When the announcement was first made back in 2001 that the Lancer would be sold in North America, it was greeted with cheers from enthusiasts for upwards of 30 seconds before they learned that there were no immediate plans to bring over the EVO. We do have the EVO now, but the regular mainstream version of the Lancer never did catch on with enthusiasts. In fact it didn’t really catch on with anyone, and Honda has averaged about 10 Civics sold in North America for every Lancer sold here since it was first introduced in 2001 for the 2002 model year.

Mitsubishi has now brought out a facelifted version of the current generation to try to win back some customers and undo the sales side that the model has been in for about a decade at this point. The facelift has more riding on it that just sales though, Mitsubishi has been said to be debating whether or not to kill off the model altogether, and the success of the model over the next couple of years will no doubt determine its fate once and for all. These kinds of moves do sometimes work, but the Lancer has a long way to go to be a serious competitor in its segment.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer.

  • 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    five-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    148 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    145 @ 4200
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    17595
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648929
2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648926
2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648935

The styling of the current Lancer has already been tweaked a bit, but is still based on the original design for this generation that dates back to 2007. It hasn’t really kept pace with the design of its competitors, but it does have to be said that it’s still a massive improvement over the previous generation. The facelift doesn’t include any actual changes to the sheet metal, but there are a few new touches to the front and rear fascias.

The grille surrounds are chromed and flanked by new LED daytime running lights. There are a handful of new paint colors, but these are still just variations on black, white, gray, red and blue – the same five colors that basically all mainstream cars come in these days. And though they aren’t new, fog lights and aluminum alloy wheels are now standard features for all trim levels.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 103.7 Inches
Length 182.1 Inches
Width 69.4 Inches
Height 58.3 Inches
Track, Front 60.2 Inches
Track, Rear 60.2 Inches
Min. Ground Clearance 5.5 Inches

Interior

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Interior
- image 648918
2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Interior
- image 648954
2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Interior
- image 648922

You know that you’re in trouble when “tilt-adjustable steering column” is listed as a feature on a car, it means that there really isn’t much to talk about and the manufacturer feels the need to pad the list. There have been some improvements though, most notably when it comes to the infotainment system, with Bluetooth now being offered as a standard feature.

The fabric used for the seats has been upgraded and a large infotainment screen now dominates the center stack. These are certainly welcome improvements, as the interior of the Lancer has always been a serious weak point. But the overall look is still very cheap looking and incredibly dated, even for 2007 when it was new. For example, that big infotainment screen is not a touchscreen.

Interior Dimensions

Head Room (with sunroof)
Front 39.6 Inches (38.5 Inches)
Rear 36.9 Inches
Leg room
Front 42.3 Inches
Rear 36.1 Inches
Shoulder room
Front 54.7 Inches
Rear 54.3 Inches
Hip room
Front 53.3 Inches
Rear 54.1 Inches

Drivetrain

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 648917

The base model is still powered by the same 2.0-liter engine, with the slightly more powerful 2.4-liter coming in the higher trim levels and the Lancer GT. There is an improved version of the CVT and Mitsubishi’s AWD system, which seems like good news, but there is no regular automatic and those who want the AWD have to take the CVT as well. The five-speed manual transmission is available only for the base trim and the base GT trim. Fuel economy is decent, but not in any way that is going to stand out, especially when the car’s biggest competitors have hybrid versions available.

The 2.0-liter engine produces 148 horsepower and the 2.4 puts out 168. Those numbers aren’t exceptional for this segment, but that does mean that they aren’t exceptionally bad either. The Lancer has still been regularly criticized for being dull to drive, and this has had more to do with the transmissions offered than the horsepower ratings. The CVT is especially bad in this department, but hopefully this allegedly improved version will correct at least some of that.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 2.0L I4 DOHC, 16-valve, Mitsubishi Innovative Valve-timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) 2.4L I4 DOHC, 16-valve, Mitsubishi Innovative Valve-timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC)
Engine Code 4B11 4B12
Materials Aluminum block/ aluminum cylinder heads Aluminum block/ aluminum cylinder heads
Bore x Stroke (in./mm) 3.4 in. x 3.4 in. / 86.0 mm x 86.0 mm 3.5 in. x 3.8 in. / 88.0 mm x 97.0 mm
Compression Ratio 10.0:1 10.5:1
Displacement 2.0L /1998cc 2.4L /2360cc
Horsepower 5MT: 148 @ 6000 rpm CVT (FED): 148 @ 6000 rpm CVT (CAL): 143 @ 6000 rpm 168 @ 6000 rpm
Torque 5MT: 145 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm CVT (FED): 145 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm CVT (CAL): 143 lb-ft@ 4200 rpm 167 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm 167 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm

Safety

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648927

The Lancer has a 4-star safety rating from the NHTSA. The rating for the driver is actually five stars in both front and side impacts, but a poor rating for back seat occupants brings the average down to 4 stars overall. For those that don’t really ever carry passengers in their cars, the Lancer’s rating is much closer to the safety leaders in the segment. Driver’s aides are all but nonexistent. This isn’t so unusual, but if Mitsubishi had really wanted to make the Lancer stand out with these updates, it would have been a good idea to at least offer a few basic ones as options.

Prices

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648945

The new $17,595 base price is a few hundred lower than it was for the 2015 model, with a bit more equipment thrown in. That makes a base ES trim a much better value, and in what is one of the most competitive segments in the market, that’s hugely important. Appealing to value-oriented customers is a sensible move for Mitsubishi, especially since those interested in design or performance are going to skip right over it. The only problem with that is the Kia Forte, which has a price point starting below $17,000 and therefore will likely draw more of those shopping based on price alone.

Order Code Description (Eng./Tran) Suggested Retail Price Comments
LN41-A Lancer ES 4-Door DOHC MIVEC (2.0L/5MT) $17,595.00 5-Speed Manual Transmission
LN41-A Lancer ES 4-Door DOHC MIVEC (2.0L/CVT) $18,595.00 Continuously Variable Transmission
LN41-C Lancer ES AWC 4-Door DOHC MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $19,995.00 Continuously Variable Transmission
LN41-E Lancer SE AWC 4-Door DOHC MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $20,995.00 Continuously Variable Transmission
LN41-G Lancer SEL AWC 4-Door DOHC MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $21,995.00 Continuously Variable Transmission
LN41-T Lancer GT 4-Door DOHC MIVEC (2.4L/5MT) $22,495.00 5-Speed Manual Transmission
LN41-T Lancer GT 4-Door DOHC MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $23,495.00 Continuously Variable Transmission with 6-Step Sportronic® Paddle-Shifters

Options

Navigation System Package $1,800.00
Popular Equipment Package $350.00
Floor Illumination (Blue LED), Interior Lights $335.00
Interior Package $295.00
Chrome Package $270.00
All Weather Package $675.00
Accessory Rear Park Assist Sensors $295.00
Accessory Rear Lip Spoiler $290.00
Rear Wing Spoiler $290.00
Accessory LED Fog Lights $320.00
Accessory Wheel Locks $55.00
Accessory All Weather Floor Mats $80.00
Accessory Roof Rack Cross Bars $255.00

Competition

Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 646700

This Civic has always been a strong contender in the compact segment. It might have had a few rough years in the not too distant past, but Honda has just unveiled a new generation of the car and sales are bound to get a boost on the strength of that alone. That means serious competition for the 2016 Lancer from a car that already far outsold it every year. The Civic does have one of the higher base prices in the segment, but that hasn’t been a major impediment to sales.

Read more about the Honda Civic here.

Ford Focus

2015 Ford Focus High Resolution Exterior
- image 543213

When it comes to small cars that are fun to drive, Ford has been doing a phenomenal job in recent years. The Focus is a European-style sedan and hatchback that still sells quite well in North America. It is arguably one of the more attractive cars in the segment, plus it handles quite well and even offers some serious performance versions. It does suffer from a less than spectacular automatic transmission, but there is a manual available. And even if you do opt for the automatic, it’s still better than having a CVT.

Read more about Ford Focus here.

Conclusion

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648936

Mitsubishi has definitely made a better Lancer for 2016, that much has to be said. But the problem is that the Lancer needed to be made a lot better to get the attention of buyers that would otherwise be headed straight to the Toyota dealership for a Corolla. The Lancer just isn’t special; it does a lot of things decently, but there is no "one thing" that it does better than anything else in the segment. It might even seem as though Mitsubishi doesn’t care about the Lancer anymore if this is the best thing that it could come up with to save the car.

Sadly, that’s probably exactly what’s going on, Mitsubishi is staying afloat in North America right now based almost entirely on its crossover sales, and if it seems like a lot more thought has gone into the diamond star’s crossovers, it is probably because that is exactly what has happened. Mitsubishi simply must not have wanted to devote the resources to reviving the Lancer.

