The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer has a relatively boxy, straightforward cabin shape, which pays dividends in making the interior quite roomy and useful--whether you go with the four-door sedan or the five-door hatchback (Sportback). But road and engine noise, along with bargain-basement interior trims leave a lot to be desired compared to most other rivals in the compact-sedan class.
Front seats in the Lancer are supportive and a little larger and better-bolstered than those in many other small cars; they also yield a nice, upright driving position and reasonable long-distance comfort. In back, there's enough space to fit a couple of adults in the backseat for short trips.
The five-door Sportback body style is offered now in ES and GTS trims and brings a little more cargo space and versatility—especially if you fold the backseats forward. Otherwise, backseat space is identical between the two.
On any of these models, noise and ride comfort could be deal-breakers. DE and ES models come with a slightly softer suspension and more forgiving tires that comfort-oriented buyers will probably prefer. But especially in GT form, the Lancer rides quite hard, however, with plenty of road noise to match the engine noise. Inside, the cabin materials are decidedly basic, with lots of hard, hollow-sounding plastic, and in CVT models the engine gets raucous and buzzy on acceleration.