After driving so many crossovers, I was looking forward to trying out a sportier ‘non-soccer mom’ sedan for a change. The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT seemed like a great choice with its sleek lines and clean finish. But, was the appeal of this car only skin deep?
The dashboard was clear and uncluttered, with only the most important information being displayed. In this case, less was more as it made it easier for me to glance down, find what I need, then get my eyes back on the road.
The GT model had been specifically tailored to give the driver a racing feel. With paddle shifters (controls on the steering wheel to shift), tighter suspension, and a roaring 2.4L engine I set my expectations high for an exciting time. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there.
How the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT Measures Up
During my week of testing out the Mitsubishi Lancer, I noticed several aspects that didn’t quite make sense to me.
- Gear paddles: Seems cool but really not that fun toggling between 1st and 3rd gear in city driving.
- Tight Suspension: Doesn’t bounce around but you feel every dip, bump, and slight gap. In California, we have some pretty bad roads so this made for a constantly bumpy ride.
- Engine: Powerful – yes, quiet – no. The sound made when revving your engine and accelerating is not so awesome when you hear it constantly during a long drive on the freeway. My husband compared it to one of those little bumper boats. You know, the ones at amusement parks in which you step on the gas and hear it go full throttle only to find out that you’re barely moving. After a while, it just gets a bit irritating.
- Steering: Heavier means more deliberate control but this was reminiscent of pre-power steering days. No one-handed U-turns with this one.
- Navigation: Very confusing controls. It was also very difficult to see the screen as it was practically placed at a 90° angle and had a glare on it most of the time. That and it had a kind of useless functionality.
Getting Ready to Rumble
Some might argue that this was designed to mimic features in a race car. But if someone really wanted to buy a ‘cool’ sports car, this would not be it. Despite the upgraded package, most everything inside the car seemed kind of second rate. The majority of surfaces were made of plastic and sadly lacked any character – from the hollow dash to the generic buttons. To dim the dashboard illumination, you actually had to push the little knob several times to get the desired brightness versus just turning it.
Even the sound system was disappointing. I was really hoping that a big sub-woofer in the trunk suggested a full-bodied music experience. Instead, music came off somewhat flat with insufficient bass and piercing treble (despite adjusting the levels).
Oh, and it seems they ran out of room when it came to the face plate. With so much technology and the prevalent use of touch screens and bluetooth-streaming media, this surprised me a bit and seemed slightly ‘old school’:
We also noticed that only one of the front seats had a pocket on the back. Why? Why wouldn’t you just put a pocket on the other as well?
In day-to-day use, the Lancer also lacked innovation or functionality. Any cubbies located in the console area were way too small and oddly-shaped to actually put anything in. Cell phone? Nope, doesn’t fit. Keys? Too shallow. Wallet? Only if you want it hanging out 2/3 of the way. Leg room in the back was okay but not so much that you’d bring more than one passenger on a regular basis.
The 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT has a nice look and might be fun for one run on a track. Yet, it doesn’t really cut it in the real world. In really comparing the features, there’s no specific demographic (families, singles, seniors, commute) that I could fully recommend this car to. Even the fuel-economy is run of the mill around 26 MPG. The standard Lancer might be a different story but the GT comes out like a wannabe teen show-off. I hope this is not the norm for such a known brand.
Note: Post has been slightly edited to reflect a more unbiased opinion, now that I’m not as cranky as I was when originally writing it 😛
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