Perhaps one of the most overlooked hatchbacks on the market today, the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback offers simple straightforward motoring with good levels of equipment and a very long 10-year warranty at a reasonable price.
For 2017, the Limited Edition package featured on the entry level Lancer SE trim is now standard equipment. That means a slightly higher base price, but more equipment including a power sunroof, fog lights with LED daytime running lights, 16-inch machine finish alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, plus a display audio system, reverse camera, 140-watt sound system with Bluetooth streaming audio, and USB port. This is of course in addition to the solid level of standard equipment the SE features, including all power accessories, automatic climate control, and heated front seats.
The Sportback is also offered in GT trim, adds all the above content, plus leather upholstery, wheels with black-painted pockets, soft-touch interior trim, chrome interior door handles, proximity key with push-button start, upgraded gauges, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with 10-inch subwoofer, and satellite radio.
Both the SE and GT feature the same engine, a simple 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing that develops an acceptable 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. It can be mated to either a five-speed manual or a CVT transmission with eight pre-determined ratios that drivers can toggle through to mimic a conventional automatic. The manual version is rated at 9.9 L/100 km city and 7.2 L/100 km highway, with the CVT variant checking in at 9.2 L/100 km city and 7.1 L/100 km. Though the Lancer Sedan is offered with all-wheel drive, the Sportback is not.
Although it was just updated last year with a new front fascia boasting flashy LED daytime running lights, a revised centre stack, and adjusted levels of standard equipment, the Lancer is starting to feel long in the tooth. Compact cars have evolved significantly since the Sportback hit the market, back in 2010. If you're looking for active safety features, or Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Pricing for the 2017 Lancer Sportback starts at $21,198 for the SE with manual transmission and caps out at $25,998 for the GT with CVT.
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