The appeal of the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer’s styling lies more outside than inside.
Reviewers at The Detroit News say that, aside from the front-end restyling, the "wedge-shaped body" and "raised beltline add to its speedy character," while "even the spoiler doesn't look out of place, appearing more tasteful than gaudy." That spoiler is available only on the "top-level GTS," according to Kelley Blue Book, and they note that other styling differences among the three available trim levels (DE, ES, and GTS) include "black door handles, black mirrors and 16-inch covered wheels" on the "base Lancer DE." Kelley Blue Book adds that the "Lancer ES projects a far more polished appearance, with 16-inch alloy wheels, color-keyed door handles and mirrors and a chrome grille surround." The exterior styling on the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer is aggressive and certainly stands out among its rivals, without seeming too far-fetched like, say, the Honda Civic. Cars.com reviewers report that they rarely test "a sub-$20,000 car that gets stares, but the Lancer GTS" does just that and has "plenty of heads turning in its direction." The Auto Channel raves about the "huge upside-down trapezoid grille, bisected by the bumper" that dominates the Lancer 2009's front end and combines with "faux brake ducts for a scowlingly aggressive look."
The Lancer’s interior, however, doesn't fare as well. Car and Driver gives the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer higher praise than other reviewers, asserting that the interior "features clean, stylish aesthetics" and even describing it as "chic." Unfortunately for designers at Mitsubishi, reviews of this sort seem to be in the minority, as more often than not, reviewers side with ConsumerGuide's assessment that some controls can be "an uncomfortable reach and its dashboard screen hard to read in sunny conditions." Edmunds adds that the "dashboard is not nearly as exciting as the Lancer's sporty, shark-nosed exterior," though they praise the "clean, straightforward design." Reviewers at The Detroit News summarize the interior by saying that "when you sit inside, you don't feel inspired to take on the highway, you feel like taking a nap." Kelley Blue Book feels that, despite the "contemporary, minimalist styling" inside the cabin of the new Mitsubishi Lancer, it "falls short of the category's best in terms of richness and refinement," especially on the DE and ES.