2016 Mitsubishi Lancer Review

The 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer ranks near the bottom of the class due to its low reliability rating, unrefined base engine, and low-rent cabin materials.

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Low reliability rating
  • Subpar cabin materials
  • Unrefined base engine 




Critics' Rating: 6.6
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 6.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 8.7
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2016 Mitsubishi Lancer Overview

Is the 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Lancer is not a good car, especially when compared to so many appealing rivals in the compact car class. The Lancer’s main selling point is its nimble handling, but you can get similar corner-carving capabilities in several rivals. The Lancer falls short in reliability and crash test scores, and its cabin is unrefined compared to those of most other compact cars.

Used 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer Performance and Interior

A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard in the base Lancer ES. While most drivers will find the base engine’s power sufficient, it feels unrefined and is very noisy. The available 2.4-liter four-cylinder has more punch. A manual transmission is standard, and an automatic (CVT) is available. With the automatic transmission and base engine, the Lancer gets 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which is typical for a compact car. The Lancer's ride isn't very comfortable due to its sport-tuned suspension. On the plus side, that firm setup gives the Lancer athletic handling and plenty of grip through turns. The Lancer is one of the few compact cars available with all-wheel drive.

Read more about Lancer performance »

The Lancer's cabin looks and feels dated and has stale styling. Hard plastics and other cheap materials cover most surfaces. The front seats offer plenty of support, but it's hard to find a comfortable driving position since the steering wheel doesn't telescope. There's ample legroom in the back seat. The outboard rear seats each have a full set of LATCH connectors, and there's an additional upper tether anchor on the middle rear seat.

Many rivals offer more standard features than the Lancer, which only has a basic audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, and automatic climate control. A touch-screen infotainment system, a Rockford Fosgate audio system, and a voice command system are available. The infotainment system is mostly easy to use, and the voice command system recognizes speech commands well. Still, the lack of physical buttons and knobs for frequently used settings can be tiresome.

Read more about Lancer interior »

Used 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer Prices

Used 2016 Lancers range from around $15,000 for a base ES model to about $19,000 for the top-line GT model. Price can vary with each vehicle’s condition, mileage, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 87 Pieces of Data Analyzed

To help you find the right used car for you, we gathered and analyzed 87 pieces of information to write this Mitsubishi Lancer review. This data includes reliability ratings and crash test scores.

Why You Can Trust Us

With 75 years of combined experience and a decade of ranking cars under our belts, our editorial staff knows the auto industry. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and an outside party places and sells the ads on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer?

The Lancer gets a below-average reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates.

Read more about Lancer reliability »

How Safe Is the Lancer?

Most compact cars have higher safety scores than the Lancer. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Lancer received a Good score in four categories and an Acceptable score in one category. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Lancer four out of five stars overall and in each individual test category. An available rearview camera is the Lancer's only safety feature. 

See Lancer safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Lancer?

If you like the 2016 Lancer, you should consider buying a 2014 or 2015 model. They are essentially the same as the 2016 model, but they likely cost less. The performance-oriented Lancer Evolution was produced until the 2015 model year.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Lancer »

Which Used Mitsubishi Lancer Is Right for Me?

Since the base ES model has few features and an unrefined engine, you should step up to the SE trim. It has a more potent engine as well as a longer list of features, including heated front seats, satellite radio, HD Radio, and an infotainment system. Higher trims add more features like leather upholstery, a sunroof, a Rockford Fosgate audio system, and a sport-tuned suspension.

Consider buying a certified pre-owned Lancer at a Mitsubishi dealership. It will likely cost more than a non-CPO model, but it will have some added benefits that you may find appealing. Mitsubishi certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original new-car 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 123-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mitsubishi warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer or 2016 Honda Civic?

If the Lancer's sharp handling appeals to you, consider the Honda Civic. Not only does it feel composed around corners, but it is better than the Lancer in nearly every way. The Civic has a refined, upscale cabin and more available features, including some driver assistance systems and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The seats in both rows are roomy, as is the trunk. The Civic also has one of the highest safety scores in the class, as well as excellent fuel economy.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer or 2016 Subaru Impreza?

The Subaru Impreza has standard all-wheel drive, so it's a natural competitor of the Lancer. The Impreza is overall a better car, but it's still not the best option in the compact car class. The Subaru beats the Mitsubishi in safety. While it has nicer cabin materials than the Lancer, it doesn’t match class leaders’ offerings. There are more features available in the Impreza, too. However, it isn't quite as nimble as the Lancer, and its base engine is underpowered.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer or 2016 Ford Focus?

The Lancer has more back-seat space than the Ford Focus, but otherwise the Focus is a much better option. It's available in a range of trims, from fuel-efficient models for driving in the city to the corner-carving hot hatchback Ford Focus RS. Like the Lancer, the Focus is one of the most nimble compact cars in the class, regardless of which trim you select. The Focus has a nicer cabin and more features, making it a better daily driver.

Compare the Lancer, Civic, and Impreza »


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