Pros: Unique looks and versatility of hatchback body style; relatively sporty handling of GT model
Cons: Overall refinement doesn’t match most class competitors; high noise levels; middling acceleration in base-engine models
CG Says: Lancer Sportback sees only minor trim changes for 2014. The GT adds new standard equipment: HD Radio, satellite radio, and a rearview camera. Also, a rear spoiler is now standard on both the ES and GT. The Sportback lacks the all-wheel-drive and turbocharged versions that its sedan sibling offers, but adds hatchback practically while remaining reasonably fun to drive. It’s hard to recommend the ES due to its sluggish acceleration, but the GT has at least (for some) acceptable power while delivering better handling and front-seat comfort. Be careful when selecting options, however, as they can push the price into territory occupied by cars that are just as entertaining but far more refined.