Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart

Written By nyit on Friday, April 15, 2011 | 3:35 AM

I recently had a new 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer for a test drive. But this was no ordinary Lancer. This was a Sportback Ralliart model, complete with enough racing features to provide an exhilarating drive. There were a few downsides, however.

Mitsubishi has their Lancer EVO, which is fairly popular and performs well. This new Sportback model of the Lancer provides more versatility by combining a sporty car with the convenience of a five door wagon-like vehicle. There is even a rear cargo floor that can be dropped about three inches to provide additional cargo space if needed.

The Sportback is provided in two trim models – the GTS and the Ralliart. My test model was the Ralliart, which offers a lot more power, and All-Wheel-Drive. The GTS has Mitsubishi’s 2.4 liter engine that is quite efficient and provides 168 horsepower. The Ralliart has a 2.0 liter, inline four cylinder, turbocharged engine that spits out 237 horsepower. There is only one transmission in the Ralliart and that is a six speed automatic Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift. That is the same automatic transmission in the Lancer Evolution. The automatic feature is operated normally, but can be handled manually by the magnesium paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. I tried the paddle shifters quite often during my test drive and they work extremely well. I’m just not inclined to use paddle shifters very often in any car and generally leave that driving mode to those who like to dream about being racecar drivers.

The exterior of the Lancer Ralliart is striking. It offers a swept back appearance that sometimes appears as a standard Mitsubishi look and other times as something new.

My test model was called Wicked White. The interior was black. The interior is generally comfortable, except for the seating. There are a few silver accents and the fit and finish is well done. Most of the interior, however, is plastic, and mostly plain black. There are a lot of features that help make the driving experience pleasant.

My test model was equipped with optional Recaro seats. These have extra side bolstering that help hold you in the seat on sharp corners or fast turns. I like the Recaro seats. The spec sheet said that the driver’s seat was adjustable, but that only meant it moved back and forward. There was absolutely no way to raise the height of the seat. Although I may aspire to be a six-foot person, I have not arrived at that lofty height yet, so I must rely on the seat to raise me to where I can see over the dashboard. It was definitely a challenge. The steering wheel does not telescope, so I had to pull the seat as far forward as possible just to reach the pedals and steering. Once that was all done and the seatback positioned, it was a fairly decent ride. I wish there had been a center armrest to help out on a lengthy highway stretch.

If you are looking for a vehicle that will provide a very sporty ride with all the convenience of a hatchback, then the Lancer Sportback Ralliart might be just right for you. I really liked the advanced All-Wheel-Drive, especially during the inclement weather. Starting price of the GTS is just $19,190,but the Ralliart version begins at $27,590. My test model had a bottom sticker price of $31,060, but it had a lot of added convenience features including a terrific Rockford Fosgate sound system. EPA mileage figures are 17-mpg city and 25-mpg highway.

If a sports car feel with the convenience of a small hatchback appeals to you, check out the 2010 Lancer Ralliart, complete with all the driving excitement and turbocharged sporty fun at a Mitsubishi dealership yourself.



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