2015 Mitsubishi Lancer GT new car reviews

The Mitsubishi Lancer GT carries a certain aura. No it's not a sports car, but it's not exactly trying to fit in with the crowd.
We took this one on a road trip to the mountains of northern Georgia.
The interior, while not overly luxurious, seems to offer everything needed.

The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer comes in many trims: ES, SE, GT, Rallyart and the screaming Evo. The latter of which can probably qualify as a completely different car, but that's beside the point. We were granted the middle child to use for a trip to Atlanta to scout out mountain roads for our first annual Coker Tire Tour.

With a title like GT we naturally expected a fairly comfortable, rather powerful mile-eater. The Lancer GT looked to check off a couple of those boxes with upgraded interior and a more powerful engine. The GT makes 168 horsepower while the ES makes 148 horsepower. Really the only concern we had was the CVT that our car was coming with.

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Rick Goolsby Rick Goolsby
Events Manager

This was my first experience with a Mitsubishi product for any extended period of time. We took this car on a trip up to Road Atlanta for an open house we were doing to promote the upcoming Classic Motorsports Mitty and to drive the Coker Tire Tour route. I say this to let the readers know that we really had a good chance to put this car through its paces on both long interstate driving as well as some great backroads through the northern Georgia mountains, with some small town traffic thrown in.

So with that said, I guess the easiest way to describe the Mitsubishi Lancer GT is to go through a list of likes and dislikes.

First the dislikes. Road noise was very noticeable in the car. When driving down the interstate, you could hear the rear tires quite a bit along with a strange whistling noise coming from somewhere outside the car. And no, I am not a fan of CVT transmissions, which this Mitsubishi Lancer GT just happened to have. The word GT to me means performance, so i would have liked to see a 6 speed manual or a more aggressive 6 speed automatic transmission with paddle shift.

Speaking of paddle shift, the way Mitsubishi has mounted the controls for their paddle shift is all wrong. It is mounted on the steering column instead of on the steering wheel which made our stint driving through the north Georgia curvy mountain roads challenging in a bad way. My last dislike would have to be the cheap feeling interior. The seats were great, dash pretty good, but the rest just felt too plasticky and not refined as in other Japanese interiors from the likes of Mazda, Honda, Toyota and Subaru.

Now for the likes. The ride and handling of the car was great. Whether it was cruising down the interstate or carving the backroads of Georgia, the handling was spot on. Fuel economy was not bad either as we averaged around 32 mpg the whole trip. The interior had plenty of room and the trunk swallowed up all our gear for the weekend. Last but not least was the navigation/entertainment system. The radio was great and it had one of the most accurate and easy to use navigation systems I've ever experienced.

All in all the Mitsubishi Lancer GT was just average in my book. It was comfortable to drive on the interstate, good handling, great fuel economy along with a great entertainment/NAV system. But unfortunately, the road noise, CVT transmission, below average interior were the things I will remember the most.

Ed Higginbotham Ed Higginbotham
Associate Editor

The Mitsubishi Lancer GT was disappointing to me at first, but after many hours in the car it started to grow on me. Maybe my disappointment stemmed from seeing the "GT" marking on the key and then stepping in to a kind of plastic, economy car interior. That interior had one shining star: The navigation system. It was very easy to use and managed to work us down alternate routes to avoid the dreaded Atlanta traffic.

The second strike was the CVT. Sure, it's kind of personal preference, but I like to hear—and feel—a car go up through the gears. I don't think any car guy wants to hear a single not of droning as they accelerate down the highway. Yes, you can get another transmission in your lancer, but we were stuck with the SVT. Even an automatic transmission would have made this car more enjoyable.

The handling was actually pretty impressive in the mountain backroads. Other than the CVT, it was pretty responsive and nimble. It should be noted that the GT is actually the only Lancer model other than the base ES that doesn't come with all-wheel drive, but we didn't really care for what we were doing.

Overall this car is average in my book with a chance to be slightly above average with a manual transmission. It's certainly not a sports car, but it does have a streak of sportiness in it. In fact it's still an appliance in my mind, but also a very good mile-eater.

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chiodos
chiodos Reader
4/3/15 10:43 a.m.

Who cares about a road trip in essentially a 168 hp rental sedan? I mean unless you ramped it..but come on you should know what we are interested in.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
4/3/15 10:48 a.m.

I completely understand. And that's why we cherry-pick what new cars go into the magazine.

Our website, however, has pretty much unlimited space, and we give it away for free. We like to give you all as much content as possible here.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/3/15 11:03 a.m.

Five years ago I predicted that twin-clutch transmissions would replace CVTs. And apparently I was wrong.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
4/3/15 1:42 p.m.
Tom Suddard wrote: I completely understand. And that's why we cherry-pick what new cars go into the magazine. Our website, however, has pretty much unlimited space, and we give it away for free. We like to give you all as much content as possible here.

I agree. The more information the better even if it doesn't directly interest evrerybody. The Lancer GT is not a car I would ever consider owning but I still find it useful and interesting to read about it. Keep up the good work.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/3/15 1:54 p.m.
Feedyurhed wrote:
Tom Suddard wrote: I completely understand. And that's why we cherry-pick what new cars go into the magazine. Our website, however, has pretty much unlimited space, and we give it away for free. We like to give you all as much content as possible here.

