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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS – Review

Posted in Car Buying, Car Reviews, Cars, Fast Cars, Favorite Cars, General, Honda, Import Review, Mitsubishi, New Cars by Corey | July 14th, 2009 | 8 Responses |
2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

Prior to this year, if you wanted a piece of the Mitsubishi performance pie, you had to either shell out some rather big bucks for one of the numerous Evo iterations and suffer again at the gas pump, or get behind the wheel of an Eclipse and try to forget that you aren’t 19 years old and actually need a usable back seat. Is it possible to have a dose of Evo without the sticker shock? The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS gives it a try.

2009 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

You’ll be happy to know that, in most people’s estimates, the positive attributes that we’ve come to associate with Mitsubishi, like handling, strong engines and distinctive styling are all in place with the Lancer GTS. What pesky annoyances are present, like interior quality, are also frequently cited in much more expensive vehicles from the tri-diamond company. So at the very least you can sleep well knowing your thriftiness is not responsible for its shortcomings.

Performance

Visually, the Lancer has been a sharp looking vehicle for a few years. Problem is that unless you ponied up to the higher level EVO, what you ended up with was only a pretender. For instance, the GTS of 2008 sported an enormous rear wing (which we aren’t huge fans of anyway) and 18-inch wheels. Unfortunately in order to achieve speed for, let’s say passing, the 2.0 liter four cylinder engine had to be thrashed into often higher rpm’s than you’d expect for such a basic driving maneuver. So Mitsubishi deserves credit for addressing these complaints. For 2009 the GTS gets more performance via a newly standard 2.4-liter 168-hp four-cylinder engine.

2.4-Liter Engine

2.4-Liter Engine

The DE and ES trim levels are not so lucky and still come with the 2.0-liter 152-hp four. The increased displacement of this engine produces 16 more horsepower and, more importantly in the very scenario cited above, 21 additional pound-feet of torque. This engine is also not only more powerful but also substantially quieter. 0-60 mph times drop by about a second to 7.7 seconds over the base engine, while maitaining similar fuel economy. Standard is a five-speed manual transmission, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. Adding CVT includes a manual mode that is operated via paddle shifters, though the CVT seems to mute driving performance considerably.

The highest praise is reserved for the handling attributes of this car. The GTS steers and corners like a car costing much more and high-speed motoring is respectable. And now with sufficient motivation, the GTS’s 18-inch tires can do the job they only hinted at in previous years.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is still an issue when stacked against other cars in this class, though when compared to a Civic Si, the GTS holds its own, though about 30 hp less. Nevertheless, the 2.4-liter gets 21 in city and 28 in highway driving. For comparative purposes, the EVO gets 22 mpg on the highway.

Styling

Especially when evaluated against other cars in this segment, the outer visage of the Lancer is right at the top of our list. With a sharklike “face” and clean lines, it definitely conveys something more than “inexpensive” and borders on downright attractive. Perhaps most importantly, the GTS is unique. With so many cars that look alike, especially at this price point, it is refreshing to see a car standout on its own. The large spoiler is a bit of an eye roller, but that’s a small price to pay.

ag_08lanceres_frontleft

Amenities

The GTS comes equipped with a large list of standard equipment inclinding 18-inch alloy wheels, a tilt-only steering wheel, power windows, mirrors and locks with keyless entry, a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with steering-wheel controls and Bluetooth, automatic climate control, antilock brakes, cruise control, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and sport bucket front seats with an upgraded fabric from the base models.

GTS Interior

GTS Interior

The Sun and Sound package is availablewhich includes a sunroof, keyless ignition, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. When equipped with this package, the GTS can also be optioned with a navigation system that features a 30GB hard drive capable of storing digital music files. A full compliment of airbags, including front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag come standard on the GTS which earns a five-star rating for driver frontal and front-seat side crash protection in government crash testing.

2009-mitsubishi-lancer-gts-interior

While the list of options is nice, the quality of materials insides is still lacking. Certainly even being generous, anyone would agree that the interior doesn’t reflect what you’d expect of a car that is down right sharp to look at on the outside. Still, seat comfort itself is very good, and one major benefit of buying a sporty sedan instead of a true sports car is the usable back seat, which on the GTS comes with good legroom. Trunk space adds up to a respectable 11.6 cubic feet.

Pricing

The GTS with manual transmission starts at $18,010, though with the sunroof, navigation and stability control you are looking at around $23,000.

Really not a bad price, but certainly you are in Civic Si and its nearly 200 hp engine for that amount. If you can keep your options list under control, the GTS is a good value.

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8 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    I think the gas mileage is a real killer here. Sacrifice a few ponies and go with the regular Civic, and your mileage will shoot through the roof. Or actually gain some ponies and go with the Civic SI, and your mileage is the same. Who exactly is the buyer for the Lancer GTS? With Mitsu’s reputation for quality ( or rather, their reputation for poor quality ), it doesn’t seem to make sense. Especially when you look at the pricing…

  2. Chris says:

    Don’t get a GTS if you are looking for power and performance… Instead, do what Rob said and go for the Si Civic to get some Vtec power, giving you 30 more horsepower and around the same gas mileage as the GTS. If it’s a Mitsubishi your looking for, take your pick of one of the many types of Evo’s out there… it’s worth the lower gas mileage for power and performance…

    Besides, if you are looking to tune your car, or you just want some stock performance and power, gas mileage shouldn’t be in your head. If you want better gas mileage… better just look at the Toyota Prius…

  3. Thanks for sharing this post. Nice pics. This is one of the smallest sedan car and having this car is an indication of high status. It is very well designed car,very comfortable as interiors are quiet spacious. According to price, it gives good performance. For more details refer http://www.automotivecraze.com/2009-mitsubishi-lancer-review/

  4. Tommy White says:

    I bought my 2009 Mit. Lancer GTS in Oct and the clutch is already needing to be replaced! Now I’ve owned manual transmission cars since I started driving in 1981 so I know how to use one. I don’t rest my foot on it while driving, I don’t ‘pop’ it when I take off, etc. so I think they really need to work on this part of the car.

    • Limi says:

      Yes I’ve put 3 clutches on mine n now I have a act stage 3 clutch cuz the exedy clutches they have are horrible!!

  5. Richard says:

    Yes, get a Civic SI if you want me to blow by you in a curve, and stop faster, and be safer than you. By the way, the ’09 GTS has the MIVEC technology, which is the same as Honda’s V-Tec… also, a Civic SI hasn’t managed to get its nose in front of mine so far, but it might just be that the SI drivers were really bad, I don’t know, and I don’t care. All I know is that Compared to all other cars in this segment (Civics, Corollas, Cobalts, Focus, Mazda3, etc.) this car is a no-brainer with all the toys you get for the same amount of money. Like an above psoter said, if you’re worried about fuel economy, get a Prius! However, this car is pretty economic, considering I fill it up only once a week, drive fast, and do around 300miles on a single tank. And I don’t see how the Civic and Corolla interiors are better.. has any reviewer sat in a Lancer GTS with leather seats? I didn’t think so… The trims fit perfectly, there is NO road noise, and it’s sproty yet elegant. I’m more certain than ever that reviewers are “bought” by car companies, their views are so skewed, it’s not even funny.

  6. Limi says:

    The gts is nice I got a brand new one. But if anything happens like the block messes up or u put a rod threw it Mitsubishi will void your warranty cuz they will automatically think you’ve had stuff done to it. Mitsubishi service sucks!

    • michael says:

      No you’re wrong I had mitsubishi evo and I blew the engine when it has 1300 miles and deller did change the block with few questions ask