2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback (DE, ES, GT, SE AWC, Ralliart) review, specs, photos, features

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The new 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback

With its sleek design and convenient utility, the Mitsubishi Motors' tried and true 5-door Lancer Sportback returns for the 2013 model year as the perfect choice for performance car enthusiasts and young families alike.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

This uniquely-configured, yet handsomely-styled vehicle in the popular Lancer family is available in two distinct trim levels: the entry-level ES and the athletic GT. The Lancer Sportback ES comes with an efficient 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC 16-valve engine that achieves 32 highway mpg, while the sportier Lancer Sportback GT is equipped with a 2.4-liter inline-four engine that produces 168 hp and 167 lb.-ft of torque.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

2013 Lancer Sportback ES

The 2013 Lancer Sportback ES is an exceptional value within the 5-door compact sedan segment, thanks to an efficient yet peppy 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC 16-valve engine paired with an advanced Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that achieves a welcome 32 highway mpg. A dazzling array of standard features including a 4 speaker 140-watt CD/MP3 player with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for crisp and clear listening enjoyment; air conditioning with micron cabin air filter; variable intermittent windshield wipers; auto-off halogen headlights; and additional conveniences like plug-in Thule® roof rack sockets, a remote keyless entry system and a 60/40 split rear seat with cargo area release lever; power windows, mirrors and door locks; and much more are also included.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

2013 Lancer Sportback GT

Powered by a dynamic 2.4-liter MIVEC engine that belts out a full 168 horsepower that is connected to a technically advanced Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Sportronic® driver-operated paddle shifters, the 2013 Lancer Sportback GT includes other feature upgrades like a sport-tuned suspension; automatic air conditioning climate control; 6 speaker sound system that includes Mitsubishi Motors' innovative FUSE Handsfree Link System™ with USB port that allows users to operate numerous functions of the audio system and an iPod™ through the use of simple voice commands; FAST-Key entry and engine starting with panic alarm feature; a leather-wrapped steering wheel plus much more.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

Available upgrade packages for the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback include an Exterior Package that consists of a front air dam, exhaust finisher and fog lights; an Interior Sport Package with aluminum shift knob and brake grip; an LED Illumination Package that augments the Lancer Sportback's already attractive interior with blue front floor illumination and LED interior lamps; an All Weather Package with rear mudguards, front all-weather floor mats and the convenience of remote engine start; and the Popular Equipment Package that adds niceties like a trunk mat, scuff plates, rear bumper protector and an alloy fuel door.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

Ample Interior Utility Space

With comfortable seating for five and a taller, longer stance that extends to deliver more rear cargo space, the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback offers incredible utility for a sports sedan. With the rear seats up, this spacious hatchback offers 13.8 cu. ft. of cargo volume, which is 1.5 cu. ft. more than the Lancer sedan's 12.3 cu. ft. For additional cargo space, the auto-folding 60:40-split rear seats fold completely flat with one touch for an area totaling 46.6. cu. ft. If that isn't enough, the rear cargo area floor can be lowered three inches, expanding cargo volume to 15.3 cu. ft. with the rear seats up and a full 52.7 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded down.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

Inspired Lancer Looks

The Lancer Sportback inherits its good looks from the rally racing-inspired Lancer sedan and adds a more spacious cargo area through its 5-door configuration. Unlike many hatchbacks whose rear sides form a clunky wedge, the Sportback retains the smooth and sporty aesthetic from the Lancer 4-door, its rear glass sloping graciously to accommodate for the expanded rear cargo space. Other athletic exterior design features on the Lancer Sportback include an integrated roof wing and distinctive wrap-around taillights.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

Two Potent 4-Cylinder Engines

The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback comes with two very capable yet fuel-efficient engine variants – both based on the 4B11 engine architecture found under the aluminum hood of the vibrant Lancer Evolution model. The ES model engine produces 148 bhp at 6,000 rpm and 145 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm from its 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC 16-valve inline-4 with a compression ratio of 10.0:1 (the compression ration of the turbocharged 4B11 T/C in the Lancer Evolution is 9.0:1).

The Lancer Sportback GT features a larger displacement 2.4-liter inline-4 engine (internally designated the 4B12 engine) that is capable of 168 bhp at 6,000 rpm and 167 lb.-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm with a higher compression ratio of 10.5:1.

Like the engine that propels the lightning-quick Lancer Evolution, both the Sportback ES and GT 4-cylinder engines make use of lightweight yet sturdy all-aluminum construction for both the engine block and cylinder head. Likewise, both engines are capable of running on less expensive 87 octane fuel.

Both the 2013 Lancer Sportback ES and GT model engines include Mitsubishi Motors' very efficient Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT transmission has been designed and engineered by Mitsubishi with INVEC-III technology to provide smooth shifts with minimal vibration.