  • Leave it
    • * Can’t have AWD or a lot of other options without a CVT
    • * Interior looks like it come from a ’90s car
    • * Not especially fun to drive

Press Release

Mitsubishi’s stylish and renowned Lancer compact sports sedan enters 2016 with a number of key design and feature improvements to set it apart from the pack. Exterior enhancements include fresh new front end exterior design, new alloy wheel designs and brand new exterior paint colors.

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648926

New value-oriented models have been added to the Lancer line-up for the new model year, including a reconfigured Lancer ES and new SEL trim level, both available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and the brand’s exceptional All Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system, which provides enhanced performance and tractability. Additionally, the entry-level Lancer ES model now boasts the most comprehensive standard equipment and features package ever included and all CVT models come equipped with a new generation CVT8 that improves both performance and fuel economy.

The 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer comes equipped with the following standard features:

Interior

New front center console
New interior seating fabric
FUSE Hands-Free Link System® with Bluetooth® technology and USB port
AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with 140-watt speakers
Color LCD multi-information display
Soft-touch instrument panel and door trim
6-way adjustable driver’s seat
Automatic air condition climate control
Steering wheel mounted audio, cruise control and Bluetooth® switches
Cruise control
Power windows with driver’s automatic down/up feature
Power door locks
Remote keyless entry with panic feature
60/40 split folding rear seat
Tilt-adjustable steering column
Remote trunk and fuel lid release lever
High-contrast gauge meters

Exterior

New front fascia/chrome grille
Automatic on/off headlights
Fog lights
Heated side view mirrors with turn indicators
LED daytime running lights (DRLs)
Auto-off halogen headlights
Side air dams
Color-keyed outer door handles
Colors: New Diamond White Pearl, New Alloy Silver, Tarmac Black, Octane Blue, Rally Red, Mercury Gray

Safety

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648927

Advanced seven (7) air bag SRS system including driver’s side knee air bag, dual-stage front air bags with occupant seat position sensors, front seat mounted side-impact air bags and front and rear curtain side air bags
Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL)
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Engine immobilizer anti-theft security alarm system
Mitsubishi Motors’ patented Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) safety cell body construction

Warranty

Fully transferable 5-year/60,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty
10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty
7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion perforation limited warranty
5-year/unlimited mile roadside assistance

Bold New Exterior
The 2016 Lancer features a fresh and bold new signature design for the front fascia/grille section.

Additional updates for the 2016 Lancer include 16" or all-new 18" alloy wheels, new LED daytime running lights (DRLs), a new chrome beltline trim and a choice of two new paint colors: New Diamond White Pearl and Alloy Silver, in all models.

Revitalized Interior
The Lancer receives a number of key design and/or feature improvements to its interior for the new model year. All models now feature a redesigned front center console complete with a convenient USB port as well as an improved new display audio system. The optional navigation system has been redesigned and includes a new reconfigured display screen. The Lancer ES and SE models now come standard with improved fabric seats and gloss black trim.

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Interior
- image 648928

Next-Generation Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT)
Consumers choosing to upgrade their 2016 Lancer model’s powertrain will experience improved fuel efficiency, smoother operation, reduced noise and better acceleration and shift performance from Mitsubishi’s latest generation continuously-variable transmission (CVT). The next-generation CVT transmission is a standard feature on the 2016 Lancer ES, SE and SEL AWC models that include Mitsubishi’s outstanding and highly capable All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system.

Increased Standards and Value
Mitsubishi vehicles have a well-deserved reputation in the eyes of automotive consumers for delivering exceptional reliability, safety and value for decades in the North American marketplace. For the 2016 model year, Mitsubishi adds to its reputation with the introduction of the value-priced Lancer ES – the most comprehensive standard equipment package to ever be included on an entry-level Mitsubishi Lancer.

The 2016 Lancer ES now features 16-in. alloy wheels, FUSE Hands-Free Link System® for voice-activated audio and cell phone controls, automatic air condition climate control, color LCD multi-infomation display and fog lights with LED daytime running lights (DRLs).

In addition to the standard equipment package, the 2016 Lancer ES is now available with a new Sun & Sound package (CVT only) that includes a power glass sunroof, rearview camera, a 6.1" display audio system with HD Radio®, SIRIUSXM® satellite radio with 3-month subscription and a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate® premium sound system with nine speakers including 10-in. dual-voice coil subwoofer with Punch Control®, DTS® Neural Surround, PremiDIA-WIDE surround, and Dolby® Volume.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: