2016 Lancer New Car Test Drive
Freshened outside and updated inside, the 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer compact sedan offers a roomy interior, athletic handling, and a generous load of standard equipment. Perhaps its most compelling attribute is the availability of all-wheel drive, which no big-brand competitor offers.
With all Lancer models, the theme is value. You get a lot of car for the money and even some fun, if not the highest refinement or efficiency. Its upright, politely aggressive styling may look dated to some, but it certainly helps the Lancer stand out from the crowd of newer, mass-market compacts.
Lancer has been on the market since 2008.
For 2016, Lancer gets new front-end styling with LED running lights. The interior has been updated for 2016 with a redesigned console and spiffier trim. Several previously optional convenience features are now standard. There's also a new Lancer SEL trim with leather seating. Sorry, performance fans, the turbocharged Ralliart model has been retired.
The standard 2-liter four-cylinder engine produces 148 horsepower and comes with a 5-speed manual or optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The available 168-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder comes only with the CVT, and is required with all-wheel drive.
With the 2.0-liter engine and CVT, the Lancer is EPA rated at 27/35 mpg City/Highway and 30 mpg Combined, the highest in the lineup. Ratings are 2 mpg lower with the manual transmission. The 2.4-liter delivers 24/31 mpg City/Highway and 27 mpg Combined. Adding all-wheel drive doesn't hurt highway efficiency at all, and reduces city efficiency by just 1 mpg.
Mitsubishi Lancer ES ($17,595) comes with the 2-liter engine. Upgrading to the 2.4-liter automatically gets you the CVT and all-wheel drive ($19,995). Standard features include automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, and foglamps.
Lancer SE ($20,995) gets the 2.4-liter, CVT, all-wheel drive as standard, along with heated front seats, keyless ignition, a rearview camera, and an upgraded infotainment system. Lancer SEL ($21,995) has all of that, plus a leather interior and extra convenience features.
Lancer GT ($22,495) comes only with the 2.4-liter engine and front-wheel drive, although both the manual transmission and CVT are available. The GT gets a sport-tuned suspension, sunroof, and Rockford Fosgate sound system.