SHARP TURNS – Lancer sets the bar for sports sedans

2013-10-18T00:00:00Z SHARP TURNS – Lancer sets the bar for sports sedansMATT SHARP Auto Columnist nwitimes.com
October 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Mitsubishi Lancer whips through the streets like a sports car, but can seat five people comfortably. The Lancer is a perfect car for people who have the itch to buy a sports car, but know that it is way too expensive, or that it simply isn’t practical right now. The Lancer will cure that itch and more; it is ready to hold a family, or just make the morning commute exciting.

It all starts with the sport front grille and bumper. On the GT model, the grille and bumper enhance the bold lines of the sporty exterior, plus they enhance the aerodynamics. On either side of the grille are available HID headlights that make driving at night a piece of cake. They are brighter then normal headlights, and imitate sunlight to give you greater definition and less eye fatigue. Right above that is the lightweight aluminum vented heat-extraction hood. This stylish hood improves cooling for better performance, and changes the center of gravity to improve handling. With the sporty performance, as the Lancer passes you, you will have to instantly shift your attention to the back end where the lip spoiler sticks out just enough to finish out the sport look.

Passengers will feel right at home in the heated black leather seats. To add to the comfort, the Lancer comes equipped with nine speakers, including a 10-inch dual-voice coil subwoofer with Punch Control, to deliver crystal-clear sound. Control that sound on the 6.1-inch touchscreen audio display, with HD radio and Sirius XM satellite radio. Drivers can choose to go the other route and get a 7-inch LCD touchscreen that provides driving directions and real-time traffic updates. To continue to add to the convenience of driving this vehicle, it comes with push start and keyless entry.

The Lancer offers a choice of three MIVEC engines that deliver the ideal balance of performance and fuel efficiency. Start with the 148-hp, 2.0-liter engine in the ES, or take it a step further with the 168-hp, 2.4-liter performance found in the SE and GT. Ralliart's 237 turbocharged, intercooled ponies marks the highest performance available. Gas mileage starts as high as an impressive 34-mpg highway. To go along with those are the three different transmission options. Sports car enthusiasts will enjoy the smooth shifting a precise control of the 5-speed manual found in the ES and GT. Or step up to the Continuously Variable Transmission in the ES, SE and GT, which features an INVECS-III control system that seamlessly transitions to the most effective and efficient gear ratio for maximum performance and fuel economy. With the TC-SST in the Ralliart, drivers can relax in traditional automatic mode or take full control with the paddle shifters located behind the wheel. In either case, gear-to-gear shifting occurs faster than any human can react to with a traditional stick shift—offering the ultimate performance on any road.

With six different model choices, car consumers are bound to find a style they like at an affordable price. The ES M/T model starts out at about $18,000. The GT M/T model comes in at about $20,000, and the Ralliart model is about as low as $29,000.

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