Mitsubishi's Lancer, offered in a wide variety of trims, is the company's bread-and-butter economy model. Over the past few years, Mitsubishi backed off from its jet-fighter grille, softening the lines and separating upper and lower intakes with a crossbar.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Only the SE, Ralliart, and Evo Lancers come standard with all-wheel drive, different versions of Mitsubishi's All Wheel Control system. The SE sports the least capable version of this system.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The SE gets an engine upgrade over the lesser-trim Lancers, going from 2 to 2.4 liters. This engine also uses Mitsubishi's MIVEC variable valve control system to boost efficiency, but it lacks direct injection.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The Lancer SE's suspension is tuned more for comfort than sport, although it does boast stabilizer bars front and rear.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The high trunk lid allows for good cargo space in the trunk.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The cabin of the Lancer SE relies on too much plastic, putting the car behind those from Mitsubishi competitors that have made considerable strides in economy car interiors.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The rear-seat legroom is reasonable for an economy car.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The Lancer SE is one of the few economy cars still using hydraulic power-steering boost.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Simple tach and speed gauges bookend a color LCD on the instrument cluster.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
This rocker switch on the console lets drivers choose between front-wheel drive, four-wheel-drive auto, and four-wheel-drive lock, the last choice locking the center differential to maintain power at all wheels.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The center LCD shows a graphic of the current All Wheel Control mode.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Manual transmission fans are out of luck with the Lancer SE, as it can only be had with this continuously variable transmission.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The stereo uses a display from the previous millennium.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Instead of a 1/8-inch audio input jack, Mitsubishi fits the Lancer SE with these RCA jacks.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
A 10-inch subwoofer rides in the trunk when the Lancer SE comes equipped with the Rockford Fosgate audio system.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Updated: