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2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Comfort & Quality

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Whether you choose the sedan or Sportback (hatchback) body style of the 2013 Lancer family, in its Lancer, Ralliart, or Evolution guises, what you get is a relatively boxy, straightforward cabin shape, and that brings impressive interior space, as well as good usability and versatility. But across the lineup, these models sorely lack refinement; materials feel cheap; and ride quality can be harsh. 

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. Trunk space is surprisingly good in sedans, while in the five-door Sportback models (offered in ES and GT trims) the rear seatbacks fold forward to a nearly flat cargo floor. Between the two body styles, backseat space is identical, though.

Comfortable seats and a good driving position make these models appealing when you're sitting still, but once moving you'll note the subpar refinement, ride, and interior trims.
That's the good. The bad is that, on any of these models, noise and ride comfort could be deal-breakers. DE and ES models (and SE) 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, and 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.

We'd like to say that the Evolution or Ralliart are much better and more refined than the lesser models, but they're not. You do get much better sport seats in the Evo, but its structure pounds and rings as its ride is downright jarring on pothole-ridden Rust Belt roads. Those with back issues need not apply.

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