I was very skeptical when first offered the Lancer from my aunt. She had bought the car when it was a demo model back in 1997.
The car came with full service history, but had not been driven in 15 months prior to me owning it, but thankfully it still started and still ran reasonably well.
It needed to be serviced though and also needed new fluids. It also needed new tyres, which set me back about $300, and the mechanical work a further $400.
The car, although rather battered and bruised body wise over the years, still remains very reliable mechanically.
As it is a GLXI model, it is the top of the line back in its day (behind the Evo of course) and has power mirrors comfy seats, ABS, tape player (very hi tech). OK, so maybe it isn't that top of the line by todays standard, but it does alright.
Has a large boot, but is rather cramped in the back if you're above 6 foot, as some of my friends are; it even is a bit cramped in the front.
Fuel economy is good considering the price of petrol today; you could fill the whole tank from empty with just $40. I'm glad I didn't go out and buy and Holden Calais.
The car itself is surprisingly fast; 0-100 in about 9.5 seconds, that just a rough estimate. The 1.8 litre engine has about 88KW and it does sound rather nice if you rev it.
I do however have a few problems with the transmission; when shifting manually there is quite a delay in the gears changing, and also when going down a hill, whilst braking, the Lancer shift down into a low gear, which often jerks everybody forward. Also, when climbing up hills, you have to manually shift to a lower gear, as the transmission gets confused.
It would make a good first car, I did my P's test in it and find it easy to drive and rather stylish for a mid 90s car.
It's not a race car, but you can get it up to a fairly high speed, but when taking corners at a high speed it lurches about and you can feel the body roll; you can be thrown around quite a bit at high speed cornering.
Overall it's a very nice, stylish and a good performer.