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).
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.
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.