The prospect of a five-passenger vehicle with added space and the smooth ride of a car should be a grand slam. Mitsubishi provides just that with the 2012 Lancer Sportback. By taking the successful attributes of the Lancer and the Lancer’s rally-racing variant the Lancer Evolution (“EVO”) and evolving them into a five-door “sportback” body style, Mitsubishi has created a car that is both fun to drive and a model of versatility.
One Mean Hatch
Both the ES and up-rated GT models feature the EVO-inspired gaping front grille and a menacing headlight design, giving the Lancer Sportback an aggressive tone and making it stand out in any parking lot. The raked angle of the rear window gives the Lancer Sportback a low-slung, coupe-like appearance.
Immense utility is found in features such as the Plug-In Thule Sport-Rack Sockets. Standard on the Lancer Sportback, they provide a base onto which you can mount a wide variety of Thule roof racks. From mountain biking to snowboarding, Thule Sport-Rack Sockets will accommodate anything you want to do.
Curvaceous Meets Capacious
A quick lift of the rear hatch reveals the key to the astounding versatility of the Lancer Sportback. With the 60/40-split rear bench folded, the Sportback provides a class-leading 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The cargo-area seat release lever makes it easy to drop the rear seat from the back, and the dual-level, height-adjustable rear cargo floor gives you additional packing and hauling flexibility.
Outstanding versatility is not built on superior cargo space, alone. Understanding this, Mitsubishi incorporates features such as FUSE Hands-free Link System™ (standard in the GT), to keep the driver focused on the road, and a standard rear cargo cover that can double as a hard surface on which to place items.
The driver is treated to a simple control layout that alludes to the performance-driven nature of the Lancer Sportback. The available 40GB Hard Drive Navigation System provides real-time traffic updates and is the perfect real-world utility for your travels.
Energizing the Daily Commute
A pair of lively, fuel-efficient engines is offered with the Lancer Sportback. Those opting for the ES trim get a 148-hp 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder that returns up to 32 mpg highway. For those seeking more power, the GT trim comes equipped with a 2.4-liter inline-four generating 168 horsepower. Both engines route power through a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to the front wheels. The CVT in GT trims features Sportronic® manual shifting and magnesium steering-wheel paddle shifters.
Regardless of trim chosen, the quick acceleration and steering responses of the Lancer Sportback make it the perfect urban runabout. Mitsubishi experience in World Rally Racing is highlighted when the Sportback is thrown into a turn. Such a combination of spirited handling and real-world usability is a rare and welcomed thing.
Class-leading cargo space does not necessitate a wallet-busting price tag. The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback starts at an MSRP of $18,395 for the ES trim. The more powerful GT has an MSRP of just $21,345 and includes performance-inspired cues such as 18-inch alloy wheels and added vents on the hood.
The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback proves that a hatchback can have some swagger, and that functional can be fun. See for yourself by scheduling a test-drive today.