Sporty, reliable, economical
Power steering went when I first got the car, at the time covered by factory warranty. Not sure how much that would cost to fix normally, but met plenty of other Lancer owners and no-one else had that problem.
Mid-2007, dash cluster developed a weird problem where ALL the instruments (ie. speedo, tacho, odometer) turned off randomly. Problem gradually got worse and had the cluster replaced by an auto-electrician/wrecker, cost was $210 ($150 for cluster, $60 labour). Fault lay entirely within old cluster. Again, not common.
Apart from the problems above, my Lancer was faultless. It was very easy to drive with a light clutch and decent handling. I only sold it as my partner and I had a baby, and a small coupe doesn't make a great family car. It was my first car, and I would recommend as a first car or runabout.
Excellent on fuel (6.2L/100km on the highway with A/C on), and servicing is fairly cheap as it is a common car.
Front seats are a little firm for long trips and back seats (in the coupe, at least) have very little legroom, nor do they fold down. Boot space is generous for a small car.
Being the 1.5L it won't set your pants on fire in the performance department. However, they are reliable if serviced regularly, and easy to modify if you're into that.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th May, 2009