INTRO: Want the sporty handling and aggressive styling of the Mitsubishi Lancer sport sedan, but need a little more versatility? Well, the 2011 Lancer Sportback is here with a rear hatch that adds usability and cargo space.
Trims for the Lancer Sportback are ES, GTS, and the range-topping Ralliart, like the model we drove. It featured 18-inch alloy wheels, wrapped in Yokohama performance tires, heat extraction vents in the hood, a more aggressive blacked-out front fascia, and the most potent engine in the Sportback lineup.
PERFORMANCE: The base engine for the Lancer Sportback is a 2-liter inline-4, sending 148 horsepower to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. Opting for the GTS gets you a 2.4-liter inline-4, sending 168 horsepower to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or CVT.
For the true driving enthusiast we recommend the Ralliart. It features a turbocharged 2-liter inline-4, sending 237 horsepower through a 6-speed dual clutch transmission to all-wheel drive with Mitsubishi's all-wheel control or AWC. AWC has separate driving modes for tarmac, gravel, and snow.
FUEL ECONOMY: Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
FEATURES: The sporty nature of the Lancer Sportback is evident in the 5-passenger cabin. Our Ralliart test model came equipped with a leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters and leather trim for the center console shifter.
The standard stereo across the line is a 140-watt CD/MP3 6-speaker system. Our Ralliart test model also came with the FUSE hands free voice control system with USB audio input. For a little more sound, we recommend the Touring package. It upgrades the stereo to a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate system with 8 speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer and 6-disc in-dash changer. *This package also includes heated front seats, rain sensing wipers and a power sunroof.* (No footage or stills to support claim.)
SAFETY: Standard safety features include 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, active stability control, traction control, front and rear crumple zones, and a fully array of front and side impact airbags.
PRICING: Base MSRP for the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is $16,995. A Range-topping Ralliart trim starts at $28,095.
WARRANTY: Front wheel drive models are backed by a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, while the all-wheel drive Ralliart gets a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
SUMMARY: With a hatchback body style highlighting everyday usability and the Ralliarts all-wheel drive and turbocharged powerplant, the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback delivers an exhilarating ride from a capable daily driver. (3:04)