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2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES Review

Sporty Starter

A three-quarter front view of a red 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES

In short: A stylish and value-oriented compact sedan.

An interior view of a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES
A view of the engine in the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES
A view of the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES's rear bumper

Boasting a sporty exterior, this five-passenger sedan is both value-oriented and fun to drive. The Lancer's relatively inexpensive base price and edgy looks will appeal to younger buyers looking for an economical (but not embarrassing) ride. However, the Lancer takes a decidedly grown-up stance when it comes to utility and practicality. With the rear seats folded down, this compact sedan provides a surprising amount of cargo space. Another practical bonus is the Lancer's great gas mileage. Earning a respectable 29 mpg highway, the Lancer is sure to attract an audience among budget-minded young drivers who dread the pump.

Pricing and appearances aside, this compact sedan exhibits solid handling on the road and comes with features that are not usually associated with starter cars, such as all-wheel disc brakes, a driver's side knee airbag, power windows and mirrors, and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Audiophiles will also appreciate the optional 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate 9-speaker sound system. Offering excellent driveability and a host of attractive amenities at a reasonable price, the Mitsubishi Lancer ES proves that budget cars don't necessarily have to be boring cars.


A three-quarter rear view of a red 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer ES

Read a review of the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer ES

Warranty/Service: Ten-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty; five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; seven-year/100,000-mile anti-corrosion warranty; five-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance.

Base Price: $15,990/As Tested: $18,115

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower: 152 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 146 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual

Curb weight: 3,021 lbs
Wheelbase: 103.7 in
180/69.4/58.7 in
Turning circle: 32.8 ft

Brakes: all-wheel disc with ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution

EPA City: 21 mpg
EPA Highway: 29

Smog Index: .21

Safety: advanced dual front airbags; front seat-mounted side airbags; side curtain airbags; driver's side knee airbag; tire pressure monitoring system

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Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 04/23/10 NW)

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