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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)

By

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS left-front view

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

Photo © Aaron Gold

The Bottom Line

What do the Guide Rating stars mean?

Seems we just finished reviewing the all-new 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer, and already they've introduced an improved 2009 version. The changes affect the Lancer GTS, the racy top-of-the-line model, which gets a bigger engine -- 2.4 liters and 168 horsepower, versus 2.0 liters and 152 hp for DE and ES models and the 2008 GTS. Outside, the boy-racer theme returns with a body kit and a big trunk spoiler. Does the new engine make the Lancer GTS a true sportser? Read on.

Larger photos: Front - rear - interior - All photos

Pros

  • Strong engine
  • Racy styling (if that's your thing)
  • Decent fuel economy

Cons

  • Bargain-bin interior bits

Description

  • GTS gets bigger engine than other Lancer models, similar to the old-shape Lancer Ralliart
  • Slots in above DE and ES, below turbocharged Ralliart and Evolution models
  • Price range: $18,640 - $23,190
  • Price as tested: $20,390
  • EPA fuel economy estimates: 21 MPG city/28 MPG highway (manual), 21/27 (CVT automatic)

Guide Review - 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

Mitsubishi introduced the current version of the Lancer as a 2008 model, and one of my few complaints about it was that if you opted for a manual transmission, it took a lot of shifting to keep the 2.0 liter engine on the boil. The GTS' new 2.4 liter engine, which boasts an extra 16 horsepower and 21 lb-ft of torque, solves that problem nicely. And fuel economy is still very respectable -- despite the engine constantly chomping at the bit and begging me to go faster, I managed MPG figures in the mid 20s in town and almost 30 on the road.

In the curves, the new Lancer GTS is scrappy and energetic. It's a lot more fun than the Toyota Corolla XRS, but it just doesn't grip the road as well as proper sport-compact sedans like the Honda Civic Si and the Volkswagen GLI. That said, at $18,640 it's $3-$5k cheaper. Spend the difference on a set of aftermarket springs, shocks and tires, and I bet the Lancer GTS could give the Honda and the Vee Dub a run for their money.

But you still won't have a nicer car. Inside, the Lancer feels like you found it in the discount rack. Compared to the Civic, Corolla, and Jetta, its dash and interior trim are dated and a little cheap.

Still, there aren't many cars that deliver so much fun for such a reasonable price. The base-model Volkswagen Jetta would be my pick, though it's thirstier than the Lancer. The Toyota Corolla XRS matches the Lancer for get-up-and-go, but it's nowhere near as enjoyable to drive. And the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V is just as much fun but a couple grand more expensive.

The verdict: I like it. In terms of grins-per-dollar, the Lancer GTS is a tremendous value. Taken as a whole, it's not the best car in its class, but its heart is in the right place. If more cars were designed with the Lancer GTS' spirit, the world would be a much more enjoyable place to drive. -- Aaron Gold

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Name issues, Member hawaiiandon

This is a really good car, especially for the $...but why in heavens name would Mitsu call it a Lancer GTS? Am I the only one that remembers the Dodge Lancer/Le Baron GTS(H Platform)...or what I convolute into a Lancer GTS!!! These two cars by Chrysler weren't BAD cars, but they were booooring!!! They along with the K-car typified Chryco ""parts bin tech"" which saved them financially in the 80's, but is killing them now. Advice to Mitsu:1. Give raises to your designers and engineers 2.Fire your Marketing Director!!!!

9 out of 30 people found this helpful.

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