The base Jetta comes with a long list of standard features and stands out for its torquey five-cylinder engine, available electronic stability control, and rear side airbags.
The Impreza is another sporty sedan that might be considered; it isn't quite as fuel-efficient as the Civic or Sentra, but its torquey flat-four engine provides good performance, and it comes standard with all-wheel drive.
The Sentra is one of the cheapest models; although it starts at a price substantially higher than the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer's, the base Sentra S comes a lot better equipped, with a six-speed manual, anti-lock brakes, and conveniences like steering-wheel controls, air conditioning, and keyless entry.
However, the Sentra's interior doesn't feel as inviting and sporty as the Lancer's.
The Honda Civic is also a bit more expensive, but it includes a much more refined, more rev-happy, and more fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, along with an equally slick-shifting manual transmission.
Each of these rivals is considerably quieter and more refined inside than the Lancer.
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|2009 Mitsubishi LancerBrowse Used Listings||2008 Nissan SentraBrowse Used Listings||2004 Honda Civic ClassicBrowse Used Listings||2001 Volkswagen JettaBrowse Used Listings|
|21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 51 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 49 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Sedan Manual DE||4-Door Sedan I4 CVT 2.0||Classic 4-Door Sedan DX Manual||4-Door Sedan GL Manual|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front-Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan GL|