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2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE AWC Review & Test Drive

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‘WELL EQUIPPED AND LOW PRICED THRILLS’

Year in and year out, the Mitsubishi Lancer compact sports sedan is consistently one of the Japanese auto manufacturer’s best-selling vehicles.  But this should come as no surprise as the good-looking, affordably priced, fuel-efficient and content laden Lancer SE AWC will   provide consumers with a lot of car for their hard earned money.

What’s more, last year the Lancer was named a ‘To Safety Pick’ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for the fifth consecutive year.  This heady accomplishment is due in large part to numerous safety technologies and features engineered into the Lancer design including Mitsubishi’s highly-effective Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) energy-absorbing body construction in the event of an impact; advanced dual-stage front airbags with occupant seat position sensor; side-impact head protection curtain airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, driver’s side knee airbag, ABS, EBD, Active Stability Control with Traction Control Logic, a tire pressure monitor, height-adjustable headrests and three-point seat belts for all five passengers.

Just introduced in 2012 as an all-new model entry of the varied Lancer vehicle lineup it now receives numerous changes for the 2013 model year.  These include standard features such as a convenient new Thule plug-in roof carrier accommodation for carrying cargo, bicycles, snowboards, canoes-you name it, new sharp-looking 16X6.5 in. 5-spoke alloy wheels, and an available premium package that consists of a power glass sunroof, a monster 710-watt Rockford Fosgate Punch Premium Sound system with 6CD/MP3 in-dash head unit, a 10 in. subwoofer mounted in the trunk and Sirius XM satellite radio, a leather-wrapped/tilting steering wheel and shift knob, high contrast gauge meters with LCD MID, and soft-touch door trim with chrome door handles.

The exterior design is aggressively styled with Mitsubishi’s signature ‘sharp nose’ front fascia with dual grilles finished with a chrome surround, halogen headlights with welcome light and coming home light, steeply raked A-pillars, a sweet character line at the beltline that also features a tasteful scallop running through both doors, deep side extensions that lower the center of gravity enhancing stability, chrome lower door molding, color-keyed outer door handles, side marker lamps, and rear combination tail lamps with black extension and a single polished stainless steel exhaust tip.

The Mitsubishi Lancer SE AWC is an affordably-priced model that is specifically designed for the Snowbelt states and includes a fuel-efficient 2.4 liter 4-cylinder, all-aluminum, DOHC MIVEC engine that generates 168 hp at 6,000 rpm and 167 lb.ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. It is hooked up to a strong and quiet CVT (continuously variable transmission) along with the company’s highly-capable All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system that is great in the fall/spring/summer months for getting through the winter snows. To activate the AWC system is easy; just push the console mounted toggle to FWD or AWC or AWC Lock.

The suspension fits the Mitsubishi Lancer SE AWC nicely with an independent front setup featuring MacPherson struts and a 21mm stabilizer bar.  The rear multi-link setup features an 18mm stabilizer bar to help keep it stay on track during spirited driving times and ride solidly  at speed on the highways.  The standard rack & pinion electric power assist gives good feedback from the road surface with very good response to your inputs.

Quickly slowing the Lancer SE down from speed are power-assisted, four-wheel disc brakes.  Up front are 10.3 in. vented discs clamped with single-piston calipers, and 10.3 in. solid discs also clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  The standard ABS, BA and EBD help keep you in control in the snow when driving in AWD.  The new 2013 Mitsubishi SE AWC rides on 205/60R16 in. Yokohama all-season radials for excellent grip and a smooth and quiet ride.

The interior cabin is roomy with easy to see and use controls.  The steering wheel is sporty for quick usage and contains controls for the cruise-control and audio system, comfortable and supportive bucket seats with premium sport fabric seating surfaces, storage pockets in each door, dual cupholders, front map lamps, dual vanity mirrors, front lower console accessory box cover, meter cluster with color LCD multi-informational display for trip, outside temperature, average fuel consumption, driving distance to empty, service reminder mode indicator, A/T position indicator, water temperature warning lamp and low fuel warning.

Standard features not mentioned above include heated front seats, and side view mirrors, stylish appointments including a chrome lower grille surround, upgraded dark silver instrument panel trim and unique black and beige trim seating fabric, power-remote sideview mirrors, Bluetooth Hands Free Communications with controls on the steering wheel, grab handles above each door, pull-down rear armrest with dual cupholders, 60/40 split folding rear bench seat, A/C, power windows/door locks with driver’s-side express up/down, variable intermittent wipers/washers, keyless entry, leather-wrapped parking brake with chrome button, 6-way manual adjustable driver’s seat and 4-way manual adjustable passenger seat, trunk & fuel filler door remote releases, cabin and trunk lamps and front/rear floor mats.

The new 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE AWC is one of the best compact sport sedans with great sporty looks, a long list of standard features, great optional features, a powerful engine, AWD ability, a sporty 4-wheel suspension, strong brakes and the latest technologies for today’s savvy tech consumers.  For a base price of $20,295.00 and with the premium package of just $1,550.00, it is a great bargain.

COPYRIGHT: 2012: HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Lancer SE AWC $20,295
  • Engine: 2.4 liter 4-cylinder DOHC MIVEC 168 hp @ 6,000 rpm /167 lb.ft. torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 103.7 in.
  • Total length: 180 in.
  • Total width: 69.4 in.
  • Total height: 58.3 in.
  • Track: f/r-60.2/60.2 in.
  • Minimum ground clearance: 5.5 in.
  • Interior volume: 105.8 cu.ft.
  • Passenger volume: 93.5 cu.ft.
  • Cargo volume: 12.3 cu.ft.
  • Headroom: f/r-39.4/36.9 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-42.3/36.1 in.
  • Turning circle: 32.8 ft.
  • Fuel tank: 14.5 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,120 lbs.
  • EPA mileage: 22mpg/city, 29mpg/highway

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