Interior Impressions

The Lancer sedan’s tall roof, four large doors and raised seating positions make it easy to get in and out of and there is plenty of room for four adults. I found the driver’s seat comfortable even though there is no lower back adjustment, but was disappointed that the top-of-the-line GT AWC model doesn’t have a power driver’s seat – the height, recline and longitudinal adjustments are manual. As well, the small, leather-wrapped steering wheel tilts, but it doesn’t telescope. I was able to find a comfortable driving position but drivers with longer legs and shorter arms may not. Fortunately for a car with leather seats, there are two-step seat heaters for the front seats.

Sitting behind the driver’s seat, I found about three inches of kneeroom, plenty of footroom, and about an inch of headroom. The centre rear seat however, is very uncomfortable.

Test Drive: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC car test drives reviews mitsubishi
Test Drive: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC car test drives reviews mitsubishi
2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC. Click image to enlarge

The Lancer’s instrument panel features a brightly illuminated tachometer and speedometer and a colour trip computer display between them (activated by the “Info” button on the dash), which provides useful info such as average fuel economy and distance to empty. The ‘turned steel’ trim across the dash and doors looks attractive as does the silver trim around the shifter and on the steering wheel, but the hard plastic dashboard material and the narrow centre audio display look and feel dated. The audio system is state of the art though: a standard 710-watt, Rockford Fosgate audio system with nine speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer in the trunk, and a six-CD in-dash changer. The audio system also includes Sirius satellite radio with a six-month free subscription and wireless Bluetooth audio – after you’ve paired your cell phone you can play the music stored in your phone wirelessly. If you need a connector, there is a USB port inside the glovebox, and a couple of charging points in the lower centre console and centre storage bin.

The top of the line Lancer GT AWC also includes automatic climate control (single zone), power moonroof with sunshade, and keyless entry and ignition: with the key in the pocket, the driver presses the black button on the driver’s door handle to unlock or lock the doors. Once inside, the driver twists a knob (where the ignition key usually is) to start the car.

Trunk space in the Lancer GT AWC is partly compromised by the subwoofer housing and a roof brace, but its 334 L (11.8 cu. ft.) size is still quite roomy, and the split rear seats do fold down for more space. I didn’t like the fact that the trunk has no outside handle, and even when unlocked remotely, your hand has to be squeezed under the lip to lift it up.

Test Drive: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC car test drives reviews mitsubishi Test Drive: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC car test drives reviews mitsubishi Test Drive: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC car test drives reviews mitsubishi Test Drive: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC car test drives reviews mitsubishi
2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC. Click image to enlarge

Verdict

With an MSRP of $27,998, the Lancer GT AWC is priced similarly with the all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited ($28,195) and the front-wheel-drive Mazda3 GT ($27,195) and VW Jetta 2.5L Highline ($25,990). But it’s not that much cheaper than the sporty Lancer Ralliart sedan, which features a 237-hp turbocharged 2.0L engine, twin-clutch transmission, Super-AWC system, and 18-inch alloys for an MSRP of $31,998. That’s something to think about!

Though its design is past its best-before date, the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan’s clever all-wheel-drive system, decent ride and handling, and roomy cabin have kept it from becoming an also-ran in the competitive compact sedan class.

Pricing: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT AWC
Base price: $27,998
Options: none
Freight: $1,350
PDI: $250
A/C tax: $100
Price as tested: $29,698

Competitors:
Buick Verano
Chevrolet Cruze
Dodge Dart
Ford Focus sedan
Honda Civic sedan
Hyundai Elantra sedan
Kia Forte sedan
Mazda3 sedan
Nissan Sentra
Subaru Impreza sedan
Suzuki SX4 sedan
Toyota Corolla
VW Jetta

Crash test results
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

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