Mitsubishi Lancer 1.5 SE 14 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    Mitsubishi goes too far with budget Lancer


    Mitsubishi has had a great time over the years on the rally tracks of the world, developing the original Lancer into a full-scale competition car. Scots rally legend Andrew Cowan hit great success with the car in the Seventies and went on to become the rally team manager. Sadly the current Lancer, in its basic 1.5 litre form, has had all the excitement stripped out and at the entry level is more than a little dull.

    In fairness, it’s very competitively priced but don’t expect anything special when you get behind the wheel. Everything works and I’m sure the car will be generally reliable over the years, but I found a few irritations caused by cost-cutting and overall it was just a bit disappointing.

    It's very competitively priced but don’t expect anything special

    On the road

    The 1.5 litre engine works hard and at times it just couldn’t do what was being asked of it. On an admittedly testing drive up the demanding ski slope road to the Cairngorms to the chairlift car park, it really felt out of its depth and I almost felt like getting out and apologising to the guy in the Audi A3 who I held up all the way uphill. With only five gears, it was difficult to get what was needed out of the small engine and at only 60mph it was revving at 3000rpm and noticeably straining. I never quite got to grips with the clutch after a week of driving and it regularly came close to stalling everytime I pulled away from standstill. Suspension and steering was a touch on the light side but it dealt well with a windy and exposed A9.

    Comfort & Safety

    It is basic and there’s not a lot of luxury, but comfort is reasonable and it comes with all the usual safety features including seven airbags. I felt the electric folding mirrors were a touch unnecessary in the overall scheme of things. Climate control did the job and everything worked, so as a basic car it was fine; and that’s about as much as I could say.

    I got irritated by the bootlid, or at least the release for it. Pressing the button on the keyfob unlocked the bootlid, but it didn’t rise and with no handle you have to prise a finger under the lid to raise it; and with a back covered in road dirt, you simply ended up with a dirty hand. A simple handle or grip would have solved the problem.

    Should I buy one?

    If the budget is limited it’ll do the job, but don’t expect to look forward to a spell behind the wheel.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £12,849/ £12,849
    Engine / Power: 1498cc / 107bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 11.6secs, Max 119mph
    How big/heavy?: H1490mm  W1760mm L4570mm / 1250kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 44.1mpg / CO2 153g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 9E / Band G, £150
    Alternatives: Hyundai i30; Chevrolet Cruze; Kia Cee’d; Skoda Fabia

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