Pros: Availability of all-wheel drive; sporty driving dynamics of Ralliart model
Cons: Aging design; overall refinement doesn’t match most class competitors; high noise levels; not all drivers can find a comfortable seating position
CG Says: Lancer sees only minor trim changes for 2014. The base DE trim level goes away, leaving the ES as the entry-level model. Also, the all-wheel-drive SE adds some standard equipment: HD Radio, satellite radio, and a rearview camera. Lancer was last redesigned for model-year 2008, and today it’s simply too old to battle effectively in this fiercely competitive class. Lancer handles well and offers a fair amount of features for a compact car. However, powertrains are an issue in terms of performance (at least with the normally aspirated 2.0), fuel economy, and, most notably, noise. We applaud the SE for offering all-wheel drive and other standard cold-weather niceties at a price that doesn’t break the bank. The sporty Ralliart appeals for its engaging turbocharged driving experience, but we don’t think it’s worth the large price premium over the SE.