Monday, August 15, 2016

Quickie Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Lancer (2003-2012)

2003-2012 Mitsubishi Lancer

The Good: Great value, with great room to boot

The Bad: Fuel economy a bit worse, dull looks

The Say: You can have the room for less but desirability is something lacking.

Go For: 1.6 GLS
Avoid: 1.8 MX

Price Range: P190,000-P400,000
Our Rating: ***

Full Review: None as of the moment
Latest vehicle profile: Mitsubishi Lancer EX

See the different versions of this vehicle:

Vehicle Overview
Dubbed as the Cedia body (a portmanteau of the words century diamond) when it was released in November 2000 in Japan, it didn't arrived in Philippine shores until February 2003 by which it replaced the long overdue Lancer "pizza" body. This one didn't have the coupe body, as all Lancers were in sedan configuration. Although the newer Lancer EX debuted in 2008, the GLX and GLS stayed as a low cost alternative until 1.6 models of the EX in 2012.

The base engine is a 1.6 which is entirely different from its predecessor with 1.8 and 2.0 engines were launched later on but without any MIVEC technology in it. All engines are capable in their own right and moves this vehicle without any fuss. Apart from a manual, a continuously variable transmission became an option and gear shifts are seamless. Handling is fine and braking is decent for models with ABS brakes.

Compared to its replacement model, this one had increased dimensions inside which means more space for people and built quality is improved. Dashboard layout is, of course, logically placed which is one good thing.

What Should I Get
The Lancer hierarchy starts with the GLX (briefly named the GL from June to October 2006) which has the 108hp 1.6 engine paired to a 5-speed manual, all power features, CD player, alarm, and keyless entry with later models gaining an auxiliary jack (May 2007), MP3 function and dual airbags (2008). Next is the GLS which can be had in either transmission (it became CVT exclusive from May 2004) and adds a driver airbag (became two in 2008) and for later units, back-up sensors. Going for the MX gives you reverse sensors, dual airbags, LCD monitor, leather seats and 2004 models having DVD/VCD function and ABS brakes. The MX Limited gains a 121hp 1.8 engine plus a handsfree phone kit whle the its successor, the GT adds body kits but wears fabric seats, an all black interior, and a 4-speed automatic transmission. Do take note that the first release models of the Lancer lack ABS brakes and wear on rear drum brakes, in which we recommend going for a May 2004 model that benefit from all disc brakes and there is no need to look beyond the 1.6 engine.

How Much Would It Cost Me
Maintenance costs for this vehicle would play similarly to rivals of the same time. Fuel consumption is high for the upper engines compared to the 1.6 models. One thing to watch for is the CVT transmission, especially the usual rubber band effect in which the transmission is afflicted of.

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