Dec 02, 2013
Reviewed By Tony Piff
Price as Tested $22,940: 2.4-L DOHC I4, CVT, All Wheel Control 2wd/4wd
Likes

Compact, lightweight, nimble. Excellent visibility. Navigates narrow city curves easily, cruises at speed without fuss. Old-fashioned three-knob climate control (temp, fan speed, direction) is a proven classic, yet to be improved upon. Heated seats, sunroof and selectable 4wd are pleasant surprises.

Dislikes

Ungainly proportions. Nose is too long and aggressively styled for an economy car. Plastic interior feels cheap.

Verdict

The more I drove it, the more I liked it, but no other SCM staffer had a fond thing to say about this car. While it’s not to to be confused with “fun,” the Lancer does take the work out of driving, and if I never had to look at it or be seen in it, I’d buy one in a heartbeat. At a fundamental level, I find that any simple, lightweight car with decent brakes and acceleration makes light work of rush-hour commuting and downtown stoplights. I guess I have to admit that I just like cheap little cars. My only criticism — and the reason I won’t be buying one — is the Lancer’s styling. The grill is disingenuously sporty for a gutless econobox, the rest of the car distractingly bland. If I’m going to take the plunge with a car from this genre, I’ll probably pick a “quirky” hatchback like a Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta or Toyota Yaris.

Fun to Drive
3.0 rating
Fun to Look at
1.0 rating
Overall Experience
3.5 rating
Stats