In the words of the maker Mitsubishi, the Lancer has been ‘tweaked’ for the new year to include a revised model range with price cuts, more features, door mirrors with side repeater lamps, emergency stop flashers and a new style of door trims.

The Lancer is now available from just $18,990, plus on-road costs. That’s for the ES Sport manual sedan, powered by a 110 kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, while the sedans are topped out by the XLS manual at $26,490. Automatic transmission adds $2000 across the range.

The sporty Lancer GSR Sportback we road tested is powered by a 125 kW 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine and is available with a CVT automatic for $23,990, reduced from $25,240. Ours had the automatic transmission.

In keeping with its sports orientation, the Lancer GSR Sportback features 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, Ralliart front grille, side skirts, rear spoiler, sports front seats and sports drilled-look pedals.


Other standard features are a reversing camera, voice activated Bluetooth with audio streaming, climate-control air-conditioning, privacy glass, Smart Key, rain sensing wipers, dusk sensing lamps, 6.1-inch full colour touch screen with iPod compatibility and rear view camera.

The sporty 2.4-litre engine, with the choice of five-speed manual or a CVT with steering wheel paddle shifts, delivers a power output of 125 kW and 226 Nm of torque, making it one of the best non-turbos around.

Housed in Mitsubishi’s innovative Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body, the cabin offers strong protection in the event of an accident.


Coupled with a raft of electronic safety features including Active Stability Control, Active Traction Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake Distribution with Brake Assist technology, seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters on the front, child restraint anchorage points and two IsoFix child seat anchor points in the rear, it all adds up to a top five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Price cuts could mean forgoing comfort and convenience, but the MY15 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Sportback turned out to be one of the most instantly comfortable cars of any class I have come across.

The sporty spruce-up is no wasted effort, for with 125 kW on tap from its 2.4-litre MIVEC motor, the Sportback is one of Australia’s most powerful non-turbo hatches and skips along very nicely thank you.

The automatic transmission offers infinitely variable gear ratios that allow the engine always to operate at the best of its ability, irrespective of vehicle speed.

Fuel consumption isn’t too bad when you take the performance of the big four-cylinder into account. Our Lancer Sportback CVT test car clocked up 6.1 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres on the motorway, while using just north of 11 litres per 100 kilometres in the urban environment.

As with many so-called manual alternatives, Sports Mode allows the driver to take control of how the car performs, although there’s more ‘manual’ than ‘sport’ about it here.

A glaring error is the positioning of the touch screen which can be affected by bright light coming through the windscreen. It’s becoming a common fault as screens spread through the ranks of even the most inexpensive vehicles.

Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Sportback is a competent, value-for-money vehicle. It comes with a five-year / 130,000 km new vehicle warranty, five-year Roadside Assist and capped price servicing for the first four years or 60,000 km of ownership.

Lancer GSR Sportback: $21,990 (manual), $23,990 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Mitsubishi dealer for drive-away prices.

18-inch alloy wheels
Side air dams
Rear sports spoiler
Sports-style front seats
Sports pedals
Reversing camera
Voice activated Bluetooth with audio streaming
Climate control air-conditioning
Privacy glass
Smart Key
Rain sensing wipers
Dusk sensing lamps
6.1-inch full colour touch screen with iPod compatibility and rear-view camera

(2.4-litre 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve MIVEC petrol engine)
Configuration: In-line 4-cylinder
Maximum Power: 125 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 226 Nm @ 4100 rpm

Drivetrain: Five-speed manual / continuously variable automatic transmission

Length: 4585 mm
Width: 1760 mm
Height: 1515 mm
Wheelbase: 2635 mm
Track: 1530 mm
Ground clearance: 140 mm
Kerb weight: 1400 kg
Gross vehicle mass: 1900 kg
Seating capacity: 5
Cargo capacity 300 litres
Fuel Tank Capacity: 59 litres
Towing capacity: 1000 kg (braked); 550 kg (unbraked)
Turning circle: 10 m

Suspension: Sports tuned fully independent
Brakes: Active Stability Control, Active Traction Control, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake Distribution and Mitsubishi’s Brake Assist
Steering: Electric power assisted rack and pinion
Wheels / tyres: Alloy 18-inch 215/45 R18 / 89W

Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: N/A
Top speed: N/A

Fuel type: 91 RON unleaded
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 8.9 litres per 100 km

Greenhouse Rating: 6.0 / 10
Air Pollution Rating: 6.5 / 10

Five years / 130,000 kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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