The Lancer is Mitsubishi’s 2002 replacement for the Mirage sedan and is available only as a hatchback. Mitsubishi wanted it to emphasize its more luxurious soul by giving it a lot of standard convenience features. It is an attractive sedan that is four inches longer than the Mirage sedan and has more room than the Honda Civic. It even boasts more backseat legroom than the Galant, which is Mitsubishi’s top mid-size sedan. It has only one available engine, a 2.0-liter, single overhead cam (SOHC), four-cylinder engine and is available in three trims: ES, LS, and O-Z Rally. Buyers can pair the engine with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The automatic transmission has driver-adaptive technology that tailors the shift points to your driving requirements and style.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Mitsubishi Lancer ES, Mitsubishi Lancer LS, Mitsubishi Lancer O-Z Rally
The 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer is a new model for 2002 and replaces the Mirage.
Exterior features for the 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer ES include 14-inch steel wheels, intermittent windshield wipers, remote trunk release, rear defogger, power locks, mirrors, and windows. The LS trim replaces the 14-inch wheels with 15-inch alloy wheels and adds variable intermittent windshield wipers, and remote keyless entry. The O-Z Rally trim adds specially-designed 15-inch alloy wheels and aerodynamic body treatments. This attractive sedan is built on a 102.4-inch wheelbase. The cargo area is large, but the hinges intrude upon the 11.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The pass-through to the trunk in the LS and O-Z Rally via the 70/30-split rear seatback is very small. The exterior is stylish and has the look of being crafted from a single sheet of metal. The wheels are pushed as far back out to the four corners to create a wide stance. The horizontal chrome grille is bold and creates a presence from the front.
The interior standard features for the 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer De include air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, front bucket seats with a height-adjustable driver’s seat, tilting steering wheel, power steering, four-speaker CD stereo, and bench rear seat. The LS adds a 70/30-split folding rear seat with a center storage armrest, cruise control, and a six-speaker CD stereo system. The O-Z Rally adds alloy trim on the dashboard. The ES can get an optional Convenience Package that contains most of the standard features that are found on the LS. The layout of the dashboard is clear and convenient, but the audio controls are small and the clock becomes unreadable in direct sunlight. The gray-background gauges in the ES and LS are easier to read than the white-background gauges in the O-Z Rally. The O-Z has a sportier interior than the other models, but all models have inferior-grade plastics in the dashboard. The other cabin materials are of better quality. The front passengers have good head and legroom with supportive, comfortable seats. Rear seat room is tight, but foot room is good. The flat, firm rear bench seat is only wide enough to comfortably seat two adults; it can seat three children with no problem.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Mitsubishi Galant RS and GS models are equipped with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 120 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated with a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic transmission and front drive. The LS trim is only available with the automatic transmission. It has four-wheel independent suspension system with MacPherson strut front/multi-link rear suspension. The acceleration is just adequate enough to prevent a disaster when passing in traffic. The automatic transmission is dull and only vaguely responsive, downshifting in just enough time to pass and merge in traffic. The ride overall is comfortable and stable, although you will feel some bouncing when going over bumps at higher speeds. The steering is good and handling is decent, but body lean is noticeable when cornering. The O-Z Rally has a wider stance, which does not make the wheels grip the road any better than the other models.
Standard safety features for the 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer includes child seat anchors, dual front airbags, automatic delay-off headlights, ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes, emergency interior trunk release, engine immobilizer, and electronic brake force distribution. The LS Preferred Equipment Package adds anti-lock brakes, front side airbags. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave a ""good"" rating for overall front, head restraints, and safety cage protection, an ""acceptable"" rating for restraints, and a ""marginal"" rating for bumper protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Lancer ES: 23/30 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Lancer LS: 21/27 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Lancer O-Z Rally: 23/30 mpg city/highway
- Attractive exterior and interior styling
- Good, responsive steering
- Very good handling
- Lots of standard features
- Comfortable ride
You Won't Like
- Cheap plastics in dashboard
- Small back seat
- LS is the only trim to get side airbags and ABS
- No available engine upgrade
The lack of ABS on all models and weak four-cylinder engine keeps this car from being a first choice in its class.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Civic
- Ford Focus
- Toyota Echo
- Nissan Sentra