroof and 710-watt, nine-speaker, Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system. The Sport Aero Package ($850), Rear Lip Spoiler ($290) and Sport Accent ($295) give it an Evo look.

Lancer SE ($20,195) is the new model for 2012. It uses Mitsubishi's all-wheel drive system called AWC (all-wheel control), with the proven 2.4-liter engine making 168 horsepower. It adds heated seats and mirrors to the ES equipment.

Lancer GT ($19,845) and GT Sportback ($21,345) feature a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 168 horsepower, rear disc brakes replacing the drums in the ES, a 5-speed manual gearbox or optional CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) using Sportronic manual shifting with steering-wheel paddles. Only the CVT comes with the Sportback. A 140-watt 6-speaker sound system is standard, along with sport bucket seats. The sport-tuned suspension is tied to 18-inch alloy wheels.

Lancer Ralliart ($27,995), sedan only, gets a 237-hp 2.0-liter intercooled turbocharged engine, while its suspension and brakes are upgraded from the GTS. It uses a six-speed twin-clutch automated manual called the TC-SST, with Normal and Sport modes. Automatic climate control is standard, along with sport bucket seats with unique fabric surfaces, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Also standard: six-speaker audio, aero package with front air dam, lower side air dams and rear spoiler, factory-installed fog lights, P215/45R18 tires on alloy wheels. Options include a Navigation & Technology package with GPS-based navigation system storing mapping data on a 40GB hard disk drive, with 10GB set aside for personally recorded audio files, to be played on the optional 710-watt 9-speaker Rockford-Fosgate audio system with Sirius satellite radio.

Lancer Evolution comes in two models, the GSR ($34,495) with 5-speed gearbox or the MR ($37,695) with 6-speed twin-clutch, plus BBS forged alloy wheels, Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs and big rear spoiler. Evo standard equipment includes automatic climate control, Recaro seats, 140-watt six-speaker audio system, power windows and locks and keyless entry, and Yokohama performance tires on 18-inch alloy wheels. Options include navigation, Bluetooth, 710-watt 9-speaker Rockford-Fosgate sound system, and HID headlamps.

Safety features for all Lancer models include front air bags, side airbags in front, side curtain air bags, a driver's knee air bag, and tire pressure monitor. Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution is also standard, along with Active Stability Control. Front seatbelts have pretensioners and force limiters to help position users for maximum protection from airbags in crashes. Rear seats incorporate child safety seat anchors and tethers (LATCH). Available all-wheel control enhances safety in slippery conditions. The 2012 Lancer earns the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick, with its best rating in high-speed frontal impact, high-speed side impact, and rear impact.


The Mitsubishi Lancer is a lovely car, whether you see its snout as being wicked like a shark, or just gaping like a largemouth bass. The body-colored front bumper perfectly splits it up and minimizes its extreme. Angular headlamps top off the look with exoticism.

The GT used to be cleaner than the Ralliart, which outlines the grille with a chrome ring, like silver lipstick on a fish. But in 2012 the GT gets the Ralliart grille. Although not the Ralliart's cool aluminum hood with an inset scoop for the turbocharger intercooler, and two functional vents that do resemble shark gills. The Ralliart also has flared fenders that house low profile tires. Its 18-inch alloy wheels are a new design for 2012, and, to us at least, aren't as pretty as the previous 10-spoke wagon-wheel wheels.

The angular taillamps have that same exotic-eyes look as the headlights, wrapping around the edges of the car. The rear deck is quite short, and clean on the ES and SE sedans; while the GT and Ralliart have a spoiler wing that's so big it nearly fills up the trunk lid. It's not unattractive, but it is overkill. The GT has one chrome tailpipe, the Ralliart two.

The Sportback body style has a properly discreet spoiler over the liftgate. Among the Lancer's 5-door rivals, namely Mazda3, Subaru Impreza, and VW Golf, the Sportback has the best and least boxy lines. Its silhouette is sharp and tidy, and the overall lines are sweet, maybe less edgy. It looks good in Graphite Gray Pearl, and Octane Blue Pearl catches the eye.

