Exterior styling is one of the biggest draws for the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer—whether you’re referring to the sedan or Ralliart body styles. Across the parking lot, the Lancer sedan could be mistaken for an Evo, especially in top-of-the-line, sporty GTS trim. Nearly all the reviews that TheCarConnection.com read referred to the Lancer as a nicely proportioned small sedan. It looks chunky but low and lean, while the new Sportback hatch model also fits perfectly with the sharklike snout.
Cars.com muses that it rarely tests "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 also likes the "huge upside-down trapezoid grille, bisected by the bumper" that dominates the 2010 Lancer’s front end, with "faux brake ducts for a scowlingly aggressive look."
In addition to the aggressive front-end styling, the "wedge-shaped body" and "raised beltline add to its speedy character," according to the Detroit News, 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," notes Kelley Blue Book, specifying that the 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 thinks that the ES looks more polished, pointing to the “16-inch alloy wheels, color-keyed door handles and mirrors and a chrome grille surround."
TheCarConnection.com’s editors think that even on base models, sporty interior themes and a mix of darker surfaces and matte-metallic trim give it a sophisticated, upscale look from a distance. Car and Driver agrees, saying that the interior "features clean, stylish aesthetics" and even describing it as "chic." The Lancer’s interior doesn't fare well with all reviewers, though. ConsumerGuide thinks that some controls are "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." 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. Reviewers at The Detroit News summarize the interior, noting that "when you sit inside, you don't feel inspired to take on the highway, you feel like taking a nap."