The Lancer is an insubstantial and unimpressive compact sedan. It is fairly agile and has a decent ride, with balanced and secure handling although cornering grip is limited. However, its 2.0-liter four-cylinder is rough, the CVT makes it moan, fuel economy is uncompetitive, and the car is sluggish from a stop.

Model Lineup:

The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer is sold in 5-door Sportback and 4-door Sedan formats. The Lancer Sportback is available in ES and GT trim levels, while the Lancer Sedan is offered in ES, SE, GT, and Ralliart configurations.

Engines and Transmissions:

A 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard equipment for the Lancer ES, paired with a 5-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Lancer SE and GT models are more powerful, thanks to a 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. The SE gets a CVT and Mitsubishi’s All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive system, while the GT is equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a CVT powering the front wheels.

The 2014 Lancer Ralliart Sedan is equipped with a turbocharged but de-tuned version of the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that is installed in the mighty Lancer Evolution (detailed separately). It generates 237 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 253 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,500 rpm and 4,750 rpm, put to the ground through all four wheels and a Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission. This model’s AWC system features a helical limited-slip front differential, an Active Center Differential, and a limited-slip rear differential.

Fuel Economy Ratings:

The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer gets between 25 mpg (SE AWC) and 29 mpg (ES with CVT) in combined driving, with the sedan models slightly more fuel-efficient than the Sportback models. The Lancer Ralliart Sedan’s more powerful turbocharged engine and standard AWC returns 20 mpg in combined driving.

Safety Ratings:

In crash tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Lancer a 4-star overall rating for protection. Note that the car’s rear-seat, side-impact rating is 3 stars.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has also tested the Lancer, giving the car the highest rating of “Good” in all assessments. The IIHS has not, however, subjected the Lancer to the small overlap frontal-impact test, which is required to earn a “Top Safety Pick” rating in 2014.

Technology Highlights:

All versions of the 2014 Lancer except for the base ES model are equipped with a standard 6.1-inch touchscreen radio that includes HD Radio, satellite radio, and a reversing camera. The Lancer GT and Ralliart are equipped with standard Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and a keyless passive entry system with push-button starting. A 710-watt, 9-speaker premium audio system is optional for all but the Lancer ES, while the GT and Ralliart can be upgraded with rain-sensing wipers and a navigation system with real-time traffic reports. Bluetooth is optional for the ES and SE AWC.