Car ReviewsFirst Drive

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR Review

Isaac Bober’s first drive 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR review with pricing, specs, ride and handling, safety and verdict.

In a Nutshell Cosmetic enhancement of the Lancer with added specifications.

Practical Motoring Says While the Mitsubishi Lancer GSR isn’t the kind of GSR (all-wheel drive, turbocharged terror) of the past, it is feature-packed and priced so low that it’s almost impossible to ignore. It offers a decent drive experience, a roomy interior but it’s starting to feel old next to key rivals.

MITSUBISHI IS BEING a little bit cheeky by calling its new, ‘reasonably-priced’ Lancer, the GSR. See, GSR was almost always a variant of the rally-bred Lancer Evolution and that was a performance car. This Lancer GSR Sportback is not a performance car… not by a long shot.

But it does kind of look like one. See, the Lancer GSR gets 18-inch alloys, a Ralliart-style front grille (there’s no Ralliart badge), side air dams, rear sports spoiler and cloth sports-style front seats. In addition to these cosmetic offerings, the Lancer GSR also gets a reversing camera, Bluetooth with audio streaming, climate control air-con, rain-sensing wipers, dusk-sensing headlights and much more, and all for a list price of $22,990 (+ORC – with manual transmission) and $25,240 (+ORC – with CVT automatic).

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR review

For a sporting Lancer you’ve got to look upstream at the Lancer Ralliart and the aging Lancer Evolution X. But, as far as value for money goes, it’s pretty hard to argue against the Lancer GSR – but, sadly, the rest of the offering isn’t in the same class as rivals from Hyundai (i30), Volkswagen (Golf) or Ford (Focus).

Under the bonnet is a 2.4-litre MIVEC four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 125kW (at 6000rpm) and 226Nm (at 4100rpm) this is mated to either a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic with sport mode and steering-mounted paddles (our test car was fitted with a CVT automatic). Fuel consumption 8.7L/100km for the manual and 8.5L/100km for the CVT automatic, both numbers are pretty high for this type of city runabout. That the Lancer GSR is happy to drink 90RON fuel is some small consolation.

The petrol engine definitely provides enough oomph for daily driving, but the ‘CVT’ automatic can take a little while to get used to if you’ve only ever driven conventional automatic transmissions. The engine becomes quite coarse sounding as the revs rise, a trait exacerbated by the CVT.

That said, the Lancer GSR goes some small way to adding a little bit of handling verve to the garden-variety Lancer range, which is generally softly sprung. It still leans in corners, for sure, but it feels a lot more composed now and seems better able to deal with bumps, which can see other Lancers taking a moment or two to regain composure and bouncing a little longer than you might otherwise have expected.

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR review

The steering, however, is incredibly light, which is great when you’re driving around town and trying to park the thing, but more feel would be nice for when you’re on your favourite stretch of road.

What is impressive about the Lancer GSR, and other Lancers, is the amount of room inside the cabin. There’s plenty of room in the front and there’s enough manual adjustment on the seats for drivers of all shapes and sizes to get comfortable. In the back it’s a similar-ish story; there’s decent legroom but because of the rake (angle) of the Sportback roof headroom is a little tight for taller passengers (six-foot-plus) – 830mm high from the base of the seat. That said, I managed to fit two child seats into the back (one being a booster seat) and both children had plenty of room. What was a struggle, though, was the smallish door opening, particularly once the booster seat went in, making it a little hard for my seemingly taller-than-average five-year old to clamber into the back.

The boot offers 345 litres of storage spaces with the split-fold rear seats in place, they fold down easily via a small lever to expose more room (the floor isn’t completely flat). As for the rest of the interior, the clean dashboard looks fine and the controls are all easy enough to use on the fly, but the plastics feel scratchy and dated, and some of the switchgear feels pretty cheap.

In terms of safety, the Lancer GSR receives traction and stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, seven airbags and carries a five-star ANCAP rating from 2008.

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR

Price From $22,490(+ORC); $25,240 (+ORC) – as tested
Warranty five years, 130,000km
Safety five-star ANCAP
Engine 2.4-litre MIVEC four-cylinder
Power/Torque 125kW/226Nm
Transmission five-speed manual (standard); CVT (cost option)
Body 4585mm (L) 1760mm (W) 1515mm (H)
Weight 1370-1400kg
Thirst 8.5-8.7L/100km

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6 Comments

  1. Alice
    December 29, 2014 at 12:31 am — Reply

    The current 2014 GSR Lancer looks great to me with those big wheels and blue paint, the 5 speed manual 2.4 engine has very good torquey oomph up to the max speed limit which is where I am happy to cruise on the freeway and highway. I bought the Hyundai i30 SR 2.0 6 speed for the same money because it looks ‘newer’ and has cleverly designed interior space and comfort. I got lucky at a Hyundai dealer with the drive away price; Sorry Mr Mitsubishi in Perth.

    • December 30, 2014 at 4:11 pm — Reply

      Hi Alice, yep, I agree, the 2014 Lancer looks good but I think you’re right in buying the i30 SR. Cheers Isaac.

      • AUSDAVIDZ
        May 29, 2015 at 7:17 pm — Reply

        I don’t, Japper all-the-way….

        • May 30, 2015 at 6:15 am — Reply

          Sorry, but the i30 SR is a much better car than the Lancer. Better handling, better equipment and quality interior, better warranty… just better.
          The Lancer’s a good car, sure. But it’s not better than the i30. Sorry.

          • Chips
            September 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm

            I disagree. I have had CJ Lancer (hatch) since new for six years, and will happily buy another. I don’t care that its not a race car. Its handling is quite good enough for normal driving, and it hasn’t had any problems since new. I don’t fondle the dash when I’m driving, or when I’m parked for that matter, so whatever the dash is made of is fine by me. I also have a five year old grand-daughter, who seems to have no problem getting in and out of her child seat in the rear. The rear seats do fold flat, making it easy to load my golf clubs and buggy. Lastly, the engine keeps humming along, day after day, week after week etc.. We had a Kia before the Lancer, with the result that I don’t trust Korean engines anymore. Maybe in another decade they will have gained enough experience, but for now, I’d buy Lancer over Hyundai.

          • Mal
            May 27, 2016 at 1:48 am

            I’ve recently bought a 2015 GSR on a runout sale…..Very comfy straight up…easy to drive…and very forgiving. Yes it may not be as ‘refined’ as it competition, but for the price and reliability I couldn’t go past it….Also got 6.9L/100km on the way home from the dealership with a 1000km drive from Melbourne to Newcastle and been getting 7.5L/100km around town. (5 speed Manual)

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober