Though it doesn't quite match other top economy sedans in terms of refinement, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer is a solid alternative that's more fun to drive thanks to its higher performance and sportier styling.
One of the sportiest compact sedans available, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer is aimed squarely at consumers who are bored with more mainstream choices. Whether you just want a car that looks and handles sharper than the average econobox or you need something speedy enough to embarrass genuine sports cars, the Lancer lineup likely has something with your name on it.
The first two Lancer trim levels, DE and ES, offer stylish and competent basic transportation, though they make do with a noisy and relatively inefficient 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The top-of-the-line Ralliart is ready to rip, however, sporting 237 turbocharged horsepower, an automated dual-clutch manual transmission, all-wheel drive and a sport-tuned suspension. Introduced last year, the Ralliart effectively bridges the chasm between the workaday Lancers and the ultra-performance Lancer Evolution. Slotting in below the Ralliart is the sport-tuned Lancer GTS, which features an extraordinarily smooth 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an appealing mix of performance and affordability.
Even though the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer is in the same segment as mainstream economy cars like the Honda Civic, it doesn't quite match them in the areas of interior quality, base engine refinement, fuel economy and reputation. In return, though, the Lancer gives you apart-from-the-pack styling, above-average handling, fun-to-drive sporting variants and an impressive array of high-tech features that until recently were reserved for luxury automobiles.