Whether you opt for the four-door sedan or five-door Sportback, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer is roomy for passengers and cargo but lacks some of the finer points inside—especially the look and feel of materials and trims, as well as interior noise.
Cabin design is a highlight in the 2010 Lancer. Front seats provide a nice, upright driving position with good outward visibility and long-distance comfort; the sport seats in the GTS are even better. In front, ConsumerGuide finds that "leg space is sufficient for six-footers, but taller folks are likely to want more head clearance." Reviewers at Cars.com feel that the front seats "are comfortable and keep occupants firmly in place," though ConsumerGuide warns that the standard seats on the DE and ES trims "are unexceptional for shape and support."
Backseats are tight for legroom, but there’s just enough headroom for adults (just two, ideally). The Auto Channel reports that "rear space is good for the car's size," a sentiment affirmed by Edmunds, which says, "the Lancer's interior is spacious, particularly in the rear seating area."
Available only in GTS trim is the new Sportback body style, which brings a bit more cargo space and versatility—especially if you fold the backseats forward. The efficient interior design of the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer also provides ample room for cargo and storage space. Reviewers at The Auto Channel cite "useful storage spaces in the doors, console, and glove box"; they do warn that for the Lancer, 2009 brings an optional subwoofer that can "take up some trunk space," though the "trunk is large enough so that will not present any major compromise." ConsumerGuide is slightly more critical, claiming the trunk "lack[s] height for taller cargo, as does the trunk opening," although they approve of the "useful cabin storage" that "includes large front-door map pockets with bottle holders." Otherwise, backseat space is identical between the two.
Noise and ride comfort could be deal-breakers. Especially in GTS form, the Lancer rides quite hard, however, with plenty of road noise to match the engine noise. Sounds from the engine are more of an issue in CVT models, where the engine gets raucous and buzzy on acceleration. DE and ES models come with a slightly softer suspension and more forgiving tires than comfort-oriented buyers will probably prefer. In regard to road noise, the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer is unremarkable. ConsumerGuide feels "wind noise is well-checked, but coarse-surface tire thrum is fairly high in all models" and the "crude engine note is a sore point." Kelley Blue Book adds that the ES model and its base setup offer a "less noisy—but still not quiet—ride." ConsumerGuide adds that, compared to the sporty GTS, which "rides a bit harsher due to its firmer suspension and 18-inch tires." Automobile Magazine says that "while the Lancer's overall ride quality and suspension damping is quite good at normal speeds, rough pavement tends to upset things, sending unwelcome kickback through the steering wheel." Automobile Magazine also can't get past the engine noise, remarking that it was "too coarse and buzzy for our liking, a fact not helped by the optional CVT fitted to our test car."
Also, bringing a downmarket feel to the Lancer is the collection of decidedly basic materials used in the cabin—including lots of hard plastic. When reviewers focus their attention on the quality of interior materials, some side with Motor Trend, which points out that the cabin "appears well assembled, and is trimmed in plastics and surfaces of appropriate quality," making the Mitsubishi Lancer "at least competitive" with its rivals. Kelley Blue Book reviewers feel that the "otherwise attractive passenger cabin falls short" of the Mitsubishi Lancer's main competitors. Other reviewers, such as those from Cars.com, lament the interior materials and some of the "cheap elements, like the grab handles on the doors and the trip computer button beside the gauges." Coming down particularly harshly on the Mitsubishi Lancer is The Detroit News, which remarks that the knobs and switches feel "like they might snap off" if "pushed or twisted too hard."