Mitsubishi is determined to be "dull-no-more" with its latest generation Lancer. New in SA, it hopefully has enough go to match its show...
It looks a completely different machine to the one it replaces. The front end styling treatment is particularly aggressive with an almost vertical grille with narrow headlights and a mesh grille. Strong lines extend along the profile towards the compact rear end.
Physically larger than before, new Lancer is offered with two engine derivatives. Both powerplants are available with Mitsubishi's MIVEC variable valve timing system on the inlet and exhaust camshafts.
The 1.5-litre produces 80 kW and peak torque for 143 Nm. The 2.0-litre develops 114 kW and 199 Nm at 6 000 and 4 250 r/min respectively.
Both engines are mated with a five-speed manual gearbox tuned to meet the demands of the individual engines.
As before, suspension is via a McPherson strut and multi-link arrangement that has been slightly revised for use in the latest generation.
The differences between the base 1.5 GLX and the 2.0 GLS are most apparent from inside the cabin.
Designed to appeal to the more economically minded buyer, the GLX is equipped with air conditioning, electrical power steering, height adjustable steering wheel, driver information system, and an MP3 compatible radio/CD system.
Safety equipment includes dual stage front airbags, height adjustable seatbelts for the front passengers and Isofix mountings at the rear seats.
The range-topping GLS adds climate control, hydraulically assisted rack and pinion power steering, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a leather wrapped steering wheel and gearshift, 60/40 split rear bench with an armrest and two cupholders and wood trim.
The 1.5l GLX is priced at R159 900 and the 2.0l GLS sells for R175 000. Both prices include a five-year/100 000 km service plan.