Mitsubishi Lancer EX 1.5 MIVEC Sports Review
Bong, bong, bong!

Text and Photos by Jarvis Seo
25 Sep 2007

The new Mitsubishi Lancer EX is one hell of a talkative thing. It greets you with that cute, bubbly tone when you turn the ignition on. Then, it does the same to you when you turn it off. As if that wasn’t enough, it goes “bong-bong-bong” again before you even leave the car, perhaps to remind you not to leave your valuables behind?

So why again, did the engineers at Mitsubishi do something like that?

Information overload!

The answer may be found from the quality of the plastics used in the car’s interior. The EX bongs at you so much that you would quickly want to start the car and drive away, diverting your attention from the plastics that make up the door handles, transmission tunnel and air conditioning knobs.

They are well-glued together, but the interior of the EX can be a better place to be in with the lesser use of hard materials. That aside, it is a class-up from the previous Lancer, with auto-everything thrown into the equipment list (climate control, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights).

You really wouldn’t feel short changed from paying $66k for the EX. The trip computer even tells you when you should go for your next servicing, and how many kilometers are left before your car turns into a push-cart.

It even displays a real time bar chart that tells you just how much you are contributing to global warming each time you step on the accelerator.

EX-clusive Looks

Our test car was of the sports variant. If you choose to buy this model, you get pseudo carbon fiber interior trimmings, leather seats with inconspicuous orange stitches, a set of menacing sports rims, side skirts and a rear lip.

Good for those who want to look fast.

And this car really acts the part too. That angular front makes the car look intimidating and evil, ever ready to devour slower cars in its path. The narrow sweeping windows give an impression of speed, even if the car is motionless. The tapered rear lights have been criticized for bearing resemblance to that of an Italian make, but honestly how can that be a bad thing? Try criticizing a teenager for looking too much like Andy Lau. Crazy!

So all is good for those who want to look the part of being fast. Does it function likewise?

Style or substance?

Sadly, no. The 4A91 1.5L DOHC MIVEC found in this Lancer is the same as the engine used in the Colt. So, it is a case of a big car with a small engine. The rest of the car's underpinnings is more or less equal to that of the Lancer GT 2.0 featured HERE

Capable and zippy the 4A91 is, in the Colt that is. Throw it into the Lancer though, and you lose some charm from this engine. The engine works hard to get the car to speed from stand still, complete with a symphony of growling engine and moaning transmission noises.

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