What to look for when buying a used Mitsubishi Lancer

Safety: Antilock brakes were optional in early DE models, standard on others. Side- and side-curtain air bags, as well as a driver's knee air bag were standard. The 2008-2010 Lancer received five stars for the driver and four stars for the front passenger in the NHTSA frontal crash tests. Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA has introduced tougher tests, where the 2012 Lancer was rated with four stars for both the driver and the front passenger.

Continuously-variable transmission: The CVT is based on two pulleys connected with a steel belt. The pulleys can change in size, varying the gear ratio gradually without shifts. The main benefit of the CVT is that the engine RPMs remain in the most efficient range and there is no loss of momentum on shifting. The main drawback is that accelerating a car with a CVT gives you that 'rubber band' feeling: the engine RPMs go up but the vehicle speed increases with a bit of a delay.

What to look for when buying a used Lancer: Opting for a second-hand car, you probably want to know how reliable the Lancer is. This far, there are not that many problems reported to form a trend, although there are complaints about the brake noises, the paint that scratches or chips easily and some rusty spots. In models with a rear spoiler, look for rust on the trunk lid under the spoiler, as it seems to be the trouble area. Watch out for oil leaks; there are a few reports about oil leaks from the engine. During the test drive, see if the car drives straight and doesn't pull to one side or another. Watch out for vibrations and noises; a whining noise at higher speeds could be caused by CVT issues. There are reports about the CVT producing a whining noise, mostly in the 2008 model. Read more what to look for in a used car.
A new Lancer is covered by the 10 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 km) powertrain (engine and transmission) warranty, which is great for new car buyers. However, used car buyers might not be as lucky, because the powertrain warranty coverage for subsequent owners is different. For the 2011 Lancer, for example, it's listed at 5 years 60,000 miles. Read more details at the US Mitsubishi website warranty information page.
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Safety Recalls - NHTSA - check for recalls.
Transport Canada - Road Safety Recalls - check for recalls in Canada.
US owners site - manuals, how-to videos, Fans, warranties.
Service Schedule - recommended service schedule

2012 Mitsubishi Lancer sedan specifications

Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:

180.0 in. (4,570 mm.)
69.4 in. (1760 mm.)
58.3 in. (1,480 mm.) /DE, ES, SE/
103.7 in. (2,635 mm.)

Curb weight:

2932 lbs. /ES with CVT/

Cargo volume:

12.3 cu. ft.

Turning circle:

32.8 ft. (10.0 m.)



4-cylinder 2.0L DOHC, 16-valve, MIVEC,
model 4B11
148 hp @ 6000 rpm
145 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm

4-cylinder 2.4L DOHC, 16-valve, MIVEC,
model 4B12
168 hp @ 6000 rpm
167 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm

EPA Fuel Economy* (US mpg, L/100 km):
2.0 manual:

2.0L automatic:

2.4L manual:

2.4L automatic:

city: 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km)
hwy: 34 mpg (6.9 L/100 km)

city: 26 mpg (9.0 L/100 km)
hwy: 34 mpg (6.9 L/100 km)

city: 22 mpg (10.7 L/100 km)
hwy: 31 mpg (7.6 L/100 km)

city: 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km)
hwy: 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km)
Recommended Fuel:

Unleaded gasoline (87 octane) /DE, ES, SE, GT/

Fuel tank capacity:

15.5 US gallons (69 liters)
14.5 US gallons (55 liters)

Engine oil capacity:
DE, ES 2.0L engine:
SE, GT 2.4L engine:

4.2 US qt (4.0 liters)
4.5 US qt (4.3 liters)

* subject to change