MPG-o-Matic Mitsubishi Lancer RalliArt Review Summary: With a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four cylinder engine, full-time all-wheel-drive, and a slick SST transmission, the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is the less-expensive little brother of the legendary Mitsubishi EVO.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is fitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engine, mated to a six-speed twin-clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (SST) and full-time all-wheel-drive system. The inline four produces 237 horsepower (HP) and 253 foot pounds of torque.
The EPA’s fuel economy estimates for the AWD 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart are 17 city / 25 highway miles per gallon (MPG).
We put roughly five hundred miles on the odometer of our Rotor Glow orange metallic review unit and had no problem slipping past the official mileage estimates with an average of 27.8 MPG on the Interstate highway and 22.1 MPG combined.
Overall test period temperatures ranged from the low-seventies to the high-eighties, with Interstate highway testing temperatures in the mid-eighty degree range.
Interstate Mileage Testing:
Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up (1-inch gap): 28.0 MPG
Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up (1-inch gap): 28.5 MPG
Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C on, windows closed: 27.3 MPG
The Ralliart’s intercooled single-scroll turbo cranks up the inline four, as it delivers plenty of punch to motivate the 3462 pound (curb weight) sedan, while the SST transmission knocks out rapid fire shifts.
This one’s on rails. Mitsubishi’s full-time All Wheel Control system gets all that power to the road via an automatic center differential that deals out the torque to the front (helical) and rear (mechanical) limited slip differentials.
Switching modes between Tarmac, Gravel, and Snow covered roads is a push-button affair.
Driver controls are excellent.
The Ralliart’s leather-wrapped sport steering wheel puts Bluetooth, audio, and cruise controls safely and conveniently within the driver’s grip. The Sportronic transmission’s steering wheel column-mounted Magnesium paddle shifters are top-notch.
Our review unit was equipped with the Recaro Sport option package, which includes Recaro front bucket seats, high-intensity discharge headlights, and a 9-speaker, 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate Punch sound system, Sirus Satellite Radio, a six-CD in-dash head unit, and a 10-inch trunk mounted subwoofer.
While the Recaro seats keep you snug between the bolsters, they do not provide heating or lumbar support. Seat adjustments are limited to fore/aft and recline. There’s plenty of legroom for tall drivers.
There are two power outlets: one at the base of the dash and the other inside the center console. The audio system provides a basic audio-in jack. There is no USB iPod input.
Our test unit was not equipped with the optional Navigation Package, which includes a 40GB HDD Digital Music Server.
Is that a subwoofer in the trunk, or a Marshall amp?
The Fast-Key allows automatic unlocking and a power trunk release. With the subwoofer in the trunk, the cargo area provides 9.1 cubic feet of space. (Count on 10.0 cubic feet of storage, sans subwoofer.) The 60/40 fold-down rear seats allow for a flexible arrangement of cargo and passengers.
We found the seating to be reasonably comfortable for four, with plenty of headroom.
The Ralliart’s Multi-Information LCD display provides two trip meters, coolant temperature, outside temperature, service reminders, and range to empty, along with average and instant fuel economy data.
We always recommend driving with the instant fuel economy display active, in order to develop a light-footed driving technique that gets the greatest amount of mileage out of every gallon of fuel.
The 14.5 gallon gas tank provides an average range when driven conscientiously. The turbocharged four cylinder engine is designed to run on Premium Unleaded (91 octane) fuel.
All-in-all, the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is a trusty steed, well-suited to a variety of road conditions. This all-wheel-drive sports sedan delivers a level of performance that one would expect in a much more expensive vehicle, and with reasonable fuel economy, to boot.
– by Daniel Gray