EPA fuel mileage ratings are 25 mpg city/32 mpg highway for the 2.0-liter-equipped Lancer Sportback ES and 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway for the 2.4-liter-equipped Lancer Sportback GT.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

Exceptionally Engineered Platform

The rock-solid platform of the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback is the result of a chassis that has been engineered to include ultra-high-tensile steel construction and extra rigid support in key areas including the roof joints and side pillars. The sturdy chassis – accompanied by a sophisticated independent suspension design that utilizes Macpherson struts at the front of this stylish and sporty 5-door with a multilink setup for the rear, lends the Lancer Sportback superb handling and ride characteristics while simultaneously allowing it to smooth out road imperfections with aplomb..

Dimensionally, the 2013 Lancer Sportback is identical to the Lancer sedan in width (69.4-inch) front and rear track (an equal 60.2-inch, respectively) and wheelbase (103.7-inch). However, the Sportback is larger than the Lancer in overall length and height, 0.4-inch longer for the former and 0.6-inch taller for the latter. In total, the Lancer Sportback is 180.4-inch in overall length and 59.3-inch in height.

The upgrade Lancer Sportback GT model features larger brakes – 11.6-inch diameter ventilated discs are used up front and 11.9-inch solid discs are used in the rear – than those found on the Lancer Sportback ES model. The entry-level ES model makes use of 10.9-inch diameter ventilated disc brake rotors in the front, and depending on the wheels, drum or disc brakes for the rear (Lancer Sportback ES models equipped with alloy wheels, 10.3-inch diameter disc brakes stop the rear).

The steering systems differ between the two models as well. The Lancer Sportback ES uses an electric motor to assist the power steering, tuned by Mitsubishi engineers to retain good steering feel while also contributing to fuel efficiency. The Lancer Sportback GT relies on a conventional hydraulically-assisted steering system that delivers seamless driver response and welcome feedback.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

Advanced Safety Technologies

Every 2013 Lancer Sportback is fortified with a wide assortment of cutting-edge safety features and technologies.

The vehicle's occupants are protected by Mitsubishi Motors' next-generation Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) highly rigid unibody design technology. The RISE design acts to disperse energy around the vehicle's occupants and fuel system in the event of a rear or side impact.

Additionally, all Lancer Sportback models come equipped with an advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors, side-impact head protection curtain air bags for both the front and rear seating sections, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and a driver's knee air bag.

Helping the driver to maintain optimum control of the vehicle are an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL); an active front seat structure to help reduce whiplash injury, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that alerts the driver to fluctuations in the tire's air pressure – high-tech safety features/technologies included as standard equipment on all 2013 Lancer Sportback models.

From the well-equipped/value-oriented Lancer DE all the way to the amazing agility of the high-zoot Lancer Ralliart with its potent turbocharged power and exceptional handling and traction from its advanced All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive, Mitsubishi Motors' Lancer 5-passenger compact sports sedan is an extraordinary 4-door available in several different iterations to fit just about any need or lifestyle.

What's more, last year the Mitsubishi Lancer was named a "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for the fifth consecutive year. This heady accomplishment is due in large part to numerous safety technologies and features engineered into the Lancer design including Mitsubishi's highly-effective Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) energy-absorbing body construction in the event of an impact; advanced dual-stage front air bags with occupant seat position sensor; side-impact head protection curtain air bags; front seat-mounted side air bags; driver's side knee air bag; anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL); a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); height-adjustable headrests and three-point seat belts for all three rear seating positions.

For the 2013 model year, the brisk-selling Lancer SE AWC model – an all-new entry introduced to Mitsubishi Motors' varied Lancer model lineup just last year – receives numerous additions to the already impressive long list of standard features on this affordably-priced and fuel-efficient 4-door that includes the Japanese auto manufacturer's impressive electronically controlled All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system.

New for 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer SE AWC

Thule® Plug-in Roof Carrier Accommodation
Thule® is a leader in design and production of vehicle roof racks for carrying cargo, bicycles, snowboards, canoes – you name it. So Mitsubishi Motors has added plug-in roof carrier accommodation to the 2013 Lancer SE AWC model, at no additional cost to the consumer.

16-inch Alloy Wheels
The Lancer SE AWC includes a stylish redesigned 16-inch 5-spoke alloy wheel for the 2013 model.

Available Premium Package
The new Premium Package adds numerous highly-desirable upscale accessories and features in one compellingly-priced package. These include a power glass sunroof; a Rockford Fosgate® premium audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio; 6CD/MP3 In-Dash Head Unit,a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; high contrast meter with color LCD MID; and a soft-touch door trim with chrome lever.

A 2013 Lancer Model to Suit Just About Anybody

The chassis design of the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer is so robust and well-engineered that it serves as the foundation for not only the popular Mitsubishi Outlander crossover utility vehicle (CUV) but also the multiple-time World Rally Championship (WRC) title holder Lancer Evolution – the ultra-high-performance turbocharged sports sedan that has a worldwide fan following.

The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer is available in 6 eye-popping colors: Wicked White, Apex Silver Metallic, Mercury Gray Pearl, Rally Red, Cosmic Blue (new for 2013), and Tarmac Black Pearl (Note: Lancer DE model not available in Cosmic Blue or Rally Red).

High on style and features yet low on price, the 2013 Lancer DE may be the model lineup's "base" entry, but you'd be hard pressed to tell considering the vast array of welcome features and amenities that are included as standard such as a fuel-saving Electric Power Steering (EPS); 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) control and 4 speakers, speed compensated volume and equalization control; remote keyless entry and anti-theft engine immobilizer; power door locks and mirrors with driver-side auto up/down; 4-way adjustable driver's seat; auto-off halogen headlamps; a tilt-adjusted steering column, and a convenient 12-volt power outlet in the center console – the latter item perfect for recharging a hand-held GPS unit or a cell phone.

Other thoughtful design features included on every 2013 Lancer DE are a blacked-out front grille and aesthetically-pleasing sculpted side air dams.

One step beyond is the 2013 Lancer ES model that includes essentially all of the welcome standard amenities found on the DE model but is also available with numerous deluxe options including a HDD navigation system with music server that can hold up to 3,000 songs; the convenience of Mitsubishi Motors' FAST-Key passive entry with panic feature; and the company's innovative FUSE Handsfree Link System™ for operating numerous audio system, iPod® and a Bluetooth™-enabled cell phone functions using simple voice commands.

Both the 2013 Lancer DE and ES models are powered by a proven workhorse of an engine: a 16-valve 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine rated at 148 horsepower that features Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) for improved power production and reduced exhaust emissions (Lancer DE and ES models). Equally impressive is the dynamic sports sedan duo's miraculous fuel economy with an EPA rating of 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway when equipped with the continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

2013 Lancer SE AWC: Value-Focused Model with All-Wheel Control (AWC)

Introduced just last year, the 2013 Lancer SE AWC with Mitsubishi Motors' road-gripping All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system is powered by a larger displacement 2.4-liter DOHC MIVEC 4-cylinder engine that produces 168 horsepower and provides power to either the front or all four wheels (thanks to the driver-controlled Drive Mode Switch) via the fuel-thrifty continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

2013 Lancer GT and Ralliart: Performance and Luxury

Mixing both refinement and all-out performance, the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT and the Lancer Ralliart pamper their occupants with upscale touches and available accessories while also offering the enthusiast driver unrivaled sports sedan athleticism.

Like the Lancer SE AWC model, the 2013 Lancer GT features a brawny 168 bhp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine under its hood. But while the Lancer SE AWC comes equipped with a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) as the sole "gearbox" offering, the sporting Lancer GT comes with a rifle bolt-precise short-throw 5-speed manual transmission and the option of upgrading to a technological marvel: a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with INVEC-III (Intelligent & Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control system) that "learns" a driver's particular driving manner to better execute shift performance. The CVT-equipped Lancer GT also includes Sportronic® shifting via steering wheel paddle shifters for the ultimate in driver enjoyment and control.

Other included amenities on the 2013 Lancer GT are sport front bucket seats; automatic climate control; sport-tuned suspension; a dynamic 6 speaker audio system; the more aggressive-looking front fascia from the Lancer Ralliart model; 18-inch alloy wheels, Mitsubishi's FAST-key with panic feature and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback photo

For all-out performance and upscale features, the 2013 Lancer Ralliart resides atop the Japanese auto manufacturers compact sports sedan podium.

Thanks to a 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled MIVEC-equipped 4-cylinder engine that belts out a vigorous 237 horsepower and a lightning-fast 6-speed automated manual Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST), the 2013 Lancer Ralliart's agility and performance capabilities reach new heights – thanks to the inclusion of advanced Mitsubishi Motors electronic driver aids such as full-time All-Wheel Control (AWC) with Active Center Differential (ACD) along with a front helical limited-slip differential, a rear limited-slip differential and Hill Start Assist (HSA). Hill Start Assist (HAS) allows the vehicle to remain in a stationary position on a slope for several seconds after the driver removes their foot from the brake pedal to depress the accelerator pedal.

Standard equipment on the 2013 Lancer Ralliart above and beyond the Lancer GT's amenities include an aluminum hood with heat extractor vent; sport fabric seating surfaces, chrome side lower door molding, SiriusXM™ satellite radio for 3 months, and leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, shift knob and shift boot.

New 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback specifications, photos and images courtesy of Mitsubishi.

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