Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the Mitsubishi Lancer XLS.
The Mitsubishi Lancer remains a well-priced option for Australian small car buyers, despite being a little overdue for a decent make-over.
As covered in my recent review of the entry-level ES Sport grade of the Lancer, Mitsubishi has recently given the Lancer range a shake-up, including revising prices and adding a few extra standard features.
The Mitsubishi Lancer XLS is the most expensive offering in the range before you head into the turbo-charged Ralliart and Evolution variants. Pricing starts at $26,490 for the five-speed manual variant and $28,490 for the model with a CVT auto.
This grade of Lancer features the larger 2.4 litre engine and it was the auto version that I checked out.
Packing 125kW and 226Nm (15kW and 29Nm more than the 2.0 litre engine); this grade of Mitsubishi Lancer gets along quite well. Performance off the line is not significantly better than the smaller engine, but you can definitely feel the added lowdown grunt when tackling a hill.
For some reason this grade of Lancer doesn’t display average fuel use, only instantaneous fuel use, so I can’t report on the fuel economy I recorded. The claimed usage is 8.5L/100kms and the urban rate is a rather thirsty 12.0L/100kms.
The CVT gearbox assists the engine fairly well, though at times you would just like it to be a little more responsive. When the engine is working it also because a touch noisy and this is fairly evident in the cabin.
Beyond that, as is always the case with Lancer, it pretty much all gets a reasonable pass mark. The 45 series tyres on the 18” alloy wheels on the XLS do tend to give a firmer ride though and potholes and road cracks and lines are fairly evident.
This grade of Lancer also gets the rear wing; once again this does tend to block rear visibility. Thankfully though, the XLS comes standard with rear parking sensors, a reverse camera and electronic folding mirrors.
Inside the cabin the first thing you notice are the leather trimmed seats and the black ‘piano key’ dashboard and console highlights. You also get a leather wrapped steering wheel and leather inserts on the door trims.
Disappointingly, the Lancer has tilt-only steering adjustment.
This grade of Lancer also comes with key-less entry via small rubber buttons located adjacent to the door handles, but the key-less ignition doesn’t extend to a push-button system – it’s the less attractive ‘dummy key’ ignition.
Once again, the seats are supportive and comfortable enough, the Lancer boasts reasonable leg room front and back, and storage areas are fairly adequately sized.
The Mitsubishi voice-recognition system always works well and you get Bluetooth, sports pedals and auto headlights and wipers too.
Boot space is impeded slightly by the inclusion of a sub-woofer as part of the Rockford Fosgate stereo system. For the record – the sound system sounds really good!
The driver info screen is modern and attractive in this grade of Lancer and sat-nav is a handy feature as part of the standard touchscreen infotainment screen.
The Mitsubishi Lancer comes with a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; you can see that the larger engine and the added standard features in this grade of Lancer justify the price premium over the entry-level model.
Once again though, this series of Mitsubishi Lancer is starting to show its age. It’s nearly eight years since it first appeared and while it still remains a good car, next to small car competitors such as the Hyundai Elantra and i30, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 etc. it’s looking old!
It’s a good value offering though and if you can see past the dated styling then it’s at least worth a test drive. The Japanese build quality and five year/100,000km warranty also help keep it in the game.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.4 litre petrol producing 125kW and 226Nm
Transmission: Five-speed manual or CVT automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: XLS from $26,490