For the most part, the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is identical to the Lancer sedan, which means aggressive, shark-nosed styling, agile handling and an ample amount of available features. Yet its hatchback body style lends an added degree of practicality thanks to the increased cargo capacity that comes with its extended roof line.
However, the Sportback also comes saddled with the Lancer's drawbacks that include subpar fuel economy, a general lack of refinement and a cabin that's rather plain and downmarket compared to what's seen in rival hatchbacks. Its many available luxury, convenience and electronics features that were once rare for the class are also increasingly par for the course. So while the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback can be an attractive, practical and enjoyable little runabout, we suggest that you consider other alternatives.
Current Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is offered in ES and GT trim levels. The base ES gets a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The sportier GT gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 168 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque. Both these trims get standard front-wheel drive and a standard five-speed manual transmission, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. The CVT features a manual mode with simulated gear ratios operated via paddle shifters.
The Lancer Sportback offers many high-tech features (either as standard or optional), though these are increasingly becoming common in the compact segment. Examples include keyless ignition/entry, automatic climate control, a touchscreen navigation system, hard drive music storage, Bluetooth connectivity and Mitsubishi's Fuse voice-activated controls. Driver comfort is compromised by the lack of a telescoping steering column, but rear seat comfort is at least very good, with a useful amount of legroom. With the seats up, the Sportback offers 13.8 cubic feet of storage. Maximum cargo capacity is either 47 cubic feet with the Ralliart or 52.7 cubes with the GT.
Our seat time in the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback has revealed sporty handling and a strong appreciation for the potent Rockford Fosgate hard-drive-equipped audio system. The base ES is a little on the mundane side, but the GT version is likely sporty enough for most folks thanks to its peppy performance (especially with the manual gearbox) and solid composure through the corners. Unfortunately, the Lancer's lack of refinement, subpar fuel economy and disappointing interior quality make it less desirable than other compact hatchbacks.
Used Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Models
The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback was added to the Lancer lineup for 2010, but in that first year it was only available as the GTS and Ralliart. The latter featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged-4 (237 hp and 253 lb-ft), an automated dual-clutch manual transmission with shift paddles, and all-wheel drive. Both were discontinued after 2011, though the current GT is pretty similar to the GTS. The Mitsubishi Fuse system was also unavailable in the first year.