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Car reviews - Mitsubishi - Lancer - VR hatch

Launch Story

Mitsubishi logo26 Oct 2011

By PHILIP LORD

MITSUBISHI’S best-selling model, the Lancer, wears smarter interior trim for the 2012 model year while the entry-level Lancer ES and VR models get electric power steering, bringing a small improvement to fuel economy and C02 levels.

A reversing camera is now available throughout the Lancer range, which no longer includes an SX specification model.

Electric power steering in place of the hydraulic set-up has brought improved fuel economy for the ES and VR models, which are now rated on the combined cycle at 6.8L/100km with manual transmission (previously 7.6L/100km) and 7.2L/100km with CVT (previously 8.2L/100km).

The ES’s optional Convenience Pack at $970 includes reversing sensors and camera, auto-dimming interior mirror, Bluetooth and a leather steering wheel with audio controls.

The rear-view camera is standard on VR, VRX, Aspire and Ralliart models.

Door trims are now a soft-touch grained vinyl on upper sections and leather-trimmed on the scalloped centre sections and armrests.

The ES has new seat fabric, chrome-plated inner door handles and new dark silver interior decoration panels while the ES Sportback model also has a new rear spoiler.

VR gets front corner air dams, while VRX includes a Ralliart-style grille and front bumper and new-design 18-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the VRX gets new gloss black decoration panels, leather-trimmed and heated seats, and power adjustment for the driver’s seat.

Aspire gets the reversing camera but, unlike the mirror-mounted monitor in lower models, the Aspire’s appears in the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System screen.

It also has an electro-chromatic mirror, new black gloss decoration panels, heated front seats, a powered driver’s seat and new 18-inch alloys.

Ralliart models come with new 18-inch alloys, partial leather seats and gloss black decoration panels.

Lancer ES and VR continue with the 2.0-litre MIVEC four-cylinder engine coupled with either a five-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission, VRX variants and the Aspire sedan receive the 2.4-litre MIVEC engine, with the same choice of transmissions, and the Ralliart still features the intercooled and turbocharged 2.0-litre MIVEC engine.

ES, VR, VRX and Ralliart models are available in sedan or sportback body styles, with the premium Aspire offered solely as a sedan.

Times are tough for Mitsubishi’s volume seller, with the model that arrived here in 2007 begging for a renewal to take on the wave of more recent competition such as Focus, Holden’s locally built Cruze and the Mazda3.

VFACTS sales figures show a contraction of 22.4 per cent in Lancer’s sales this year compared to 2010, reducing its share of the small car market under $40,000 from 10.5 per cent to 8.2 per cent YTD

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