Taking the scenic route with the Mitsubishi Lancer

Sponsored postBy Tyler, editor and reviewerMitsubishi Lancer in drivewayMy wife says I can’t buy a race car. Something about how it’s not practical and we have three kids, blah blah blah. But after spending time in the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer, I think I might just be able to sneak this one by her.

It may not have a roll cage or nitrous, but the Mitsubishi Lancer with the optional 2.4L engine does satisfy my desire for a compact car to cruise in that really feels like I’m driving. Anyone out there that has ever wanted to race knows what I’m talking about. There’s driving, and then there’s really feeling like you’re driving. Mitsubishi Lancer at hotelSo, how does the Mitsubishi Lancer enhance the driving experience? For me it was through the steering and suspension set up that was unlike the other family mobiles that are “practical” and “kid-friendly”. The funny thing is, the Lancer is actually both of those as well. It may not scream “family”, but you wouldn’t believe how much fun we all had zipping up and down hills along the Oregon and Washington coast as we hugged each curve in the road.

What Daddy-O loves:
•    Driving just for the fun of it – There are certain cars that when you drive them and reach your destination you say “why is this grocery store/rec center/beach so close?” and even when you make it home you look for any and all excuses to leave again. That was definitely the case with the Lancer, and I even went way out of our way on our journey home just to prolong the trip, which was made even longer with the highway closure and a ferry trip. And, I would do it again if I had the chance. No dad of three young kids has ever said that with a straight face. Mitsubishi Lancer on ferry•    Fuel economy – When we are talking long, scenic drives we’re usually talking a huge hit at the gas pump, so I love that the Lancer has an average of 26mpg. If you’re doing mostly highway miles that number goes even higher. This is pretty awesome, especially if you’re used to SUVs and gas guzzlers. Mitsubishi Lancer GPS•    What you need, simply – As much as I love the newer technology and being able to customize my ride, I also don’t ever want to crack a car manual {seriously, have you seen them these days? They weigh more than my baby}. With the Mitsubishi Lancer, I felt they had everything just right – simple, but not too simple and everything was very user friendly. With knobs and screens working together it felt like the best of both worlds and it was easy to customize the ride to my preferences without fumbling through screen after screen of options. Mitsubishi Lancer steering wheel•    Climate, controlled, with an old school twist – When you’re out for long drives you obviously want to be comfortable, but don’t want to have to think about the temperature constantly. I loved that while the Lancer has the three standard HVAC knobs that you’re likely familiar with, they also integrated automatic climate control into them. I was happy to be able to just set the temperature and let the car decide the rest, or fine tune the fan and direction of air by myself, all without hitting any extra buttons or taking my eyes off the road. Also, how nice are these his-and-hers cell phone compartments?Mitsubishi Lancer cell phone cubbies•    Three across, no problem. Everyone was a little skeptical that our three car seats were going to fit in the Lancer, but I’m happy to say that they did. I’m not sure what we would have done if they wouldn’t fit, but I’m glad we didn’t have to buy new seats or choose two favorite children to come with. And, while it wasn’t as roomy as the Outlander Sport, it also wasn’t car seat Tetris every time we loaded and unloaded kids. It might be pushing things in the teenage years with three across, but it worked well for young children and they all had plenty of room to play with favorite toys in their seats.

•    Back up camera – I’m a big fan of backup cameras in general, and even though I didn’t need it much in the Lancer, I really appreciated having it and the fact that it automatically switched to the camera when you put it in reverse. Mitsubishi Lancer back up cam•    Tough exterior, soft on the inside – I loved the chunky grill paired with the sporty lines of the Lancer. It has style in all the right places, all without screaming "LOOK AT ME!".  Mitsubishi Lancer in Oregon

Mama loves:
•    Compact at its best – It’s no secret my wife loves compact cars. She will probably be driving her trusty sedan until she’s old and grey and loving every minute of it. Talking her into anything bigger than a small station wagon is going to be difficult, so for her this car was just perfect. Great for having a conversation as a family, just enough space for everyone, and surprisingly roomy and comfortable in a very small footprint, which was perfect for parallel parking in downtown Portland. Mitsubishi Lancer in Portland•    Fit and finish – There’s nothing worse than a nice car with a horrible interior decorator, and for my wife this is a deal breaker. She really liked the simple design of the Lancer dash and interior and said it was one of her favorites. Mitsubishi Lancer on bridge•    She likes big trunks and cannot lie – The Mitsubishi Lancer may be compact, but you would not believe the size of the trunk it boasts. We’re talking food and gear for 5 people, a stroller, camera gear, a big wedding present, and all the other stuff families cart around. It’s big. Real big. Mitsubishi Lancer trunk•    Keyless entry and ignition – I sincerely hope every car, house, and lock box will eventually have keyless entry, and no one loves this feature on the new Mitsubishis more than my wife with her “mom purse” that keys love to hide in.  The Lancer was a bit different than the other keyless ignition cars we’ve tested and instead of the button you press to turn it on and off, it had an ignition knob that you can turn all the way to off, leave in accessory mode, or turn on the car.

Kiddos love:

•    Step on it, Daddy-O – Even the kids could appreciate that there was something a little special about the Lancer in terms of power and pep. But, from day one they called the Lancer the “race car” and they lovingly treated it as such. They especially loved it when we were on those winding roads along the coast and feeling like we were really gripping every single corner. If you were anywhere in our vicinity during that drive, that was them yelling “wheeeee!” in the backseat, even though I was driving at the posted speed limits and obeying all the rules of the road. Safe driving can be fun in the right car, kiddos.
•    Sunroof – Every car should have a sunroof. It’s better than an entertainment system and it just makes everyone happier, especially kids that are rear facing or have almost no visibility out the side windows. When sitting three across someone is going without a window seat, but if there’s a sunroof, at least they have a good view of the action. Mitsubishi Lancer amp•    Rocking stereo – As I said before, the Rockford Fosgate sound system is like a whole new level of sound and it was especially impressive in the little Lancer. With an awesome stereo system that you can customize for your listening pleasure using preset modes or with fully customizable options to fine tune your music as well as a subwoofer in the trunk for extra bass, it packed a big punch that the kids really loved, even though we had it turned low.  Mitsubishi Lancer waiting for ferry•    Fun even when parked – This little race car proved to be very popular, even when it wasn’t moving. When we stopped for the ferry ride and when we were checking out of the hotel the kids gladly took advantage and pretended to race themselves. Mitsubishi little driver
So, after our week with the Lancer the whole family was left quite taken with our little red race car, and all for different reasons. But still the thing that stood out the most to me was what a solid fun to drive car the Lancer was. Which means that even in it's most basic trim level, you won't feel like you're stuck driving a boring, no personality econobox. 

So, will my wife let me buy a race car? No, unfortunately not. But the Lancer definitely has her talking just a little differently about it, which I'll call a win. 
TylerA big thank you to Drive Shop USA for this test driving experience. All opinions are 100% ours.

2 thoughts on “Taking the scenic route with the Mitsubishi Lancer”

  1. Nice car! Not sure when the day will ever come with my 5 kids, need something much bigger but would like to have something a little smaller and better on gas

  2. Thanks so much, we just purchased a Mazda 3. After looking at the inside of the Lancer, I think all car companies should be storage above the gear shift. We took a long trip when we got ours and are getting 36 miles to a gallon, actually city driving we get the same. We are going to make another purchase soon for our extra car. I don’t drive much due to my MS, but my jeep is wearing out and we have to have an extra just in case. I know we will be looking at the Lancer before we look anywhere else. Great review.


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