[quote_box_right]Up: All wheel control, sound system
Down: Slow, heavy
Neutral: Best “I’m still in school and want a bumpin sound system” car on the market[/quote_box_right]I know, I know, “Chris, why didn’t you drive the Evo?” Well, because I think the standard 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer gets overlooked a lot so I wanted to see what it had to offer. Also, I didn’t have a backwards hat on today.
Since Mitsubishi’s complete redesign of the Lancer line in 2007, every model has looked more and more aggressive each year. The first thing you notice is the mean looking grille that sort of resembles the Pizza Hut logo… only meaner. That is followed by smooth, rigid lines that take you back to the rally inspired spoiler on the back. On top of that you get 16″ alloy wheels and halogen headlights. It’s a fantastic looking car that I found out had quite a bit in store for the $20,000 price tag.
Local soccer coach, Mitsubishi specialist, and all around good guy Sladjan Jovkovic helped us out when we got to the dealership and he really knew his stuff. Upon sitting in the car Sladjan gave us a quick tour around the cab. The first thing I noticed was that the dash had three knobs and three buttons and if you follow SFAR at all, you know we like minimal clutter on the dash. There were standard plugins for audio devices, steering wheel controls, and even a heads up display between the gauges. Overall I was impressed with the amount of features that came for the price.
The next thing someone would obviously notice is all of the Rockford Fosgate badges. Apparently, the Premium Package comes with a touch screen, sunroof, and a 710 watt Rockford Fosgate sound system! That’s 6 speakers and a 10″ sub in the trunk that would envy any aftermarket sound system purchased at a local electronics store. And all of that comes for only $1400 more dollars.
While pulling off the lot, Sladjan explained the AWC (All Wheel Control) system. For normal cruising and fuel efficiency you can click a toggle switch by the shift knob to engage 2-wheel drive. Then, if the weather or roads get a little hairy, you can flip that switch to 4-wheel Drive for constant and even power to the wheels. Then there’s a third option, 4-wheel drive lock. This distributes the power back and forth between the tires to make sure you stay straight on the road even if one wheel slips on ice. Those options will make a driver of any experience feel comfortable on the road.
Now when I got to the interstate I had to put my foot down. I’m gonna be honest, it isn’t fast. It may yield a 168 hp MIVEC engine but it is a relatively heavy car with an automatic transmission. The saving grace, however, was the handling. On the curvy roads there was no over or under steer and it gripped the pavement well. This would be a fun car for an autocross situation. You wouldn’t need to reach max speed and the AWC system would zip you in and out of those cones.
Although I am partial to ridiculously overpowered engines, I have to be honest again; the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer doesn’t need to be fast. This car is 100% built for young twenty-somethings looking to purchase their first new vehicle. It has everything that a first time car buyer would want; great looks, all-wheel-drive, Bluetooth connectivity, and a bumping sound system that shakes the car. Mitsubishi has done a great thing with the Lancer, however, when the 2014 model arrives, you can bet I’ll be in that Evo!