As for the Evo, the nose borders on brutish, with a deep spoiler that does double duty, shoving the onrushing air out of the way to keep the front tires firmly planted while forcing cooling air past a sporty black mesh into the intercooler and radiator. Shark headlamps curl around the fenders in a stylistic optical illusion masking the longish front overhang. Ducts in the hood serve dual purposes (like the chin spoiler), vacuuming hot air out of the engine compartment to cool the engine and reducing lift.

Interior Features

There's nothing not to like about the interior of the Mitsubishi Lancer, starting with the upholstery and trim that are new for 2012. The overall feel for the driver in each model is just right. The sport bucket seats on the Lancer GT are comfortable, afford an excellent seating position, and are made of a handsome rugged cloth (one reason the GT gets our bang for the buck nod). Same can be said on a smaller scale about the more pedestrian seats in the Lancer SE. The optional Recaro seats in the Ralliart are too tight for everyday comfort unless you're small; however on the track they're terrific, so we like them on the Evo.

The leather wrap on the GT steering wheel is sweet, and the wheel is perfectly sized for sporty driving. The GT interior is trimmed in faux carbon fiber, titanium plastic that's stylish and clean, although not expensive looking. There's good rearward visibility, although the big rear wing on winged models blocks visibility out the rear window. Cubbies and console compartments are good and plentiful, including big ones in front of the shift lever. There are cupholders between the front seats and in the front door pockets, which are good but not especially deep.

The dash is graceful. The gauges are tasteful, white-on-black with silver rims. The tach and speedo have eaves, a double-hump visor on the dash that provides shade for the rectangular digital readout that's between them, so you can read its red letters in the sun. It offers the usual information, miles traveled and distance to empty and such, but, in the Ralliart with the 6-speed twin-clutch transmission, it's most immediately useful to show the gear you're in, clearly and always correctly.

Both the Ralliart twin-clutch and the CVT are shifted with butterfly paddles behind the steering wheel, which are big enough to reach without moving your hands when you're holding the wheel in the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock position. The CVT in the SE is one of the sharpest we've felt. Some are awful (e.g. the Scion iQ) and some are acceptable; the Lancer is on the high end of acceptable.

Rear-seat room is adequate, relative to other cars this size. There isn't much knee room in the otherwise comfortable rear seat, although ingress and egress is good. The fold-down, center armrest in the Lancer ES and GT is more stable than it looks, meaning everyday driving isn't likely to spill the kids' drinks out of their cupholders. The console is deep under the armrest. In terms of roominess, the Lancer is comparable to that of the other cars in its class. Trunk space is also mid-pack. We would have liked a catch to open the trunk, not just the remote with keyless access.

The navigation system is easy to operate. Our 2012 Lancer SE had the optional $2295 navigation package, using a 4×8 screen that also displayed other information. We fell in love with its operational ease, the simplicity of finding things like fuel mileage (27.1 mpg at a steady 75 mph) and distance to empty. It offers some things we weren't sure we needed, such as a maintenance calendar and the car's rolling latitude and longitude, and Trip Environment offers you a graph showing outside temperature every five minutes, which is a bit much; but there's also an altimeter in there, and that's kind of cool. We never did figure out the icon with floating figures like a whole team of happy astronauts on a spacewalk.

One thing we didn't like was the lack of knobs to tune the radio. Carmakers haven't figured out yet that buttons are not safe like knobs because they require more concentration, time, and your eyes. You can't grab a button, so your tuning finger bounces unless the pavement is perfectly smooth. However, the Lancer uses simple old-fashioned climate control knobs, hooray.

The optional 710-watt 9-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system sounds terrific, with crisp highs.

Driving Impressions

The Lancer DE and ES 2.0-liter engine with variable valve timing is a good one, and so is the 5-speed manual transmission, so it's a very fun car. Although with just 148 horsepower, you have to stay on top of it because ample acceleration isn't always there. The CVT seems to rob some punch, but with the magnesium-alloy paddles working the 6-step CVT in manual mode, it still feels lively enough.

We found the Lancer ES smooth, spirited and sporty. Around-town handling is nimble, and cornering is taut at speeds inside the box. The ride is comfortable. Although the Honda Civic feels smoother and the Mazda3 more challenging.

