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Mitsubishi Lancer 2007 and earlier



  • My husband rear ended an SUV with my Lancer ES. I was in the front passenger seat. It all happened so fast, but I do recall the airbags and the dust and smoke and all the rest of it. Folks, we both WALKED away from this. The front end is completely smashed in. We hit the SUV going about 40mph. There wasn't even a scratch on the SUV, but that's beside the point. I truly believe if this had happened in any other car, we would both be dead. We're already in the process of purchasing another Lancer. Our other car is also a Mitsubishi, and even at 70,000 miles that thing is still humming along like new. I am totally impressed by these cars, and wondering why other makers do not put the effort into their own vehicles. As most here may know, the Lancer is built with crumple zones to absorb the impact. So yeah, my car is toast, but what if they didn't take the time to make it like that? I could have gone right through the windshield. Cars are replaceable, people are not. Did I also mention I am 3 months pregnant with my first child? Not a single bone broken. I had a scrape on my nose from the airbag, and a sore chest from the seatbelt. When they took us to the hospital, my blood pressure, oxygen, everything was fine. My chest felt like I had busted a rib, but I didn't. Mind you this all happened a week ago today, and I feel perfectly normal. I'm just so happy that we are alive and healthy. A big thank you to Mitsubishi for building a safe car. I trust these cars with my LIFE and I will never drive anything else.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Happy to hear all 3 of you are fine. I agree with you, cars are replaceable while people are not.

    It's nice to know that cars are indeed safer than even a few years ago. I've heard horror stories about the last generation airbags, so it's great to hear that y'all got out with only minor scratches.

    Good luck with your new purchase...and let us know waht you ended up with.


    The Sandman :-)
  • I hate to break it to you, but you're lucky to be alive. Mitsubishi doesn't exactly have a stellar record for safety. In fact, Mitsubishi is probably one of the least safety conscious brands. Most Mitsubishi cars tested by the IIHS, especially the older ones, rate extremely poorly for crash protection and only a few of their newest models score adequately. Even the newest Mitsubishi cars like the Lancer that score well probably aren't very safe overall in real life. Keep in mind that there are an infinite number of possible crash scenarios that cars are never tested for. Who are you going to trust to provide the best comprehensive crash protection in the real world when you roll your car down a cliff? Mitsubishi, a company slow to adopt new safety features and a long notorious history of poor crash test ratings? Sorry, but if you want a safe car, you better look elsewhere. Take a look at Mercedes, Volvo or BMW if you want safety... These companies have been at the forefront of automotive safety for decades by introducing cutting edge technology and engineering vehicles that top the charts in crash tests. A person concerned with safety shouldn’t trust the protection of their family to the likes of Mitsubishi, that’s for sure…
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I see you are talking out of your u know what. Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo?? Are you kidding me?? Why would you even mention cars like these to someone who is looking to buy a Lancer? Those cars are extremely expensive and probably not feasible for someone looking at an economy car.


    Secondly, Mitsubishi cars pre-99 were definitely not the safest cars around. However, since then, Mitsu has made huge improvements. There isn't a bad performing car in their lineup. The Lancer and Outlander were both rated best picks from IIHS (the Lancer being one of the first small cars to achieve this), the Galant Endeavor and even the ancient Montero Sport were rated good, and the Montero acceptable. You obviously need to conduct better research. Your statement that Mitsus probably aren't safe in the real world is laughable because none of the cars you mentioned have been tested for the inifinite # of possible accidents either. So how do you know they are any better? In fact, the Galant outperformed the new Volvo S40 in the side impact test with only front side airbags compared to Volvo's full head curtain design. Oh and the 97-2000 Mercedes E class was only rated acceptable in the offset impact and the driver's door opened during the impact, a very undesirable problem. The 04 Galant received 5 stars for both front occupants from the NHTSA whereas both the Mercedes C-class and the E-class received only 4 stars. The data would seem to read against the statements you are making. Looks to me like risking your family's life on a Mitsu isn't such a bad decision afterall.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I agree with Ingtonge18. You obviously didnt look very hard at the BMW 3-series side impact from NHTSA. In that extremely antiquated test, despite a side impact airbag, the driver dummy's pelvis was effectively crushed.

