Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Vince Pornelos | posted July 30, 2012 14:30
Efficient, more affordable and fully loaded
The current Mitsubishi Lancer EX has been on sale since 2008, many enthusiasts were thrilled at the concept of a compact car that can deliver the driving excitement of more expensive machines or even entry level sports coupes.
Now, 4 years on, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation recognized the need for the same, aggressively designed model to be lighter on the pocket to buy as well as economical to run without sacrificing on features and the drive. So, Mitsubishi launches the new 1.6 liter variant of the Lancer EX, replacing the previous generation Lancer 1.6 that was still on sale.
Exterior and interior changes
On the outside, there are many changes to the body over the existing Lancer EX 2.0 GTA (the only variant of the 2.0 still on sale), especially since the new 1.6 version is now the entry level model of the line up. The aggressive body kit has been omitted, along with the rear wing, and the 18 inch wheels have been replaced with smaller 16 inch alloys and higher profile tires.
Inside the cabin, not much has changed, though Mitsubishi has added leather insert and gloss or matte black trim. Mitsubishi has also replaced the steering wheel with a simpler version (MX models get a leather-wrapped wheel), and has removed the magnesium paddles. Automatic transmission models get a similar gate-type shifter as the GT-A.
All 1.6 versions have an 8-inch LCD DVD system (a class first) and has goodies like satellite navigation (for the MX) and iPod connect. A multi-info display is standard that displays fuel economy, among other things.
Powertrain and suspension
As stated, Mitsubishi has brought in the new 1.6L MIVEC engine to expand the Lancer EX line up. The new engine (4A92) has 117 PS of power and 154 Newton meters of torque. The new engine is matched with either a 5-speed manual transmission but has gone in favor of a 4-speed automatic instead of the 6-speed CVT with sport mode and paddle shifters. Fret not, sports-mode fans, as the transmission is the INVECS-II model, which means it learns your driving habits and adjusts accordingly.
It doesn't sound much compared to the 2.0L motor with 155 PS, but it does so with better efficiency. On the drive from Manila to Batangas this past weekend, the Lancer EX 1.6 Automatic delivered over 14 km/l in realistic open road driving (meaning the A/C was on and no unusual measures taken for efficiency) which more dedicated participants (no A/C, among others) registered over 17 km/l.
The suspension has changed over the GTA model. The 2.0 sport version had a stiffer suspension for better handling. The dampers and springs in the 1.6 model have been tuned for a better ride as opposed to better handling.
Variants, prices and colors
The new Mitsubishi Lancer EX comes in silver, white, black and red. The 1.6 MX gets the full GPS system, while the GLX models get the GPS-ready (added option for satnav functions) units. All have DVD functions.
2013 Mitsubishi Lancer EX 1.6L GLX M/T PhP 825,000
2013 Mitsubishi Lancer EX 1.6L GLX A/T PhP 855,000
2013 Mitsubishi Lancer EX 1.6L MX A/T PhP 930,000