1989 Mitsubishi Lancer GL 1.3 from Finland


The most reliable car I've ever had


Front brake pads jammed right after a major brake overhaul. Luckily the brake pads for this car are very cheap, but if you have to change the pads, make sure that you remove all the paint (and smoothen the surface) from the surface that is in contact with the brake calipers. And also check that after installation the brake pads slide freely before re-installing the caliper.

Rear window defroster doesn't work.

General Comments:

Tough and reliable little car.

Very easy to repair.

Although 1.3 liter engine is delivering very poor performance, I still like this car very much. It hasn't corroded yet, it still looks modern enough and it handles pretty well. And even though we have really low winter temperatures here in Finland, it has always started perfectly and runs really nice even in wintertime.

Some people say that this car is very economical. I disagree. I have owned cars that are much bigger and still have much better fuel economy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2005

1989 Mitsubishi Lancer EL 1.3 liter from Philippines


A fun, city car that wants to be pampered


Car always overheated, even with a brass radiator.

Intermittent A/C (leak). A problem we really had was trying to keep cool in heavy Manila traffic.

Suspension bushing was already going, said my dad (I had no clue back then). So we had it changed. I think this was around 130,000km.

Clutch went after three years of school-home use. It was already slipping. This was around 155,000km I think.

For some reason I always had a flat tire (nails--bad roads?).

Resonator broke! Couldn't drive higher than 40KPH. If memory serves, this was around 145,000km.

Muffler started rusting out, so we had it changed.

Always hit the ramp, curb, or a speed bump due to its ride height. I always had to go either diagonally, or really slow. But it was good practice with a manual and going over a speed bump.

Rear suspension started swaying at around 1 year after it was passed on to me, roughly 125,000km I think. Had it fixed and the swaying was gone.

Loved it in the rain, but had a tiny leak in the trunk and left rear door. Only 3 wiper speeds--off, level 1 and level 2. In the pouring rain a level 3 would be nice to have.

Didn't have a tachometer, so I had to base my shifts according to engine noise.

Once, somebody threw a firecracker and it exploded on the car's hood (New Year's Day). Made a big dent roughly 4 inches wide. Had it fixed at a local body shop together with the front fenders and the radiator support.

Driver door stopped locking and I had to drive while holding the door shut! Went home and got our other car to use, while this was in service. This was around 175,000km.

Right rear window started falling, maybe the window regulator came loose. This was the last problem I had, because soon after this we put it up for sale. I don't know if my dad fixed it before selling, or sold it as is.

General Comments:

That was my first car, it was passed on to me by my dad at around 110,000 km. I drove it to school and back home, to my girlfriend's home and to other places we went.

The car is basically a city-driver with its tiny 1.3 liter engine. Zipping about by myself without any powersteering assist was great! In fact the car felt light when I'm by myself and a trunkful of stuff for my apartment.

The 5-speed manual transmission was very lively and since it's only 987kg at curb weight, I could easily zip about without the aide of any kind of device. Its 60-something horses are enough to pull this car up to speed.

Top speed I have done with it was 120kph, it would not go any further, and the steering wheel would already shake. It did feel like it would suddenly come apart, but fortunately it didn't--for the dozens of times I've done 120kph!

The factory seat bolsters are really nice, it added a lot of lateral support when I drove the car in a spirited manner. They're also very ergonomically designed, I couldn't get tired with them. The hip bolsters are a great addition too, as it made me feel one with the car (not being tossed around).

When you carry a single passenger, that's when the car has trouble keeping up. Nonetheless, it could still bring me and my girlfriend anywhere. When the A/C is working, it's really nice. But it would often go away after a while, then I would need to shut it off (the A/C) and restart it again. Annoying in Philippine climate, but adventuresome nonetheless!

In the three years I used it, the battery went out twice. Once in the cold weather, and once in the pouring rain while I was stopped in traffic. Lots of adventures with that machine!

Very easy to work on the car, even if back then I didn't know much about it. I was able to install the upholstery all by myself, with no prior experience at all. Took out the rear seat and saw glass shards from a previous incident where the rear windshield was hit by a falling piece of wood. It's been fixed since, but when I removed the rear seat it brought back memories.

The trunk is a bit on the small side, but nonetheless purely industrial--that's how I would call it. No fussy coverings to hide the frame, no fussy carpetting to make it look special. The trunk floorboard was a large cork piece with a rubber/vinyl covering it. Also my first time to see the inside of the trunk from the opening in the rear seat.

I loved this car so much as a tribute I made a LEGO version of it!

We finally sold it in 2004. If I have the chance, I'll hunt down that car and restore it to its former glory. But the chances of finding it in the Philippines might require a number of miracles... =)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th February, 2005

19th Mar 2006, 06:12

Mine too.. hey readers we must have to build an org about our brand of car.. call or text 09172740071.thanks.

24th Jul 2006, 02:33

Can you give suggestions on how I can set up this car.

20th Dec 2006, 00:41

I am experiencing a "thud" sound in front my my 1997 Mitsubishi Lancer on curbs, humps and uneven roads.

Brought it to an authorized Mitsibishi shops and what they did was a re-tightening of the suspension bolts at the front, but the strange sound is still there.

Please advise me as to what could be the possible origin of the annoying sound?

Thank You.