2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

We love the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The all-wheel-drive turbocharged rally car for the street grips, steers, and tackles a bumpy road better than many cars costing twice as much. The last-generation Evo--known in Mitsu parlance as Evolutions VII and IX--impressed us with the fact that Mitsubishi had turned the ho-hum base Lancer into such a performance icon. The newest Evo may have lost a little of its raw character, but it's still clearly an automobile engineered by hardcore enthusiasts for hardcore enthusiasts.

That said, like its predecessors, the newest Lancer Evolution had to evolve from something. That something is the new front-wheel-drive, $14,890 Mitsubishi Lancer. We recently spent some time in the top-spec, non-Evo Lancer, known as the Lancer GTS, to see what relationship it had to its manic sibling.

After a scan of the specification list, you can't help but be impressed by the little Mitsubishi. Our CVT-equipped model came in at $23,340, and its window sticker boasted such features as a navigation system, a sunroof, Bluetooth, keyless entry and starting, auto climate control, and eighteen-inch wheels. Not too shabby. The only glaring omission is electronic stability control; this safety feature isn't available, even as an option. We also wish that Mitsubishi had added rake adjustment to the steering wheel and that the navigation unit featured a more intuitive interface.

On the road, it's clear that Mitsubishi spent money on the Lancer's long equipment list rather than chassis development--the wonderful steering and handling found in the Lancer Evo clearly doesn't come from the base Lancer. The steering rack on the GTS is a hydraulically assisted unit, but it feels more like a poorly calibrated electric setup. And while the Lancer's overall ride quality and suspension damping is quite good at normal speeds, rough pavement tends to upset things, sending unwelcome kickback through the steering wheel.(The GTS's standard eighteen-inch wheels surely don't help.) At a quicker pace, understeer rears its ugly head far too early. On a whole, we wish the gang responsible for the Evolution could have sprinkled some of its magic on the base Lancer.

While you can't really expect Evo-like thrust from a $23,000 econobox, the front-drive Lancer's 2.4-liter four-cylinder does provide decent acceleration. Unfortunately, that powerplant is a bit too coarse and buzzy for our liking, a fact not helped by the optional CVT fitted to our test car. During maximum acceleration, the engine sits at a very busy 6000 RPM as the transmission constantly adjusts the drive ratio. Sure, there are magnesium paddles behind the steering wheel, allowing the choice of six different "gears," but you're still better off with the standard five-speed manual. Plus, the row-it-yourself option brings along a small increase in fuel economy. This is a notable plus, because the Lancer's thirst is somewhat surprising. Its 21/27 EPA rating loses out to a great many small cars, including the notoriously thirsty five-cylinder (automatic) Volkswagen Jetta.

While we knew that the Lancer GTS wouldn't be a hard-core driver's car, we do wish it carried a greater amount of the Evolution's DNA. Mitsubishi needs to concentrate on improving the steering feel and upping the refinement levels. (Available electronic stability control is a must, too.) With just a few changes, the Lancer could be a very competitive entry in its segment.

Yekta Yass
very cool
Nasiru Isra'il Sura'ila
hope it will be suitable for the nigerian's road
Unoü Unoû
ma babe
Ron Alder W
really, really good
Kenneth Herbert
The rear end is way too busy and the overwrought surface breaks make it look unfinished. I can't even imagine how one washes the multilayered aspects. (I know the people who own these kinds of cars don't typically wash their own cars, but someone does.) There are some nice style elements to it, but overall, it doesn't wow me like it does the writers.
My DrEaM CaR
cars lover must visit this page and like it for ur updation ~~>> https://www.facebook.com/MyDremCar
Manny Gutierrez
two (y) (y)
Rafi Pradipa
I saw That car in mission immposible ghost protocol
TheClassicCarFactory
BMW spent over $3BILLION US to develop this and the i3. That's before the cost of the first screw and bolt are readied for assembly. The gorgeous 8 Series e31 only sold 7000 units in the US and 30,000 worldwide: BMW THOUGHT it would sell TEN TIMES that amount. At least the E31 was able to accept different displacements; the i8 is stuck with the current configuration.This has the potential to be an enormous financial disaster for BMW. Let's hope it doesn't tank them.
S.g. Karthikeyan
good aerodynamic shape
Kamal Sehgal
i likebmw car
Taufiq Norhizam
nice and beautiful car...
jmccool6969
Not too bad in the looks department, But those door have got to go. Hard to park with out them hitting something. Oh, well, what's the difference, it's just a design study which no one could ever afford if it did get built.
OMEGATALON
This sort of reminds me of Cadillac's ELR which is a leather clad 2-door coupe built around Chevy's Volt as the BMW i8 proves that high-efficiency can be sexy; but I guess it'll be up to Toyota to merge their old MR2 design with the Prius so that we can have a super-efficient plug-in hybrid that's sexy, fun to drive and cost under $40K.
Abhinav Dubey
brilliantly amaze..:)
BigBlock45
Mmm, this car is a no-go for my garage!  Three cylinders? Hybrid? NOT!  Rear end is a thin copy of the Corvette C7. The front end is also C7 but with a big bumper and upright BMW kidney grill.  Body is waaaay too busy with creases, scallops, humps and bulges!  It's making a statement its engine can't back up.  Don't get me wrong, I like BMWs.... just not impressed with this one... especially as a "personal car".  If I want a powerful electric car, I'd buy the Tesla Model S -- which at last report outguns the BMW M5 and doesn't use gasoline.  (Yeah, I know Tesla's have caught fire... but any car will catch fire if you hit it just right or submerge it in salt water.) 
MiTesh GoHel
awsm dsing,,,
Kyree S. Williams
I love that BMW was able to make this car efficient without spoiling the design. If you have $150,000 and are in the market for a supercar, it doesn't get any better than this. That gentleman parked next to you at the country club may have an Aston Martin Vantage or a Porsche 911 Whatever, but all eyes will be on your i8. Stunning! :P
Adarsh Sen
Amazing design
Shajahan Khan
ever green bmw
Krishna Prasad
This is not a car this is my life
Alireza Alizade
wow
Catchy Cars
Very sporty looking
Rajesh Singh Bisht
Mast............
Evwon Sudhanshu Dhuliya
sexy
Nijan Than
I want this
Sharath Shettigar
sexy
Jose Alberto Morales Ortiz
Por fin se reivindicaron!
Mehul Kamdar
Waiting for it to go on sale. I will buy one.
Vinay Saini
super
TwinMax Hui
Annie Tan Annie new bmw↖(^ω^)↗
Crystal N Walter Brewer
Maybe I should ask for this for my anniversary lol
Rick Reny
The body is a bit too busy for me, but i do like the styling language and surfacing details. Hopefully this represents a bold new direction for BMW design- love the new more elongated kidney grill.
Whatnow
For once a production model that looks better than the concept.
Leo Perez
This is not an AUDI???
Nasser Bennani
Bmw R8 not I8
Tony Guglielminetti
Anthony Boutin .. Beautiful
Rash Yash
Aston + audi r8 = bmw i8
Christian Schmidt
awesome design
Nãveeñ Ýuvi Eãçhur
sprb......
Vinod Kumar Kudmetha
my dream dis car...
Faizan Khan
sensational car...
Clarence Rogers
I agree! Beautiful car.
Cecilia Dogarescu
Superba
percynjpn
@Rick Reny The body is a bit too busy for me

That's exactly what I thought; considering just the exterior design, I think the Honda NSX design is far more pure and elegant.

buyer's guide

Find vehicle reviews, photos, & pricing

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

subscribe

new cars

Read Related Articles

TO TOP