The Lancer GT and SE use a 2.4-liter engine with 20 more horsepower, and it's a big difference. It revs to a sweet 6500 rpm. You can relax at the throttle, because when you boot it, it will catch right back up and then some. We'd even say the acceleration is great, for a car like this. The torque is strong.

The brakes are nicely sensitive, and the pedal has excellent feel. The 5-speed gearbox is positive, easy to shift with solid clutch action. With the larger 2.4 there's enough power that you can definitely feel front-wheel torque steer under hard acceleration. The Lancer ES is quiet and smooth on the freeway, where 80 mph feels like 70, and that's saying something for a small car with a four-cylinder engine. The eye-catching 10-spoke alloy wheels are shod with P215/45R18 Dunlop all-season tires.

Handling is tight and quick enough, and the ride offers no jolts or surprises. We enjoyed driving both the GT and SE in every situation we encountered, including some light snow with the all-wheel-drive SE. Mitsubishi calls it AWC, or All Wheel Control, because it incorporates their traction control. New for 2012, the Lancer SE is intended for buyers in winter climes. The AWC can be adjusted by the driver, for 2WD, 4WD and lock. So you can stay in 2WD for better mileage, as we did to achieve a 27.1 mpg average.

The Ralliart brings performance all-wheel drive, and ups the horsepower ante. It uses the GT suspension and brakes, upgraded a bit, with speed-rated Yokohama tires. It takes on an all-aluminum 2.0-liter intercooled turbocharged engine making 237 horsepower. There's only one transmission, the 6-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission. The TC-SST is essentially a manual transmission without a clutch pedal. This twin clutch design now prevails as the method for shifting manual transmissions without a clutch pedal, either automatically or with paddles. Many are built by the German company Getrag, but Mitsubishi builds its own.

The Ralliart's ride can sometimes feel too firm on the street and wear on you, especially when equipped with the optional Recaro seats.

The Ralliart's electronic all-wheel-drive system, or AWC, can be set for Gravel, Snow or Tarmac, but the system is not as encompassing as the Evo's Super All-Wheel Control. The Ralliart also lacks the Evo's track-ready suspension. So it doesn't handle like an Evo. When driven hard in slower corners, the Ralliart will understeer and even lurch as its tires try to bite the asphalt. This happens before the electronic stability control kicks in. The difference is apparently in the simple All-Wheel Control versus Super All-Wheel control in the Evo, plus the softer GT suspension.

On the road with the Ralliart in Washington's Cascade Mountains, we found the Sport Manual mode worked exceptionally well in the TC-SST, providing sharper downshifts and quicker upshifts; and Normal Drive works so smoothly you can scarcely feel the relaxed upshifts. But Sport Drive confuses the transmission; it upshifts and downshifts at inconvenient times, inconsistently. The fourth possible mode, Normal Manual, is pretty much a contradiction, unless you just like to play with the paddles. So we preferred Sport Manual for sporty driving, Normal Drive for around town. We found that it takes a couple blocks on cold mornings for the transmission to shake off some sluggishness.

As for the 291-hp Evo, we think it's simply the best. The Evo X (as in 10) is heavier and has a bit less horsepower than its main rival, the Subaru WRX STI, but it feels more precise and nimble. You won't find a car that's more at home on the track than the Evo, especially not for less than $40,000. It's very easy to drive the Evo very hard.

More serious than the Ralliart, the Evo uses forged aluminum control arms, a quick steering ratio, and big brakes with four-piston front calipers, plus that higher level of stability control. The Super All-Wheel Control integrates all of the electronic dynamic controls, including Active Center Differential and Active Yaw Control in the rear differential.

Its TC-SST has an extra mode, called Sport Plus, for the track. You can turn the stability control entirely off, and it still feels balanced on the track, in this case Pacific Raceways near Seattle. We hit 140 on the sweeping bend on the front straight, and the Evo tracked steady where a lot of race cars do a scary twitch. The four-piston Brembos slowed it down to 70 for the turn at the end of the straight, quickly and without drama. And repeatedly, without fading.