I agree. The more information the better even if it doesn't directly interest evrerybody. The Lancer GT is not a car I would ever consider owning but I still find it useful and interesting to read about it. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for getting it. A lot of cars pass through our hands. Not all of them make the magazine, but we have the space to post something here.

Acme Lab Rat
Acme Lab Rat New Reader
4/3/15 4:21 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Five years ago I predicted that twin-clutch transmissions would replace CVTs. And apparently I was wrong.

This is YOUR fault.

bgkast
bgkast UltraDork
4/3/15 5:03 p.m.

Isn't the Lancer Ralliart sort of a baby Evo and available as a hatchback?

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim UltimaDork
4/3/15 5:53 p.m.
bgkast wrote: Isn't the Lancer Ralliart sort of a baby Evo and available as a hatchback?

Yes, and I think not anymore. Used to be, though. Just don't drive an Evo if you "just" came to buy a Ralliart. Don't ask how I know.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
4/4/15 3:00 p.m.
Five years ago I predicted that twin-clutch transmissions would replace CVTs. And apparently I was wrong.

To be fair, it almost doesn't matter what technological advances have been made in 5 years because Mitsubishi hasn't spent any money updating the Lancer for like 7 years now.

Knurled
Knurled UltimaDork
4/4/15 3:04 p.m.

Wasn't Mitsubishi going to sh... ashcan the Evo "next year" for the past five or six years?

I guess they realized that it's the only car that people actually desire, instead of settle for because Mitsubishi dealers will finance to just about anyone with a pulse.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
4/4/15 6:45 p.m.

As far as i know the Outlander Sport and Mirage are doing pretty well. I think Mitsu is doing better now than they were 2 or 3 years ago... maybe?

Fr3AkAzOiD
Fr3AkAzOiD Reader
4/6/15 8:32 a.m.

Looked at the Lancer Ralliart, 70 hp more, but why the hell does it weigh 500 lbs more? Also no manual. 3461 lb vs the GTs 2966 lb

Knurled
Knurled UltimaDork
4/6/15 1:41 p.m.

In reply to Fr3AkAzOiD:

Maybe it weighs 500lb more because it has a different engine, transmission, and AWD.

RexSeven
RexSeven UberDork
4/6/15 6:17 p.m.
Knurled wrote: Wasn't Mitsubishi going to sh... ashcan the Evo "next year" for the past five or six years?

This year is it. Evo X production has already ended for some markets. The US is getting 2,000-2,500 commemorative editions later this year, and then it's all over. Source is here.

Fr3AkAzOiD
Fr3AkAzOiD Reader
4/6/15 9:02 p.m.

In reply to Knurled: ahh, forgot about the awd.

ninjacoco
ninjacoco New Reader
4/8/15 12:32 a.m.

It's my car! Well, it's the refreshed version of my car. I've had a GTS since 2010. Surprisingly great little car. Not competitive in autocross in the least bit (thanks SCCA HS reorg, grrrr), not fast on track (B-Spec cars are just a little bit quicker around COTA), but it's just fun. A good all-around daily driver with decent handling. It's been the Energizer Bunny of cars: 116K miles, a road trip across the country and back, and butt-tons of track time and it's still going strong.

Mine's even the CVT, which is a good CVT for acting like a CVT! The ones that come with fake gear-changes in "D" mode are unbearable. That defeats the purpose of a CVT! Pin it to optimum revs and keep it there. This one actually kind of falls off power-wise at the top of its rev range, though. If it would perhaps just hummm along at 5,000-5,500 all the time, mwahahaha. That would be better. (I suppose they tuned it for economy and not hoonage, though.) It's one of the better autoboxes, though. I'm so used to driving CVTs and manuals where the pedal position has some correlation to the rev counter that driving a conventional automatic has become a source of pure, unadulterated irritation. Give me my CVT!

I probably need a tow vehicle more than I need the Lancer at this point. I admit this. But I'm really hesitant to get rid of a good, working car. It's quite good. Track time aside, it's been totally babied. I don't want to let go of it. The Lulzcer is that good.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/8/15 7:51 a.m.

The "rest of the story" link isn't working for me, don't see the story on the left either.

David S. Wallens wrote: Five years ago I predicted that twin-clutch transmissions would replace CVTs. And apparently I was wrong.

I wouldn't have expected that, a CVT can give major efficiency gains and possibly even performance gains at the cost of fun, so they'd definitely be around in the future. I would've expected that CVTs and DCTs would be the most common transmissions, but what I never saw coming was both transmissions being nerfed to have awful slushbox-like driving characteristics when used in everyday cars. CVTs are shifting in steps to feel like they have gears, and DCTs are using clutch-slipping and gear-blending to give a mushy feel because a nice solid driveline feels "rough" and "jerky" to soccer moms.

svxsti
svxsti New Reader
5/6/15 5:55 p.m.

CVTs should not be allowed on GRM lol and automatics only if it's a DSG, Tiptronic, E-Gear, ect.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
5/7/15 3:51 p.m.

I own the most reliable auto trans in the world, and it's a CVT. It has many less moving parts than a typical automatic and makes like 290 lb ft of torque even without the engine running.

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