2011 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS Review


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2011 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

SEE ALSO: Mitsubishi Buyers Guide

THE AUTO PAGE
By
JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
Engine: 2.4-liter DOHC I4
Horsepower/Torque: 168 hp @ 6,000 rpm/167 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed CVT with paddle shifters
Wheelbase: 103.7 in.
Length/Width/Height: 180.0 x 69.4 x 58.7 in.
Tires: P215/45R18
Cargo volume: 12.3 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway/22.8 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 15.5 gal.
Curb weight: 3,010 lbs.
Sticker: $24,505 (includes $760 destination and handling fee; $3,450 in options)

The Bottom Line: Unlike the more radical Lancer variations with their spoilers and hopped-up engines, the Lancer GTS is a decent compact car with enough room for four and decent economy. It is serviceable, but with still enough power to have some fun.

Upon its arrival, the Mitsubishi Lancer GTS created some discord. Its exterior color is a metallic copper-like tint called "Rotor Glow" by those at Mitsu. I liked it; my wife didn't. So we put it to the test. Every time we encountered someone who wanted to talk about the car, we asked what they thought about the color. In general, younger people liked the color, "more mature" folks didn't. Does this mean I should be classified in the former category?

We spent a lot of time driving the Lancer around town, which accounts for the rather poor test mileage. I would expect that with more general driving the test number would probably be in the high 20s. We did have one short Interstate run, but not enough to affect the economy numbers.

After firing the engine with the keyless ignition (it isn't a start/stop button, but more of an ignition switch without a key), you pop the transmission into drive and head off. The engine has decent power, with a little buzz coming from under the hood. This isn't an annoying buzz, but it's there.

Handling is also decent. The front suspension is by MacPherson struts and the rear by multi links, and it is sport-tuned. Cornering is reasonably flat without the harshness one sometimes gets with a sportier suspension. We took it on our hillclimb test road and used the paddle shifters to up- and downshift.

The instrument panel consists of two big dials for tachometer and speedometer with an information panel between them. The information panel has almost too much information, with fuel economy, outside temperature, fuel level, water temperature, gear and odometer.

The HVAC system worked like a charm in some deep cold weather. We also appreciated the heated seats. Those front seats offered good side support. There are hotter Lancer variations, but these seats are more practical for a small sedan. The rear seats offer good leg and knee room. They also have outside support, and the fold-down arm rest can ensconce you in comfort. the rear seats fold 60/40 to increase trunk capacity. Pushbuttons on the seat backs release the seats.

As for music, the 710 watt Rockford-Forsgate audio system worked well. although tuning it can be a problem if you don't read the instructions. our tester was equipped with AM/FM/CD and Sirius XM, with no USB connection for an iPod.

My wife mentioned that the cupholders are on the small side, both in the front and in the center armrest in the rear.

The interior is finished in black, with "carbon fiber" accents that went well with the bright exterior.

Overall, the Lancer GTS is a nice compact package with a knockout paint job (my feeling). With a base price of $20,295, it's not bad. I question whether the options (leather seats, sound system, sun roof, added goodies) are worth the extra cost.

2011 The Auto Page Syndicate

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