Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Mitsubishi - Lancer - GSR AWD sedan

Our Opinion

We like
Fun, fun, fun
Room for improvement
Can be a little expensive to run and maintain

20 Jun 2003

THE Mitsubishi Lancer GSR four-wheel drive was released in October, 1992, as the flagship of the new CC range of Lancers. The GSR immediately set a new benchmark for affordable sedan- based performance cars which was not matched until the Subaru Impreza WRX was released two years later.

Mitsubishi used the World Rally Championship as a showcase for its technology and the GSR was the production car platform from which the competition rally cars were derived. It incorporated all the basic ingredients - four-wheel drive, light weight and turbocharged engine - of a rally championship contender.

The Lancer was surprisingly well equipped for its price with power windows and mirrors, cruise control, central locking and a four-speaker AM/FM radio/cassette. The only option was air- conditioning.

The interior has good quality trim and there is enough head and knee room to carry four adults or five at a squeeze.

The 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine was state of the art for the time. It has a twin cam, 16-valve cylinder head with electronic fuel-injection. A turbocharger and intercooler helped boost the power output to 141kW at 6000rpm.

One of the Lancer's strongest points is mid-range torque - it peaks at 249Nm at 3000rpm - which makes it a giant killer when it comes to intermediate and top gear acceleration.

This also makes it a practical and easy car to drive around town.

The performance comes at a cost - paid at the petrol bowser. In normal city and suburban driving conditions, fuel consumption will average a reasonable 10 to 13.0L/100km but driven hard the GSR can empty the 50-litre fuel tank in under 300km.

The transmission is a five-speed manual - no automatic was available - with a transfer box to drive the front and rear differentials.

The transfer box uses a viscous coupling to vary the torque split between the front and rear axles on slippery surfaces.

The cable-operated gearshift was originally notchier and more difficult to change gears than it should have been and there was some gear noise from the transfer box. Both of these were improved on later models.

The four-wheel drive and anti-lock brake system make for excellent primary safety with lots of grip when accelerating or braking.

The relatively soft suspension absorbs the bumps well and the ride quality is good. The handling is basically front-wheel drive understeer which makes the GSR vice free and simple and safe to drive.

The four-wheel drive system and turbocharged engine make the Lancer quite a complex car but it is still a lot more durable than turbo cars of the early 1980s.

Given reasonable treatment and regular service, the Lancer is reliable and not expensive to run.

The Lancer GSR combines four-door sedan practicality with performance at a price that is hard to beat.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Lancer

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Lancer pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here