    Vivafleur- we are all gald that your growing family escaped unharmed.


    On a sidenote, there is a lot of talk of Mitsubishi's reduced number of Fleet Sales. Is it true? My dad has a rental Lancer right now, and he said that in its class, he had a few Lancers to choose from at the Enterprise lot- and that was it. I've driven it. Its a 2004 ES auto.


    Positives: Good torque, good fit and finish, smooth transmission, excellent visibility, roomy.


    Negatives: rubbery steering feel, so-so driving position, coarse engine sound, cheap fabric upolstery, boring IP, no ABS, cheap looking wheel covers (though better than the horrid ones on the Galant ES).


    Not a bad car, but not a standout. No real competitive advantages. Perfectly defines why Mitsu is in the position it is in now.


  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    You should drive a Ralliart model. I think that car would surprise you. It effectively removes all of your negatives. If you thought the 2.0 engine has good torque, the 2.4 might just make you grin. It sure makes me smile in my Sportback. It's so responsive and powerful at all rpms. The sport fabric looks and feels luxurious and the sport seats are much more comfortable, although they can be confining to larger sized people. The ABS brakes are strong and smooth and the wheels look great. The steering is nice and firm, very direct in its responses, and provides a good bit of road feel. It handles great and yet still manages to coddle you with a comfortable controlled ride. I personally love the styling of the interior. It's so smooth, flowing, elegant, and simple in its design. The metallic accents and white gauges add a sporty touch and the soft upper dash padding is something more expensive cars have stopped using recently. I will say the ES model has very boring cheap looking gauges. Granted, all these improvements come at a highish MSRP, but with rebates and near invoice pricing, I think the Ralliart model becomes a good deal and one of the best cars in its class.


    I totally agree with you about the very smooth automatic, roomy interior, good fit and finish (I would venture to say excellent), and excellent visibility. I love how you seem to sit high in the car while the dash sits low and the glass area is nice and large. It provides a near panaramic view out, especially in my wagon. It's a shame some cars are going to that chopped look with smaller glass areas. I hope Mitsu doesn't ruin this with the next Lancer.
  • dcwong1dcwong1 Posts: 54
    I've never been on this board or driven an Evo VII so I'm going to the experts. Yesterday, I saw a co-worker of mine sit in his Evo VII reading the newspaper with the engine running. He was in the process of going home from work but he said that his engine has to be fully warmed up (I take this meaning the needle has to be in the middle of the gauge) or else the car shifts or runs rough. In my car, if the engine is cold (40 F ambient temp), I let the fluids run for < 20 seconds before taking off so it warms up while driving. Does the Evo VII has to fully warmed up or else it does run roughly? I told him what I do in my car but he says the Evo VII has a turbo and runs rough because of this. I've driven many turbos before and have never had to warm it for so long.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I'd imagine that this coworker likes to drive his car hard and thus needs to warm it up fully before blasting around. Cars don't perform their best unless warmed up and the Evo has a highly turbocharged engine that may be more sensitive then your run of the mill turbo. This car's engine is about max performance, not how smoothly it goes about its business. The BMW M3's engine is known to cough some and idle rough if asked to drive before warming up some. That being said, Mitsu did a good job making this small highly modified engine a reasonable daily driver. It just might need a little extra care to run its best.
  • dcwong1dcwong1 Posts: 54
    I suspect you are correct. He does like to drive it hard but our company is located near several schools and the speed limit is 25 with potential police lurking around so it doesn't make sense to have to wait until it's fully warmed up unless it is similar to the M3.


    As for the previous threads about Mitsu's safety, MB, BMW, and Volvo has earned a good reputation for being pioneers in safety and is continually active in future safety devices. The crumble zone, I believe, was invented by MB while the 3-point seat belt was invented by Volvo. For all the other manufacturers to follow suit in offering safety devices like that is testament to how competitive the market is these days.
  • "Your statement that Mitsus probably aren't safe in the real world is laughable because none of the cars you mentioned have been tested for the infinite # of possible accidents either. So how do you know they are any better?"

    As I already said, Mercedes/BMW/Volvo have a long standing heritage of safety innovation dating back to the 1920s. Virtually every safety feature found in any car today was pioneered and introduced first by one of these three companies. So when it comes down to it, who should you trust for safety? Mitsubishi, a company slow to adopt new safety features, plagued by pisspoor IIHS test scores and a non-existent reputation for safety innovation? Or Merc/BMW/Volvo, the companies who brought us safety features like ABS, ESP, Front Airbags, Side Airbags, Head Airbags...etc?

    "The Lancer and Outlander were both rated best picks from IIHS (the Lancer being one of the first small cars to achieve this), the Galant Endeavor and even the ancient Montero Sport were rated good, and the Montero acceptable"

    Well first of all, it's good to see that Mitsu is finally engineering something that doesn't perform like a shoddy deathtrap in the offset IIHS test. But again, one designer crash test only gives us part of the picture. If it has taken Mitsu this long to finally recieve a good score in one IIHS test, how can you expect Mitsu cars to fare in non-tested scenarios, like rollovers? Secondly, I wouldn't consider an "acceptable" a good score... 3/5?

    "Oh and the 97-2000 Mercedes E class was only rated acceptable in the offset impact and the driver's door opened during the impact, a very undesirable problem."

    Yeah, and notice how Mercedes corrected to problem beginning with the 2000 model. Unlike Mitsu which continued to sell its deathtraps, (which performed MUCH worse than the E class) for many years.

    "The 04 Galant received 5 stars for both front occupants from the NHTSA whereas both the Mercedes C-class and the E-class received only 4 stars. The data would seem to read against the statements you are making. Looks to me like risking your family's life on a Mitsu isn't such a bad decision afterall."

    Well first of all, you can't compare the score of the Galant to the score of either the C or E, these cars are in a completely different weight categories. You can only compare cars within weight classes because the forces exerted on occupants is partially a function of the vehilces weight. POINT MOOT. And again, one designer crash test only tells part of the picture. Where are Mitsu's rear side airbags? Where are their rear side head airbags? Where are their rear seatbelt ETDs and load limiters? Not only do the C and E class have more safety features than comparable Mitsu models, but are also engineered to provide good protection in all types of crashes.
  • " agree with Ingtonge18. You obviously didnt look very hard at the BMW 3-series side impact from NHTSA. In that extremely antiquated test, despite a side impact airbag, the driver dummy's pelvis was effectively crushed"

    And your point is? I never said that every BMW was the safest car in every test. But as a general rule, BMWs perform among the best. For example, every BMW tested by the IIHS has recieved its highest rating. In fact, the BMW X5 was rated "the safest SUV ever tested" by the IIHS.

    So you found one test, in which a BMW recieved a 3 out of 5. Maybe I should point out the countless Mitsus that have performed poorly in crash tests? In the end, the 3 series has many more safety features than even the flagship Mitsu, and is probably safer overall.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    My point is that Mitsubishi doesnt produce 'death traps' which is absurd terminology. Many of the Mitsus today do very well in the Goverment and IIHS tests. With respect to the 3 series BMW, its BMW's highest volume model, it has standard side airbag and curtain protection. And yet, it got a 3 star rating, and is listed as a 'Safety Concern'. The NHTSA side impact rating doesnt include head or pelvic injury data, even though those measurements are made. Perhaps in side impacts, the BMW is a 'death trap'?

    And its really comical that you find impressive M-Bs response to the E-class offset issue. It took them 3 years to design a fix?! And actually, the C-class is in the same weight category as the Galant, so results for that test are comparable.

    In anycase, the point remains that the cars are far from death traps.

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Ah, yet again, your statements show how little you truly know, even though you pretend to be quite knowledgable. You might want to stop before you continue to make yourself look silly.

    You said, "Well first of all, you can't compare the score of the Galant to the score of either the C or E, these cars are in a completely different weight categories." Fact: The Mercedes E320 weighs 3691 pounds and the C230 weighs 3250. The Galant V6 weighs 3649 and the four cylinder weighs 3351. Well, if thats not the same weight class, I don't know what is. Are we shocked that those supposed "solid" Mercedes weigh as little as a generic Japanese sedan? Fact: The Galant outperformed both the E-class and the C-class in the NHTSA test and they are completely comparable. So, how do you explain a company that is slow to respond being able to outperform one with decades of safety knowledge? Is that the Jeopardy theme song I hear in the distance? Your postulation that Mercedes are safer in more crash situations is just that, your opinion and feeling. There is nothing to back that up. Your welcome to your own opinions but don't state it as fact.

    You said, "Not only do the C and E class have more safety features than comparable Mitsu models". Now that is a MOOT POINT. The most expensive Mitsubishi sedan is $26k. That sedan is also priced as low as $18k. The C-class ranges in price from 29-40k and the E-class starts at 48k. For that huge difference in price, I would hope Mercedes has more safety features. None of the cars in the Galant's price range offer rear seatbelt devices like you mention so you can't use that to show how Mitsubishi is behind. The only area they are behind in is the rear head airbag, which they will hopefully offer in the next year or two, but the fact remains the rear seat occupant faired just as well injury-wise in the side impact as those cars that had head airbags. In fact, the C-class had "marginal" chest protection for the front seat in the side impact whereas the Galant provided "acceptable" protection. Which would you rather have? I don't know about you, but marginal doesn't sound too good.

    By the way, maybe this will surprise you, but GM and Ford led the way with airbag tests way back in 1973. They even installed them in some of their full size sedans, long before Mercedes/BMW/Volvo were ever thinking of them. They just weren't feasible in that era so they were abandoned. Yes, Mercedes was first to mass market them, but only on their most expensive models. Chrysler, on the other hand, led the way with making them standard on lowly economy cars. So you cannot make the blanket statement that those 3 companies are god when it comes to safety.

    Finally, your whole reason in posting here doesn't make sense. Mitsubishis aren't death traps by any means and I have proven that but they aren't in the same class as Mercedes and thus have no business even being mentioned in the same sentence. If Mitsubishi was as expensive as Mercedes and lacked these features, you would have a point. Since they aren't, you don't have a point. Not everyone can afford expensive luxury sedans. It simply looks like you have an agenda of slamming Mitsubishi for whatever reason.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Ingtonge18, excellent post. However, Mercedes Benz had a patent on an airbag in 1971.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We can disagree with others without being insulting ...
  • I&#146;m wondering if anyone knows...

    I have a Lancer OZ 2002 with a 5-speed manual transmission and it only has about 39K miles (and pre-50,000 mile warranty). I bought it new and have been very nice to it. My check engine light, however, has had problems. Also, my clutch seems to slip a little every now and then. Has anyone had this experience OR know how to resolve the check engine light without having to take my car in?

    I love my car but I fear that if I'm having problems this soon (and I really can't afford repairs), I don't really want to buy another Mitsubishi. I've been burned by all my new cars! I have bad car luck!
  • a_l_hubcapsa_l_hubcaps Posts: 518
    The Check Engine light just means the computer has stored an error code. It could be something as simple as a loose fuel cap, or a bad sensor. You need to take it to a shop and have them hook it up to a diagnostic computer to see what the trouble code is. I believe some auto chains like AutoZone will do diagnostic scans for free (in hopes you'll buy the repair parts from them). It might be something easy that you can fix yourself.

    -Andrew L
  • Well I know it's not a loose fuel cap :)
    I'll have to go to AutoZone to check the light situation--the dealership wants $90 just to run the diagnostics.

    Thanks a lot for your help--I'll check out AutoZone soon!
  • reekeereekee Posts: 1
    yuck! my mother used to have a 300sl and that car was the biggest piece of crap my family has ever owned. yeah of course the car is gonna be safe if you cant get it out of the garage! i say if she wants to buy another lancer thats great, let her do it and stop baggering her for it. i have a 04 lancer es and i feel very safe. in fact i feel safer in it than that big german tank my mother had. :lemon:
  • Hi,

    I just got (4 weeks ago) a new Lancer ES 2005 , so far I like it, it's not the fastest car but it is fuel efficient and at what the gas prices are at now it's what I was looking for.

    This week end I took it for a spin question to see how it handles at high speed (130 to 140 Km/H) I was very pleased, no shaking at all.
    After the ride I noticed when on idle the RPM will go from 1000 to 800 or 500 and back to 1000, I stepped out of the car to check the engine noise and noticed when ever the change takes place I ear a click, this morning coming to work I took the time to check if the idle thing was still happening or if it was due to the high speed spin I took, so while at a red light I checked, and yes it did the same 100 to 800 click back to 1000, is this normal?

    Also, my dealer was telling me an ES and an OZ are pretty much the same car except the OZ is dressed up (body kit etc) , is that true?.

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Is your AC on or the front defroster? The AC does make a clicking sound and the rpm's do increase/decrease as it cycles on and off.

    The ES and OZ are essentially the same car. The OZ adds the body kit, 15" alloy wheels, rear antisway bar, white faced gauges, and standard keyless entry and fold down rear seats. The OZ will handle a bit better thanks to the larger tires and the rear antisway bar.
  • bricknordbricknord Posts: 85
    Hello. I would like to thank those on this message board for all the good info that I read through recently when car shopping. I had a Dodge Raider, really a Mitsu Montero, that was a great a beloved vehicle. So, when my wife and I recently decided to look for a new econo car, I went right to Mitsubishi. I didn't care that everyone was telling me to go Honda or Toyota, or that my resale would likely be better with those makes. I like Mitsubishi, had a good experience with the Raider, and went right down to my dealer.

    Before we went shopping, my wife and I decided there were certain basic criteria: Stick shift, good mileage, ABS brakes, and 4-doors. Reasonable price, i.e. 15 or 16 grand or less. We like small cars and did not want a car bigger than, say a Lancer rougly give or take. I noticed the dealer had a Sportback, which really appealed to me. No stick, automatic only. Had ABS though, but we both hate driving autos, so regrettably ruled that out. If it would have been a stick, I would have written a check. No problem, I will get a Lancer sedan 5 speed. Drove it, liked it a lot. One problem, no ABS option without getting a Ralliart. I did not want to spend Ralliart money, and the car sits too low and has too stiff of a suspension for our roads around here, not to mention being out of the price target.

    For what it's worth, if there had been an option for ABS stand alone on a Lancer sedan, I would have signed up. I can't believe in this day and age, even on a base car, there is not an option to pay more for this no-brainer safety feature. Mitsu, you lost a sale for this sole reason. Left the dealer disappointed.

    Ordered a Scion xA the other day. 4-door, good mpg, Toyota quality, ABS standard, side airbags optional, stick shift, no hassle, and very affordable at $14k or less actually.

    Hopefully someone at Mitsu reads these forums as there is no contact email link on their website to tell this story. I'll give you another try when I'm in the market again.

    This consumer wanted a somewhat fun, economical car with emphasis on safety features. I am in a business where we want to know why we lose business if we do lose it, as it helps us get better. So, here it is. Take care, Lancer owners, I think you have cool cars! Wish I could have had one!
  • slawdslawd Posts: 4
    The 60,000 service at the dealer cost $849.99 ($634.68 labor and $215.31 parts). Is this a reasonable price?

    They also replaced the alternator and P/S belt for $122.94, because they said they were worn. Would this have been necessary and is it a reasonable price?

    They also replaced the left and right sway bar links for $160.26, because they said one was broke. Is this possible, is it necessary to replace both if one is broke and is it a reasonable price?

    The total bill came to $1057.80.

    Any feedback would be very much appreciated.
  • elgatolocoelgatoloco Posts: 92
    I just read that in late April the Mitsubishi Lancer was voted the # 1 car (in its segment) in Russia. Seems like a pretty tough environment And it beat out some respectable competition like Toyota, Audi, BMW etc etc. I didn't have any more info on what Lancer it was, such as the ES or Ralliart, or do they even use the same designations over there?

    I'm seriously considering swapping my 2000 Galant ES work car for a Lancer 5spd stick. I know with some judicious shifting I could squeeze 32 -34 mpg out of the ES and probably 28 -30 mpg out of the Ralliart. I want the Ralliart because my wife has the 4 cyl MIVEC in her Outlander and it runs great so far (18000 miles) plus I know several owners of 04 Galants with 100,000 + miles and they claim lower maintainance costs on the MIVEC engine then the 2.0 in the ES. The Ralliart runs better,rides better...but costs a few grand more and with a 97 mile rt to work that extra 4 mpg can add up.

    Does anyone here by any chance know the engine specs on Europe/Russia Lancers?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I have no idea which engine is used in Russia, but in other markets, I believe the Lancer uses a 1.8 from the old Mirage as well as the 2.0. I think the 1.8 is the most common engine though. The 2.0 engine is simply a bored out version of the 1.8 so they both should be equally durable.

    I have owned an 02 OZ and currently own an 04 Ralliart. Both were automatics and have been reliable cars. My auto 2.0 could easily achieve 31 mpg at 80mph with the AC on and even got 33mpg one time. So, 33-34mpg should be easy to achieve with the 5-speed. My 2.4 auto, on the other hand, gets pretty crappy mileage. The best I have seen on the highway was 25 mpg, but I rarely drive on the highway so it may have improved some as the engine broke in. I average 22 mpg but it has dipped as low as 19. Most 2.4 5-speed owners have been reporting mileage averaging right about 25 mpg, with highway mileage at 27-29. If mileage is important to you, I would get the 2.0. If you want power, the 2.4 is a much more satisfying engine. I doubt there is much of a difference maintenance wise between the two engines since they both still require 60k timing belt changes.
  • msoulmsoul Posts: 2
    You wanted more forum action, here ya go...(with a question). Just bought an '02 lancer ls used, have had it three weeks and despite not being a road-burner (especially with the 5-speed avail. in the ls) it's the most solid, refined car I've ever had. Just coming off of a '91 Civic EX (stolen, big suprise), and the Lancer feels light-years ahead in almost every way; smoother, quieter, better ergos, etc. The Honda was faster, but it had the 5-speed so that's to be expected. The previous owner babied the car, so I'm looking forward to several years of good running with my ls. My question has to do with maintenance. the car did not have the factory owners manual, and when inquiring of the dealer I was told for them to order one would be 200+ dollars and that it would have to come from Japan! I need the maintenance schedule to keep up with my service contract...any hints on where to go for (preferably on-line) references would be appreciated. Thanks all!
  • jaycee002jaycee002 Posts: 2
    I'm looking for lancer body kits for sale. 2000 GLi coupe model. If anybody knows of sites with info or would like to sell one, would be much appreciated.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    No one here can sell you one due the terms of use, but maybe someone can suggest a website for you. Have you tried eBay?
  • mitsualesmitsuales Posts: 1
    Any advice on removing the dash on an '02 lancer (and putting it back on)? I need to unclog the evaporator hose. If anyone who has done this could give me some tips I would really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

  • msoulmsoul Posts: 2
    Cancel the maintenance info request...found what I needed on Alldata. Still lovin' my LS, the adaptive shifting kicked in on the automatic and the car really jumps off the line now. Loses steam by 3rd gear, but I'm usually at cruise by then anyway as 90 percent of my driving is done in the city. No real gripes a month after buying it, the car is just dead solid and in my opinion looks great too. I get a lot of "what is that?" looks on the streets; I love that after driving around for two years in an every-2nd-car-on-the-road Civic. Red paint with the LS alloys probably helps. I'm starting to hear a little belt and brake noise just after morning start-up, but that's probably to be expected as I'm getting reasonably close to my 60,000 mile maintenance. By the way, has anyone gotten to their 60,000 yet? I was quoted a minimum of 600$ at the Mitsu dealership, has anyone had theirs done by an outside company or chain, and if so have they saved substantially? If it's not much of a price difference, I plan to go to the dealership...figuring they should know the cars best obviously. Thanks all, enjoy your Lancers.
This discussion has been closed.