2011 Mitsubishi Lancer

The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer is a budget-friendly sedan that offers some sporting capabilities. Initial reviews for this car are mixed, with the Lancer getting good points for handling and front seat comfort while its poor engine performance and low-class interior set up getting severe criticisms.

New to the 2011 Lancer are the rear drum brakes, electric-assist power steering, and a brake regeneration system. Mitsubishi Fuse, a hands-free communication and interface system is also available as an option on the Lancer. Various customization packages and bundles are also offered as option even for lower models. If you prefer a better equipped Mitsubishi Lancer, opt for the Touring package.

Interior & exterior

Looking at the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer from the outside it is not difficult to be immediately drawn into its aggressive and sporty stance. However, once inside you will surely lose that initial level of enthusiasm as you carefully scrutinize the car’s interior amenities.

For one thing, the cabin design is so yesterday and boring. Couple that with the preponderance of low-budget plastic materials and you are presented with a car that you know could be better looking but simply is not.

If you are six feet tall, you might have a bit of difficulty driving the Lancer as it lacks telescoping steering wheel. The seats though are entirely different matter as they are comfortable and they give ample space for leg-room.

Since the 60/40-split seats can be folded to accommodate bigger items, it has a small 11.6 cu ft trunk. The Mitsubishi Fuse which is integrated in the car’s touchscreen navigation unit allows for a more convenient way of controlling the entertainment and communication system.

Performance

Both the DE and ES trims share a common 2.0L 4-cylinder engine producing 148hp with 146 lb-ft of torque; the GTS has a bigger 2.4L inline four that cranks 168hp with 167 lb-ft of torque.
The 2.0L and 2.4L engines come in five-speed manual transmission. The ES and DTS models may opt to upgrade to the CVT transmission.

The Ralliart has a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that puts out 237hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. All that power careens through the four wheels via shift paddle controlled automated dual-clutch manual transmission.

Performance-wise, the GTS variant went from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a mere 7.7 seconds. The base model with five-speed transmission delivers 8.8 seconds 0-60 mph acceleration and the CVT slows down a bit at 9.1 seconds.

The Ralliart proves is even faster as it zooms in from 0-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Fuel economy on the Lancer with a 2.0L engine is 28 mpg combined city and highway. The 2.4L engine makes about 26 mpg combined fuel economy. Expectedly, the Ralliart consumes more with only 20 mpg combined fuel economy.

On the road, the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer with the 2.0L engine gives adequate performance. The ride is fairly comfortable and road noise is minimal when inside the cabin. However, this car complains when you push it beyond normal driving conditions. You will wonder where all that engine grunt is going as it does not seem to have any remarkable effect on horsepower output. This is especially true when the base engine is mated with the CVT.

If you want a more adrenaline-filled driving experience with the Lancer, go for the GTS instead.
Or go full blast and get the Ralliart if you are not bothered by its low fuel efficiency rating.

Trims

The entry-level DE is equipped with a basic set up that includes 4-speaker MP3 and compact disc stereo, all power accessories and a trip computer. Additionally, a non-telescoping steering wheel, a rocker-sill bodywork extension, as well as 16-inch steel wheels are available.

Better amenities are offered in the ES model: air conditioning, cruise control, better upholstery, 60/40- split seats at the back, auxiliary jack, are some of these extras.

The 2011 Lancer GTS is more exciting with an upgraded engine, bigger 18-inch wheels, spoiler, climate control, front bucket seats, keyless entry and ignition, and a sport-tuned suspension system. Fuse is integrated in the car’s 6-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity.

The range-topping Ralliart goes all out with all these features plus a turbocharged powerhouse with an automated dual-clutch manual transmission. Shift paddles are also thrown in as well as an AWD.

Safety & reliability

Standard safety fares are ABS, airbags, stability control and four-wheel disc brakes. The more upscale models have better safety features as standard. Crash tests for the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer result to an impressive 5-star rating for driver frontal crash protection and front-seat side protection.

The Competition

If you are not happy with the Lancer or even before you go out to buy one be sure to check these cars first for comparison. Mazda3 (MSRP $15,200; 25 city / 33 hwy) though costlier than the Lancer, consider it for its sporty looks that is ably paired with an aggressive performance. It also boasts of a more updated interior and accessories. You may also want to Try the VW Golf (MSRP $17,995; 23 city / 33 hwy) for its strong engine, cool interior and the option for a diesel engine.

Pros & Cons

The GTS and Ralliart variants all make up for the inadequacies of lower end models. The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer’s impressive exterior and good handling capability are also a plus. DE and ES models are slow, noisy, and the interior reeks of cheap plastic.

For all models the absence of telescoping steering wheel is a turn off as well as the Ralliart’s steep price tag.

Overall Rating
71 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer ranges from one of the cheapest basic small sedans to an Evo lookalike with top-tier connectivity technology and sound systems.”Car Connection

“The DE and ES exhibit decent grip in turns, but the steering is not especially direct or communicative. Though the brakes feel strong, nosedive is evident in quick stops. The tauter GTS is more agile and fun. ”Consumer Guide

“The Lancer is a major improvement over its dowdy predecessor, and we found it much more agile in our testing. It shares its engine with Hyundai and Chrysler, and tends to moan a bit at high revs. The CVT transmission works very well. Standard electronic stability control and curtain air bags are a plus.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer represents a sporty alternative to economy sedans, yet doesn't deliver when it comes to refinement or fuel economy.”Edmunds

“Changes to the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer include an increase in fuel economy across all models, the addition of the FUSE hands-free link system to the GTS and Ralliart (it's optional on the ES), and the addition of electric-assist power steering on DE and ES models.”KBB

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $15,295.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.9 gallons (59 liters) MPG: 25 city / 33 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 180 in. (457 cm) Width: 69.4 in. (176 cm)
Height: 58.7 in. (149 cm) Wheel Base: 103.7 in. (263.5 cm)
Curb Weight: 2900 lbs (4536 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.5 in. (15 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 12.3 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 2.0L MIVEC DOHC I4 Displacement: 1998 cc
Horsepower: 148 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 146 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
0-60 mph: 7.9 seconds 1/4 Mile: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Lancer ES MSRP: $16,695; MPG: 24 city / 33 hwy
Option:Lancer GTS MSRP: $19,495; MPG: 22 city / 31 hwy
Option:Lancer Ralliart, 237HP MSRP: $27,695; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy