1996 Mitsubishi Lancer GLXI 1.8 Litre petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Very nice, stylish and economical

Faults:

Front left tyre blew out after some spirited driving into a gutter.

Car is starting to rust thanks to my cousin who crashed the car some years previously and didn't pay to get it fixed.

Carpet on passenger side is starting to come off.

Fan belt squeaks loudly on a cold morning if you have the air conditioning on, but this doesn't really bother me.

Car has a habit of moving left when on the road probably because of the wheel alignment.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2008

1996 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR 1.8 turbo from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Fast, comfortable and practical

Faults:

Developed bad vibration through the pedal under brakes. Front discs needed replacing due to warping.

Experienced slight engine hesitation under heavy load (a full car or up a hill) when the throttle is wide open. Fixed by replacing the leads and plugs, and cleaning the fuel injectors.

General Comments:

Performance.

The car comes with a 1800cc turbocharged engine (4G93T). The standard TD04 turbo has great drivability, especially in cities and traffic. Because it is so small, it comes on very early (less than 3000 rpm) with minimal lag. The result is very smooth and effortless power. The downside is that up high, it lacks the same kick that larger turbos provide, and runs out of blow quite quickly.

The engine itself so far has been very reliable. They cannot handle more than 15psi of boost, otherwise you risk the big end bearing failing. Regular oil changes with good quality oil can help prevent this.

One thing to be said is that on hot days, or with lots of weight in the car (e.g. four passengers) this car loses a lot of its speed. After all, it is only a 1800c, despite the turbo.

Handling.

The car comes with full time 4WD (although lacks the AYC diff the EVO comes equipped with). The result is a very stable ride - no wheel spin, and good handling. The standard ride height is quite high and results in a bit of body roll and understeer if pushed hard. Lower springs and wider tyres would do much to improve this.

Interior.

Very clean and tidy. The front seats are Recaro semi-buckets, which are very supportive without losing everyday practicality. Dash design is clean and tidy, with a nice screen that controls the digital climate control. Interior colour is subtle and inoffensive. Bootspace is ample.

Conclusion.

A good all rounder. Fast, comfortable and practical. It doesn't drive like an Evo, but doesn't cost like one either. I would definitely recommend this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th March, 2008