2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Preview

Jeff Youngs | Feb 28, 2013
  • Compact 4-door sedan
  • Three 4-cylinder engines and three transmissions
  • New Premium Package available
  • All-wheel-drive SE model gets new 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Sportback 4-door hatchback body style discontinued


The Mitsubishi Lancer is a compact 4-door sedan that seats up to five. This economy model provides the basis of the Mitsubishi Evo, which is a high-performance turbocharged sedan. The Lancer is offered only as a sedan, as last year's Sportback hatchback has been discontinued.

The Lancer competes in the compact car segment with the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, and Toyota Corolla.

Exterior Features

The Lancer's architecture provides the platform for the Outlander and Outlander Sport. The base model comes standard with P205/60R16 tires on steel wheels with wheel covers. Alloy wheels are available two trim levels higher on the SE model. The SE model also comes with roof rails and heated power exterior mirrors. The GT model adds fog lights, a rear wing spoiler, and an aggressive-style front fascia. The top-of-the line Ralliart model is analogous to the Subaru WRX, offering more power and sportiness but not ultimate performance. It comes with an aluminum hood and the basic look of the GT.

Interior Features

The Mitsubishi Lancer comes standard with cloth upholstery, tilt steering wheel, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, AM/FM/CD stereo, outside-temperature display, and a trip computer. Buyers must move up to the ES model to get air conditioning, remote keyless entry, and cruise control, as well as an interior air filter, height-adjustable driver's seat, split-folding rear seat, auxiliary input jack, and steering wheel audio controls. The SE model has heated front seats, while the GT has automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless access and ignition, USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Ralliart has satellite radio.

Optional Features

A new Premium Package for the SE model comes with a sunroof, a Rockford Fosgate audio system with satellite radio and 6-disc in-dash CD player, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, soft-touch door trim, and a color LCD multi-information display. A Touring Package for the GT or Ralliart adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, sunroof, Rockford Fosgate audio system, rearview camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers, rear spoiler, and automatic xenon headlights. Other notable options include a navigation system with a music hard drive and real-time traffic information, remote engine starting, and rear-park assist.

Under the Hood

Buyers have a choice of three engines and three transmissions in the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer. The base engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that delivers 148 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque. The SE model gets a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that increases the output to 168 horsepower and 167 lb.-ft. of torque. The Ralliart comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that generates 237-horsepower and 253 lb.-ft.of torque. The base 2.0 and 2.4 are offered with a 5-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic. The turbocharged engine is paired with a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is standard on the Ralliart and optional on the SE.

Fuel Economy

Fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer as rated by the EPA are:

  • Lancer with 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and 5-speed manual transmission: 25/34/28 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Lancer with 2.0-liter 4-cylinder and continuously variable automatic transmission: 26/34/29 mpg
  • Lancer with 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and 5-speed manual transmission: 22/31/26 mpg
  • Lancer with 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and continuously variable automatic transmission: 23/30/26 mpg
  • Lancer with 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, continuously variable automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive: 22/29/25 mpg
  • Lancer with 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder and automated manual transmission: 18/25/20 mpg


The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer comes standard with all of the government-mandated safety features, plus front-seat side air bags, curtain-side air bags, driver knee air bag, brake assist, and active front head restraints.

In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program testing, the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer received a 4-star overall rating (out of 5 stars) . In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer received its highest rating of "Good" for moderate front overlap, side impact crash protection, roof strength, and rear crash protection, making it a Top Safety Pick. It was not subjected to the small overlap front test, however, so it could not be named a Top Safety Pick Plus.

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