2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Overview
The five-seat Lancer Sportback hatchback is offered with a choice of two naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines. Competitors include the Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza and Mazda3. The Lancer sedan and high-performance Lancer Evolution are covered in separate reports.
The Lancer Sportback retains the general design cues of the Lancer sedan in front but takes on a different look at the rear. The Sportback's liftgate is raked forward at an aggressive angle for a hatchback, and the overall look is a little ungainly from some angles. A rear spoiler near the roof finishes off the design. The ES trim has standard 16-inch wheels, while 18-inch wheels are optional. Other exterior options include bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, power glass sunroof, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Like the Lancer sedan, the Sportback has room for up to five people in two rows of seats. The big difference between the two cars is in the cargo area. Although the Lancer sedan is available with a split-folding backseat to increase luggage space, the shape of the car limits what you can fit in the trunk. With the Sportback, there are fewer restrictions because of its open cargo area, which has a maximum volume of 52.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Interior options include a USB port, Rockford Fosgate stereo with a subwoofer, and heated leather seats.
The front-wheel-drive Lancer Sportback offers a choice of two engines. The ES has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower with either a standard five-speed manual or optional continuously variable automatic transmission, while the GT has a 168-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with either a five-speed manual or CVT.
Standard safety features include side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags for both rows, knee airbag for the driver, antilock brakes, and an electronic stability system.