Mitsubishi has embarked on an ambitious crossover and SUV offensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s letting the Lancer wither on the vine. For the 2016 model year, the only Mitsubishi sedan sold in the United States gets a series of upgrades inside and out.
The front end gains a new bumper with a body-colored piece of trim that separates the grille and the air dam, discreet chrome accents, and less aggressive-looking headlights. Select trim raises the ante with C-shaped LED daytime running lights. New 18-inch alloy wheel designs and additional paint colors further help differentiate the upgraded Lancer from the outgoing model.
The interior benefits from a redrawn center console with an additional USB port, and the latest generation of Mitsubishi’s touch screen-based infotainment system. All models regardless of trim level come standard with Bluetooth connectivity, automatic A/C, a multi-function steering wheel, fog lights, and automatic headlights.
The base Lancer is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The other four trim levels ship with a 2.4-liter four-banger that’s tuned to deliver 168 ponies at 6,000 rpm and 167 lb-ft. of twist at 4,100 rpm. Base and GT models are fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, while ES, SE, and SEL trims get a CVT.
The efficiency champ of the lineup is the base model, which returns 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway when it’s ordered with a five-speed manual.
The 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer is scheduled to go on sale in the coming weeks with a base price of $17,595.
Mitsubishi has previously confirmed that the sport-focused Lancer Evolution will not be replaced, meaning that the GT (pictured) is the new range-topping model. However, the company openly admits that the Evolution nameplate will reappear on a hot-rodded version of the next Outlander Sport that will pack a powerful gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain.