A new entrant in the celebrated Lancer series from Mitsubishi is the Lancer GTS. It is essentially a sedan but has a sportier look than others in the same league. Though y performance it can hardly be called sporty, it gives a good economical and comfortable ride and the voice-controlled cabin tech gives it an interesting edge.
Though the design of this lancer model is made to look sleek and sporty with its big front grille, chiseled sides and a sharp belt-line crease and rear lip, by performance it is far more timid. The engine is a humble 2.4-liter four cylinder using the trademark Mitsubishi variable valve timing. The power thus produced is at 161 horsepower with 161 pound-feet of torque. The combination is powerful yet nothing to rave about.
However, Mitsubishi does introduce a very useful technology to the engine in the form of continuously variable transmission or CVT. This replaces the fixed gears and using a steel belt and drive pulleys allows a wider range of potential drive ratios.
CVT conjures very good EPA figures offering 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The steering is electrically powered and is good for the suburban streets and the stiffer suspension offers a traditional economy car ride experience.
The newly introduced Fuse system promises a whole range of features like Bluetooth phone, iPod integration and voice command for dialing and music selection. The system was quite prompt and could recognize the names of contacts as well as songs and albums pretty accurately, even ones that had particularly difficult names.
The navigation system is not complimentary with the car but can be availed. When fully operative it works well, offering traffic information and dynamic routing based on that, but the interface is a bit rustic. Consequently the cabin display is also very rudimentary. With the lack of an LCD it was unable to display name of contacts or iPod music library display, only basic information could be viewed via the monochrome radio display. The inconvenient placement of the USB port is also dampener.