2012 Mitsubishi Lancer vs. Its Competition

2011 Mitsubishi Lancer 5dr HB TC-SST Ralliart AWD Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The closest rival to the Lancer is probably the Subaru Impreza.

Newly refreshed for 2012, the Impreza adds a CVT for highway mileage up to 36 mpg, and its design and interior have been further improved.

Also, the Impreza offers all-wheel drive, even in its base form, while the Lancer comes with just front-wheel drive.

The Honda Civic used to be more of a direct rival, but for 2012 it's been redesigned and cast as a more comfort-oriented model, with a little less driving personality.

Nissan’s Sentra, in base form, comes more nicely equipped than the Lancer, and though its interior is better appointed, it doesn’t feel as sporty and inviting as that of the Lancer.

In SE-R Spec V performance guise, it’s a viable front-wheel-drive rival to the GTS.

The 2012 VW Jetta is another alternative; its torquey five-cylinder engine stands out against the lesser Lancer models, and the VW offers more safety features and a somewhat brighter, more contemporary-looking interior.

2011 Mitsubishi Lancer 5dr HB TC-SST Ralliart AWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mitsubishi LancerBrowse Used Listings2012 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings2012 Nissan Sentra 4-door Sedan I4 CVT 2.0 S Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan SentraBrowse Used Listings2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2012 Volkswagen Jetta SedanBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer family has a little more panache than most compacts, but it's missing some of the finer details.
The 2012 Honda Civic is a little more spacious, comfortable, and economical, but it's now one of the blandest of the bunch.
The 2012 Nissan Sentra no longer looks fresh, but especially in base 2.0 form or SE-R Spec V guise it represents a strong value for the money with a roomy, comfortable interior.
Crisply restyled, with higher gas mileage, more space inside, a nicer interior, and all-wheel drive standard, the 2012 Subaru Impreza is a newly compelling compact alternative.
The 2012 VW Jetta delivers a better driving feel and more back-seat room than many other compact sedans; skip the cost-cutter base versions in favor of the TDI or the GLI for a distinctive choice in the compact class.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
18 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas Flat 4Gas I4
EPA Class    
CompactCompact CarsCompactCompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan Manual DE FWD4-Door Manual DX4-Door Sedan I4 Manual 2.04-Door Manual 2.0i4-Door Manual Base
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door SedanSedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer vs. 2012 Honda Civic2012 Mitsubishi Lancer vs. 2012 Nissan Sentra2012 Mitsubishi Lancer vs. 2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Mitsubishi Lancer vs. 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan