It's difficult to approach the Lancer with proper expectations when it looks so much like its beloved big brother. Same aggressive snout, same racer-boy wing, same cheap interior, but no rally car suspension or hopped up turbo. Buying this car and expecting great performance is a little bit like buying a pair of Air Jordans and trying to dunk from the foul line.
When considered in its proper context though -- that would be, an inexpensive compact car -- the Lancer isn't bad at all. The 2.4-liter is smooth, especially for a large-displacement four-cylinder, and is well-matched with the five-speed manual gearbox. As Evan noted, there's plenty of body roll, but at the speeds this car is capable of traveling on public roads, it's never really an issue.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor