Friday, May 16, 2014

Wanna race? Lancer GT has that kind of look

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website  via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – Well, I was warned.  Fair and square.  By my own son.

Seeing that I had a 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT for a week of testing, he said I’d better be prepared to be challenged by other motorists.

Really?  Come on!

I mean I was not behind the wheel of a Lancer Evo, with its turbo-boosted power plant capable of nearly 300 horses.  By comparison, the 2.4-liter four-banger under my tester’s hood dished up a relatively modest 168 horses.

And no, I was not one of those folks who had installed hardware under the hood that would supply power far in excess of the Lancer GT that left the factory floor.

But in the end, my sole heir was correct.

I was getting chosen … Quick nods at traffic lights, imploring me to unwind the Lancer for the next, wide-open quarter mile.

Being older, wiser and, most important, fearful of adding the kind of points that can result in suspension of my driver’s license, I declined all invitations.

But I learned a lesson from the younger generation.  In this case, looks can mean a lot.

The Lancer GT is, without question, sculpted for the performance crowd. Flat-skirt architecture running down both sides and a big-mouth grille all but scream urban racer.  The rounded, aerodynamic architecture on the top side completes the sporty layout.

Naturally, Mitsubishi doesn’t hold back on language touting the Lancer’s aggressive look.  The paint job on my tester, for example, was “Wicked White/Black.”

Well, OK, if you say so.

I did not go so crazy as to yank on a pair of driving gloves and don a pair of “Top Gun” aviators, but such is the sporty appeal of the Lancer GT that you feel inclined to look the part when you’re putting it through its paces.

In truth, the Lancer GT is a sporty ride for the frugal.  My tester had a most-affordable manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $21,445.  Mine was opulently dressed up with a $3,300 Touring Package (leather seating surfaces, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system, heated front seats and a power glass sunroof were part of that deal) and a $1,850 navigation system with special features.  The bottom line came to $27,390.

The peppy four-cylinder engine does a nice job of propelling a car of this size, but I wouldn’t recommend seeking out top-tier sports cars.  Simply put, they’ll have more juice than you have.

The tester’s engine did make a fair amount of noise at full song, but it was not a chronic annoyance.  Fuel mileage is fine at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Overall, the Lancer GT gets a rock-solid “B” grade, and if you’re looking for a sporty car that won’t prompt you to apply for a second mortgage, this is your ride.


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