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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
outward visibility aft and to the right-rear isn't great”
Good, frontal offset
Five stars, front and side driver impact; four stars, front and side passenger impact
The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer performs well in crash tests, but base versions have optional anti-lock brakes—a feature that today is standard in many of the cheapest cars.
After putting the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer through its full battery of tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards it a full five stars for front and side impact driver protection, and four out of five stars for front and side impact passenger protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests affirm these results, as the IIHS bestows its highest rating, "good," on the Lancer 2009 for frontal offset collisions.
The Auto Channel points out that the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer uses "Mitsubishi's Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) unibody construction to disperse impact energy," and it shows in crash-test results. One important safety characteristic that is hard to incorporate into crash-test ratings is driver visibility, and unfortunately, visibility from within the Mitsubishi Lancer isn't all that great. ConsumerGuide finds that "outward visibility aft and to the right-rear isn't great, and it's made worse by the available rear spoiler" on the GTS trim.
The 2009 Lancer also brings a full complement of safety features. Edmunds observes that the 2009 Lancer features a "solid array of airbags, including front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag." Cars.com adds that "ABS is optional on the DE base trim and standard on the ES and GTS," a disparity that leads Kelley Blue Book to "recommend taking that step up" to the ES if you have the means.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer boasts decent crash-test scores, but the lack of stability control and, on the base models, ABS is a negative.