Back in the mid-2000s, my husband and I set out to buy our first car together. As a young couple, walking into a dealership was scary. We test drove various makes and models, including a Mitsubishi Lancer. If I remember the car was fairly new to the US market. The factors that were important to us at the time (not much has changed) was affordability, reliability, roominess (my husband is tall) and a good track record—we wanted to buy a brand we trusted. I was hesitant to jump in with the Lancer mostly because I wasn’t familiar with the brand. The car was cute and fun to drive, but it felt small. What if we wanted to expand our family? Fast forward to 2016, and we found ourselves test-driving the 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer SEL. I was excited to see how the car had changed from when we first met the car.
The Mitsubishi Lancer SEL is a five-door compact sedan. It has a sporty look, and what’s really cool is that the manufacturer offers an all-wheel drive feature. We don’t usually have a need for traction since our exposure to slippery conditions in Los Angeles is minimal and I’m not around dirt roads, so unfortunately I couldn’t test this feature out. Some of the included features on the Lancer are a rear view camera, 6 air bags, a touch screen entertainment system, Bluetooth and a USB port. Optional features include a power sunroof (this would be a fun feature in this car), heated seats and satellite radio. Entertainment is a must since most Angelinos spend hours upon on hours in their cars, and the Lancer delivers with their good sound system.
My husband is 6′3″ and we need a car that can accommodate his height. He was fine in the Lancer but not as comfortable as he was in the Mazda3 or Kia Soul. I was fine with the passenger space and my 9YO daughter had enough space in the back to call her own. I did like the adjustable steering wheel and the sporty interior look. It also handled well on turns and the 4 cylinder had a lot of power, but the car was a bit noisy compared to other cars.
The car is equipped with hands-free entry, and if you’ve read my other reviews, you know I love this feature!
To sum up our experience, I feel this car could be a nice vehicle for a college-student or a first-time buyer. I see it fitting young adults who would enjoy its sporty look and how it handles. For a family, this car has small cargo space and it would be a tight squeeze for 5 passengers, especially if your children are in car seats. We did feel safe in the car and I read that the car rated high on crash tests. I wish all manufactures made rear cameras standard like Mitsubishi does in the Lancer. The Lancer was a fine escort during our week test drive. It was fun to drive on the highway and it was decent on gas.
Los Angeles has amazing street art. Here are a few of our favorites!