Overview of the Mitsubishi Lancer
The Mitsubishi Lancer turned 45 years old in 2018 and remains one of the Japanese brand's most famous models.
That was helped in the 1990s, when the Mitsubishi Lancer enjoyed huge success in the world rallying championship (with Finnish driver Tommi Makkinen). The showroom version of the Lancer Evolution became hugely popular with keen drivers.
The future of Mitsubishi's small car is now in doubt, however, as the company focuses on SUVs. The current (CJ) generation is already more than 10 years old, having debuted in 2007 - with a hatchback body style replacing the wagon.
MITSUBISHI LANCER GENERATIONS (SINCE 2000)
2.0L 4cyl petrol: 7.1-7.4 litres per 100km
2.4L 4cyl petrol: 8.7-8.9 litres per 100km
= Highly economical.
= Good economy.
= Average fuel use.
= Heavy consumption.
Every 15,000km or 12 months, whichever is sooner. Each service currently costs between $210 and $240. Mitsubishi Lancer parts and equipment can be found on Gumtree.
SIMILAR CARS TO MITSUBISHI LANCER
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR: MITSUBISHI LANCER (2015 MODELS ONWARDS)
Based on the previous-model Lancer, the Lancer here represents a decade-old design, so Mitsubishi has had plenty of time to get it right.
The CVT transmission takes some getting used to. Even then, a batch of Lancers had especially tardy CVTs and was recalled to sharpen them up.
On manual cars, make sure there's no shuddering when you take off and that all the gears engage smoothly, especially first thing in the morning.
At idle and with the car in neutral, let the clutch out. There shouldn't be a sudden clattering noise when you do this. If there is, the gearbox could be worn.
Drive any manual Lancer up a hill in fourth or fifth gear and try to accelerate. If the engine speeds up but the car doesn't, you're looking at a worn clutch that will need replacement.
Check the service record carefully. Lancers were popular with younger owners, many of whom regarded preventative maintenance as optional.