2008 Mitsubishi Lancer

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2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer was new.

The Lancer offers some of the most attractive exterior styling and balanced handling in its class, combined with some tech features that are usually reserved for luxury cars. But its slow-to-accelerate engine and sub-standard interior quality don't compare well with other compact cars.

Pros & Cons

  • Striking exterior styling compared to other cars in its class
  • Crisp steering compliments excellent overall handling capabilities
  • Well-liked seats, especially the sport seats on the GTS model
  • The one available engine suffers from disappointing acceleration
  • Though the interior build quality has improved, it still doesn't equal what the best of this class can offer
  • Air conditioning isn't standard on the base model
  • Federal government safety concern during side-impact testing

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Mitsubishi Lancer has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 43 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.0
Safety: 9.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Overview

The redesigned 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer earns a good overall score due to its eye-catching exterior and sporty handling. But there are mixed impressions of its transmissions and material quality. According to the Detroit News summary, "Parts of the redesigned Lancer…exceed expectations, but other areas fall flat. It's an overachiever without the follow-through to threaten the competition." In addition, the Lancer's fuel ratings are not as high as some higher-ranked small cars.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer is available in three trims: the base DE, the ES and the top-of-the-line GTS. If you are shopping for an affordable small car but not sold on the Lancer, consider the safe and reliable Honda Civic.

  • "For 2008, Mitsubishi throws out everything but the nameplate and starts from a much better place." -- Motor Trend
  • "While the new Lancer GTS boasts amenities not seen on other cars in its class, a powerful engine isn't one of them. But if rally car looks, nice tech options, and a booming stereo are more your speed, this Mitsubishi is an excellent choice." -- CNET
  • "The Lancer soldiers on, finding its niche among rental fleets and buyers who opt not for the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, or other leading competitors. For 2008, Mitsubishi hopes to woo even more buyers with the Lancer's aggressive styling, roomy interior, responsive handling, and range of basic to sport-tuned models, each backed by one of the best warranties in the business." -- Autosite
  • "This latest offering from the young-at-heart Mitsubishi might carry above-average risk, but, equipped as I sampled it, it's fun to drive, yet practical and reasonably priced. My week with it went all too quickly." -- Newsday
  • "The new Lancer's 'rally inspired' design captures the excitement of a sports sedan, but it does so in a package that is reasonably priced and economical to drive." -- Kansas City Star
  • "First-time car buyers should like the new Lancer. Its exterior and performance is top notch. It's affordable and when they sit inside it, they won't know what they're missing. They'll take the Mr. Hyde with the Dr. Jekyll, because they won't need a doctor's salary to afford one." -- Detroit News
  • "Suitable for smaller families on a budget." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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