The Mitsubishi Lancer family of compact sedans and hatchbacks have now gone quite a few years without a complete refresh; however, you might not know that in looking at their feature sets.
Generally, the mid-grade Lancer ES, GT, and SE models come with a generous list of standard features and some high-tech options that aren't widely offered in this affordable class of vehicle. The only exception is the base DE model, a price leader that could classify under the old definition of 'economy car.' Power windows and a CD sound system are included in the Lancer DE, but expect steel wheels with cheap-looking wheel covers, as well as rear drum brakes (though anti-lock brakes and stability control are now included).
Most people will be happy with the mid-grade ES, adding stabilizer bars, ventilated disc brakes (rear discs with the available alloy wheels), a split-folding backseat, steering-wheel audio controls, keyless entry, and air conditioning. The Lancer SE, which builds on the equipment of the ES but adds the larger 2.4-liter engine plus all-weather all-wheel drive, to appeal to those in Northern climates wanting AWD but not the performance ability of the Ralliart or Evolution. The sporty GT lives up to its Evo look, with a sport suspension, big 18-inch alloys, fog lamps, rear spoiler, and air dams, plus automatic climate control, high-contrast gauges, and sport seats. GT models include a USB port plus FUSE, a hands-free system that allows voice-command access to phones and media players.
The GT can be further loaded up with a Touring Package adding a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate Punch premium sound system, ten-inch subwoofer, a CD changer, leather seats, heated front seats, bi-xenon headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, and a sunroof; separately, there's a navigation package that includes a rearview camera system.
In addition to its turbo engine, the Ralliart includes most of the GT's equipment, plus standard leather trim and aluminum pedals, as well as a hands-free entry system. Step up to the Evo and its track-tuned performance, and you'll already be past the $35k mark with the GSR model, the more basic take on the Evo that includes a slightly more compliant suspension, better wheels, and HID headlamps, plus other extras like remote start and the FAST hands-free entry system. The loaded Evolution MR tops $45k when loaded with the Touring Package, as well as a Premium Package that includes Recaro leather-and-suede seats.