2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT new car reviews

Better than: a 1992 Mirage
But not as good as: any Evo ever.
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 59.41

No, it’s not an Evo. In fact, it’s not even a stick shift. This is the Lancer GT, equipped with a CVT automatic pushing the front wheels. So how does it fare as an economical compact car? See the staff opinions below.

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Other staff views

Tom Suddard Tom Suddard
Associate Editor

I'm all about cheap cars, but this thing is just terrible–and not even that cheap!

This car was so bad, I was at a loss for words. It had no power, no steering feel, poor handling, a downright-terrifying level of road noise, a mediocre, unusable stereo, "meh" looks, poor fuel economy, a cheap interior, and a terrible exhaust note. I'd be angry if I had one as a rental car, nevermind as an actual car.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

A couple of years ago, Mitsubishi was just holding on. As Kia and Hyundai have quickly become major players, Mitsubishi hasn't kept pace. I realize that this is a smaller, inexpensive car, but it just doesn't get close to the rest of the pack. It's crude and undeveloped. What does this car offer that the competition doesn't?

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Comments

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Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar SuperDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

No, it’s not an Evo. In fact, it’s not even a stick shift. This is the Lancer GT, equipped with a CVT automatic pushing the front wheels. So how does it fare as an economical compact car? See the staff opinions below.

Like what you read here? You can get a whole magazine full of these types of articles delivered to your home or shop 8 times a year. Subscribe now or visit the Grassroots Motorsports online store for back issues.

Arminius
Arminius New Reader
2/26/14 7:28 p.m.

Wait, Buttzilla still has no girl friend? Who knew?

Arminius
Arminius New Reader
2/26/14 8:03 p.m.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: If this 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT had even half of the advertising and dealer support that Honda gives the Civic, it'd be a best-seller. I was honestly surprised at this car -- it lacks little in the performance and handling department: the 2.4-liter four is strong across the rev range, the tranny ratios are just right, steering and brakes responsive and the suspension keeps the car very stable, without beating you up over every bump.

Materials inside are basic, but the cloth seats are very supportive and the driving position is good for my 5-foot-10 frame, despite the lack of a telescoping steering column. Dash and door materials are soft-touch in most places and I think fits are good. Yes, it's a noisy tin can, much like a Subaru Impreza WRX, and it lacks amenities like navigation, satellite radio and an MP3 plug (but that's nothing that can't be fixed -- cheaper --in the aftermarket). I applaud Mitsubishi for keeping it basic and focusing on simply making a good driving car.

Arminius
Arminius New Reader
2/26/14 8:06 p.m.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I'm not really sure which car I would pick from the small, front-wheel drive sedan category; there's a lot to choose from. I think the Lancer is one of the best styled small cars out there. But the Ford Focus probably gives more content for less. But all things being equal besides the sheetmetal, I'm taking the Lancer.

The 2.4-liter is strong -- relatively -- and provides power throughout the rev range. It'll spin the tires out of first, and give a chirp in second if you really goose it. The five-speed manual transmission is a good pairing for the car and engine.

The Lancer is the best-looking car in Mitsubishi's portfolio by a long shot. The once proud brand was the home of the venerable Eclipse, 3000GT and a small handful of other fun cars. Now the Lancer is the last man standing. The aggressive front end still looks current, the big wing in the back says, exactly what you'd think it would and the wedge shape still feels sporty. I might ask for a set of bigger rims to fill out the wheel wells.

Is it as good as an Evolution? Not hardly. But those extra 123 horses will cost you about $14,000. But in that price range, there's a lot more to compete with.

Arminius
Arminius New Reader
2/26/14 8:07 p.m.

NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: This Mitsubishi is a lot of fun. Really, that's the thought I kept having after a night and considerable miles in the Lancer GT. The five-speed manual is the heart and soul of this sedan. The throws are a bit long and the clutch is a touch rubbery, but mostly it's a good stick shift. It makes you want to drive energetically, take off hard out of first and corner with gusto. I dropped down into second, hugged a corner and accelerated hard out -- which is a nice example of how the Lancer GT makes everyday driving maneuvers fun and engaging. The stick is also fun in a sedan like this, which isn't big by any means, but there is a bit of size and substance to it. I find it enjoyable to wring performance out of a fairly conventional sedan.

The looks are OK. Nothing special, but the front with the Evo-inspired grille is sporty. From that angle it is a bit different from its competitors. The cabin is loud and very basic. I would argue for almost $21,000 you should get a few options. Otherwise, a stripper sedan like this should be closer to $18k or $19k.

The chassis is tight enough, the body remains composed through turns, and the engine is better than average. Mitsubishi cars have a fun demeanor to them -- I've blasted around a track in an Evolution -- and I think people would like the drive character with more exposure and awareness. But in today's competitive set, the interior and packaging make this car below average. Personally, I'd take an athletic, manual transmission four-door over a more premium cabin, but that's not how most shoppers will feel.

Arminius
Arminius New Reader
2/26/14 8:08 p.m.

ASSOCIATE ROAD TEST EDITOR BRAD CONSTANT: The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT drives well. Yes, that's a broad statement, but when a car has good acceleration, handles great and is engaging then I like to sum it up as it drives well.

However, every part of the drivetrain, brakes and suspension could be tighter, which would provide an even better feel and response. But when I look at a $20,000 price tag I can't help but think I am getting every single penny's worth in terms of the Lancer GT's performance.

It feels stable, confident and responsive on back roads. The Lancer GT gave me the confidence to attack corners and carry some good speed.

I have to say that the interior is crummy. It looks outdated and the materials aren't that good. I could handle the level of materials used if the styling was better. My biggest beef are the seats. The bottom felt completely flat to me, and I hate that. I like when seats have an incline from back to front. I feel like that really holds my bottom in place as well as gives my legs some good support. Truth be told, I always tilt the seat bottom back as far as possible when I get into a car. So I was frustrated when I couldn't adjust the Lancer's seats to better fit me.

Other than those complaints, I like the Lancer GT. I like it enough to say it would be on my list of cars to look at if I was shopping for a sportier sedan -- especially if I wanted a manual transmission.

Arminius
Arminius New Reader
2/26/14 8:14 p.m.

Tom Suddard Associate Editor: David S. Wallens Editorial Director: The reviews from these two,I would have to question there testing skills.

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