Mitsubishi has everyone covered in the compact class with the 148-hp Lancer ES for those wanting economy; the 168-hp GT for those with spirit; the all-wheel-drive SE for those in snowy places; the 237-hp Ralliart for those feeling bold; and the 291-hp Evo for those with a need for speed. The GT is especially compelling for its price, fuel mileage, driving characteristics, and good looks. If you don't need all-wheel drive, turbocharged acceleration or rigid cornering, the GT has the style of the Evo for half as much. And if you do need all-wheel drive but not high performance, the SE is for you. correspondent Sam Moses drove the Lancer GT and SE in the Pacific Northwest and the Ralliart and Evo at Pacific Raceways near Seattle; Tom Lankard drove the Lancer ES in Santa Monica and Evo in Phoenix; Mitch McCullough drove the Evo at Firebird Raceway near Phoenix.

Model Line Overview
Model lineup:Mitsubishi Lancer DE ($15,695), ES ($16,995), ES Sportback ($18,395), GT ($19,845), GT Sportback ($21,345), SE ($20,195), Ralliart ($27,995), Evolution GSR ($34,495), Evolution MS ($37,695)
Engines:148-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 168-hp 2.4-liter four cylinder, 237-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 291-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions:5-speed manual; 6-step CVT, 6-speed manual, 6-speed twin clutch automated manual
Safety equipment (standard):front air bags, side airbags in front, side curtain air bags, driver's knee air bag, tire pressure monitor, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control
Safety equipment (optional):all-wheel drive
Basic warranty:5 years/60,000 miles
Assembled in:Japan
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSPR):Mitsubishi Lancer SE Sedan ($20,195)
Standard equipment:168-horsepower 2.4-liter I4 engine; 6-step CVT, all-wheel-drive, premium fabric upholstery with heated seats, automatic climate control, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls, 6-way driver's seat, 60/40 fold-down rear seat, AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system, Bluetooth, halogen headlamps, heated mirrors, 16-inch wheels, power doors, locks, windows, and keyless entry
Options as tested (MSPR):Navigation package with music server ($2295)
Destination charge:$795
Gas guzzler tax:N/A
Price as tested (MSPR):$23285
Layout:all-wheel drive
Engine:2.4-liter DOHC inline-4
Horsepower (lb.-ft @ rpm):168 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft @ rpm):167 @ 4100
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:22/29 mpg
Wheelbase:103.7 in.
Length/width/height:180/69.4/58/7 in.
Track, f/r:60.2/60.2 in.
Turning circle:N/A
Seating Capacity:5
Head/hip/leg room, f:39.6/53.3/42.2 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:36.9/54.1/36.1 in.
Cargo volume:N/A
Towing capacity:N/A
Suspension, f:MacPherson strut
Suspension, r:multi-link
Ground clearance:5.8 in.
Curb weigth:3076 lbs.
Brakes, f/r:ventilated disc/solid disc with ABS, EBD
Fuel capacity:15.5 gal.
Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle. All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSPR) effective as of May 31, 2012.Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable. Manufacturer Info Sources: 800-648-7820 -
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2012 Mitsubishi Lancer

Retail Price

$15,695 - $27,995MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Engine2.0L I-4
MPG25 City / 34 Hwy
Seating5 Passengers
Transmission5-spd man w/OD
Power148 @ 6000 rpm
Smart Buy Program is powered by powered by TrueCar®
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2012 Mitsubishi Galant SE Start Up, Exhaust, and In Depth Tour
Clean Retail Price

The MT clean retail price reflects a reasonable asking price by a dealership for a fully reconditioned vehicle (clean title history, no defects, minimal wear) with average mileage.

5-Year Cost to Own / Rating
$15,695N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$15,695N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$16,995N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$17,895N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$19,845N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$20,195N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$20,845N.A.N.A. / N.A.
$27,995N.A.N.A. / N.A.

Mitsubishi Lancer Expert Review

Staff Writer

Mitsubishi has positioned its C-segment Lancer as a compact car with sporting intentions, and in some ways that's exactly what you get. As the basis for Mitsubishi's mighty Lancer Evolution, the standard 2012 Lancer is reasonably sporty in its own right. With Lancer models boasting either a 2.0-liter 152-hp I-4, 2.4-liter 168-hp I-4, or 237-hp turbocharged I-4, the driving experience for a Lancer ranges from mild to wild.

Despite being often overlooked by C-segment shoppers, the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer makes a strong case for itself with its standard features, range of available options, and sportier higher-trim models. The Lancer's aggressive styling also makes it stand out in a sea of other compact sedans, and gives you the appearance of speed even if you opted for a tamer base model. Standard features like power door locks and windows, five-passenger seating, and a 140-watt, four-speaker CD audio system make the Lancer well-suited for daily commuter duties, while the turbocharged engine, six-speed dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel drive system of the Ralliart model offer track-capable performance.

Bodystyle: Four-door sedan
Engines: 2.0L I-4, 2.4L I-4
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, CVT
Models: Lancer ES, Lancer GT

The aging Lancer gets a few significant changes for 2012, changing trim level names and package contents. The ES model gets new cloth upholstery and instrument panel trim, along with a new 16-inch steel wheel cover design. The SE model is now offered in all-wheel drive, and exclusively as a sedan. All Wheel Control is now standard with 2.4-liter-equipped SE models, in addition to 16-inch alloy wheels, heated seats and mirrors, and a chrome lower grille. The GTS trim level gets renamed to GT, and gets more Ralliart influence in its front end styling. The GT gets redesigned 18-inch alloy wheels, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and soft-touch door trim for 2012.

The 2012 Lancer wore some of the boldest sheetmetal in the compact class when it was introduced for model year 2008. That aggressive styling still looks fresh today, with the Lancer's trademark trapezoidal grille, angular headlamps, and slit-like taillamps. The front end is instantly recognizable among the sea of compact sedans on the road, and things get even sportier-looking with the higher-trim GT and Ralliart models. All models get auto on/off headlights, and feature either a black or chrome-accented front grille. Ralliart models add unique exterior trim, a rear spoiler, and standard fog lights. DE and ES models get 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, while SE models get standard 16-inch alloy wheels. GT and Ralliart models come equipped with 18-inch alloys as standard.

The Lancer's cabin is basic, but conservatively styled for a less-is-more kind of look. The standard monochrome information display that tops the center stack is flanked by rectangular HVAC vents, while a slender trim strip laterally bisects the dash. The gauges are covered by a sculpted cowl, which lends the cockpit a sleek, sporty look. Two grades of cloth upholstery are offered, with a standard cloth on base DE models, and an upgraded premium cloth on ES and SE models. A Sport fabric upholstery is used on GT models, while Ralliart models get Premium Sport upholstery. A 140-watt, four-speaker CD audio system is standard on DE, ES, and SE models, while GT and Ralliart trims get a six-speakers system. A 710-watt Rockford Fosgate Punch premium audio system is available as an option, as is Mitsubishi's 40-GB hard drive-based navigation system and Music Server.

Though base model Lancers aren't quite as sporty as their aggressive looks suggest, with 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque available from a 2.0-liter I-4, the better-equipped SE, GT, and Ralliart models are solid performers in their class. SE and GT trim cars receive a larger 2.4-liter I-4, which produces 168 hp and 167 lb-ft. SE models also get all-wheel drive for 2012, along with standard 16-inch alloy wheels. But for the driving enthusiast, there's really only one non-Evolution Lancer to consider: the Lancer Ralliart. With a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, the Ralliart pumps out 237 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, which is applied to the ground through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive system.

All Lancer models get dual-stage front airbags, front seat-mounted side impact airbags, a driver's side knee airbag, and front and rear curtain airbags. Other safety features like Active Stability Control with Traction Control Logic, Brake Override Logic, an ABS system, and Tire Pressure Monitoring system are also standard. A rearview camera is available as an option.

Lancer DE/ES: 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway (manual); 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway (CVT)
Lancer SE: 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway
Lancer GT: 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway (manual); 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway (CVT)
Lancer Ralliart: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway (dual-clutch)

  • Sporty styling
  • Low base price
  • It's not a Corolla or Civic
  • Buzzy engines
  • Interior quality
  • Base model performance

Mitsubishi's brightest star.

  • Subaru Impreza
  • Mazda3
  • Honda Civic
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Chevrolet Cruze

Models mitsubishi 2012


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