Mitsubishi Lancer

I am considering buying a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer ES.

I am not familiar with the brand. I’d appreciate any general information about reliability.



Go to and click on the “used cars” tab to look at previous model years of the Lancer. Then read the “consumer reviews” for each previous model year and see what people are saying about the reliability, etc, of their Lancers.

My daughter has owned 2 Mitsubishi Eclipses and a Galant but not a Lancer. They were what I would consider average at best and required more upkeep than other vehicles any of us have owned.
(With me being the schmuck who has to take care of them.)

At one point about 5 years ago she was going to buy a Lancer and the dealer allowed her to take a dealer demo home for a couple of days. (Young and cute will do it I guess!)
She asked for my opinion of the car and I took a ride in it. I was not impressed and the car felt tinny and flimsy to me. Whether that translates to unreliability over the long haul I do not know.

Generally speaking, Mitsubishis do not have the historically-good reliability ratings of some other Japanese makes, such as Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Nissan.

About ten years ago, because of very low sales figures in the US, Mitsubishi began allowing people with very bad credit ratings to buy their cars, just to try to move some iron off of showroom floors. Within a year or so, a great many of those non-credit-worthy customers had their cars repossessed.

When these largely non-maintained cars were resold on the open market, the buyers had many problems as a result of poor/no maintenance by the previous owners, and in a great many cases, Mitsu failed to honor the warranties–even though they had led these customers to believe that their cars carried the balance of the new car warranty. Lots of bad public realtions resulted from this episode, but apparently Mitsu did learn from this episode to avoid selling cars to folks who can’t pay their bills.

Around the same time, Japanese consumers were having lots of mechanical problems (chiefly with the transmissions, but also with the engines of their Mitsubishis), but a HUGE percentage of their warranty claims were being disallowed by Mitsu. The reality of the situation was that Mitsu had some very serious reliability issues, and that they were refusing to acknowledge them, simply because they were hemorrhaging money at that point.

The situation became so extreme that the Japanese government (which is notoriously business-friendly and consumer-unfriendly) conducted an investigation which concluded that fairly new Mitsu vehicles were having an unusually high number of breakdowns, and that Mitsu was improperly disallowing warranty claims in an attempt to conserve their finances. In Japan, being “dishonorable” is one of the worst mistakes that a person or a company can make, and the result was that Mitsubishi began to have problems selling cars–even to their own countrymen!

It appears that there has been some improvement in Mitsu quality over the past few years, but Consumer Reports does not have any reliability data on the Lancer, or even on the more expensive Galant. When cars sell in really low volume, it is difficult to gather statistics on them from CR subscribers, so the result is no stats for these models. As to why their cars sell in such low numbers, CR has some revealing comments.

In the category of Small Sedans, CR tested 17 models, and the Mitsu Lancer is rated #16 out of those 17 models. In other words, virtually any other small sedan is preferable to the Mitsu Lancer, in CR’s opinion. While they did give the Lancer high marks for its “agility, controls, and crash-test results”, they downgraded it for having lots of engine noise, having poor “fit and finish”, and having poor brakes.

If the Mitsubishi dealer is giving you an especially good deal, you might want to consider the car, but given the company’s historical reliability record, the absence of any reliability record for this model, its poor build quality and its poor brakes, I would counsel that you might be better-off looking elsewhere.

Edited to add this correction:
In CR’s latest ranking of small sedans, the Lancer is rated #16 out of 16 models, and is the only small sedan that is not recommended for purchase. I will allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Thank you. Between your and other replies I probably won’t buy it.

What a complete response and explanation. With the others added the Lancer is off my radar. Many thanks.

Since my screen name is Galant; I will add, if well maintained they might be decent cars. The transmission problems are mostly from using the wrong ATF and also not following proper instructions on checking fluid levels. Having said that their engines generally are more prone to oil leaks.
Two more downsides to add;
1- The dealers are really disappearing and getting parks could be a challenge.
2- The insurance rate on the Lancer might be higher

I have put my Galant to rest many years ago. Looking into SUV’s now, the endeavor is on the recommended list and the Outlander gets decent reviews, but ultimately I am deciding to pay a bit more and get something with parts/service that is available.

Basically the Evo and the Ralliart models are the only worthwhile cars Mitsubishi currently has for sale in the U.S.

Thanks for an insightful reply. Yes, I found out that the collision insurance cost is more – a lot more – for the Mitsubishi Lancer then, for example, the Nissan Cube.

Not too many years back the CEO of Mitsubishi was arrested on a conspiracy charge of attempting to cover up known problems.
I’d like to see the same policy adopted in the U.S.,9171,501040705-658372,00.html

Sadly, things like this are not a Mitsubishi only issue.

Hey guys! I found a great deal on a 2016 lancer. There is nothing wrong with it works great low miles but my intentions are to do a total rebuild on it new engine convert to all wheel drive. Idc about what it cost me I have finished ordering part to prepare for the build. Coil overs best brake rotors and pads all new evo rad. So my question is I need to decide on what motor to drop in it capable of 800-1000 horse power. And no this is not my daily driver.

And it looks like we have another young dreamer wanting to waste money on an almost impossible project.

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Is it even possible to convert a Lancer to AWD?

This wasn’t 10 years ago, it was in the early 2000’s. Mitsubishi offered a “no payments for one year” promotion on the Eclipse and perhaps other models, which resulted in a lot of young people buying the cars, never making any payments. Eventually, the cars were repossessed and auctioned off, ultimately ending up at used car dealers. I remember reading about this in the news at the time, and could not understand how anyone thought this was a good idea.

Take a closer look at when I posted the comment that you saw fit to correct.
I posted it in January, 2011, and “about 10 years ago” at that point would have put those events in the early 2000s. Do the math…



Idc about the money lol all I asked was what I need also anything is possible with enough money. The whole point of this so I have a lancer that’s built and not just bought

Sure enough money will get you something but it may not be drivable . What you need is more experience because you are on the web asking questions . I doubt anyone has ever done this and there is a good reason why. It makes no sense.

People do builds all the time, just figured since this is car talk that someone would have knowledge about engine I’m basically asking personal experience about the 4g63 or the 4g11t engines and what they would be getting out of the engine to receive big gains. I have a experienced machanic to put everything together but he doesn’t know Mitsubishi motors for big gains