How good is your memory? Quick quiz ..... when did Mitsubishi's Lancer first appear in Australia? If you said September 1974 you are correct! It was sold as a Chrysler in those early days, though. Since that time, the Lancer has made way for the Colt and has since returned in various guises. Lancer has a long and proud history of 30 years!
How time flies! I remember those first Lancers. They were small cars with very neat styling. They helped Mitsubishi obtain their tough competitive image in the world of rallying.
The original Lancer was half a metre shorter and 300kg (approx) lighter than today's Lancer. Only the name remains the same, as today's Lancer has it's own story and it's own claim to fame.
Sure, the Lancer is an attractive car. With it's neatly styled and well proportioned lines. But the real delight in the package becomes apparent when you sit inside the car. The first thing you notice is the excellent all-round vision. I accept the notion that convertibles, with the top down, have excellent vision. When it comes to sedans, though, I must say that I have not experienced a car with better all-round vision than the current Lancer.
On the road, the Lancer reveals it's pedigree. It's comfortable, smooth, and the handling is quite predictable. An absolute delight to drive. The power verses economy equation has an excellent balance. We were so delighted with it, that we drove 1,003 kms in it, in just one week!
I didn't say a word about the car before our Assistant Editor took the Lancer for a run. Upon return, Glennys echoed the thoughts mentioned above! And her first comments were about the excellent vision. Wow, how amazing, two people producing the exact same comments!
But what about flaws? What flaws? There are none!
Lancer comes in various versions. Base model is the ES, mid-range is the LS, sporty model is the VR-X and the top of the line is Exceed.
On this occasion, the test car was the top of the line "Exceed". Finished in a beautiful shade of Wine Red Metallic, the car looked top of the line with it's standard alloy wheels and attractive beige cloth interior. The chrome door handles looked very classy. The leather touches to the steering wheel, gear lever knob and hand brake lever all said top-of-the-line.
The Lancer Exceed comes standard with power windows, cruise control, power mirrors, 6-disc CD stacker, air bags up front, ABS, EBD and power steering amongst other features.
Lancer prices range from $19,990 for the manual ES sedan through to $29,490 for the auto Exceed sedan. Prices exclude the traditional add-ons.
With a strong and secure feel about it, the Lancer is an excellent choice. It's balance between economy and performance is perfect. The neat styling and creature comforts all add up to a delightful experience.
Let's sum up by asking ..... is Lancer better than Astra? ..... YES ..... is Lancer better than Corolla? ..... YES! From the Editor's point of view, it's as simply as that! Need we ask any more?