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Scion tC or Mitsubishi Lancer?

I need help deciding between a 2005-2010 Scion tC and a 2007-Present Mitsubishi Lancer (not evolution). Also which year is best? Any idea how well they do in the snow. The other car I was looking at was a 2008 Mazda 3 sedan? but my Dad and my brother have one and they say there terrible in the snow. …Which is weird for a fwd. So if anyone knows if the tC or Lancer has the same problem? So which car/year is the best quality/reliability.

The tC is, in my opinion, a much better choice than the Lancer.

Snow driving is about TIRES, not cars. If you have good winter tires on your car, regardless of which car we’re talking about, it will probably do pretty well in snow.

If, on the other hand, you attempt to rely on the high performance tires that come as original equipment on the Scion tC, Mazda3, Lancer, or many other cars, you will HATE driving in winter conditions, because you car will slide around like crazy.

This is because the tires are not up to the task, but not because the vehicle is not up to the task.

Any of these cars would be perfectly capable in snow if they were fitted with proper winter tires.

Without winter tires they will be equally helpless. Or maybe worthless.

Briefly, the Scion would be more reliable, has a Camry engine. They both would probably have been driven hard, so difficult to find one in good condition. I think your dad and your brother have a problem with their tires rather than the car.

It’s a fallacy to think that fwd makes cars good in snow. It’s just as important that they have appropriate tires and wide performance tires and low ground clearance can mitigate any advantage you think fwd cars have.
The Scion gets my vote, that along with narrower snow tires should improve performance


The Scion is one of the most reliable cars on the planet.
The Mitsubishi–not so much.
Mitsubishi is really a second-tier manufacturer in terms of its quality, as compared to Toyota, Honda, Subaru, and Nissan.

And, as others have already stated, a car’s traction in winter conditions is almost entirely a function of its tires.
Many cars nowadays come from the factory with what are really 3-season tires, and these tires are absolutely hazardous in winter conditions.

Other cars come with so-called all-season tires that may or may not give decent winter traction.
Unfortunately no standard whatsoever exists for an “all-season” tire, and if someone wants the assurance of good traction during the winter months, it is necessary to get a set of 4 winter tires.

Will you spend a few hundred $$ extra by buying this extra set of tires? Sure
However, just one fender-bender will far exceed the cost of those winter tires.
Additionally, since your regular set of tires will be in storage for several months, you will be extending the service life of those regular tires.

Ergo–buying a set of winter tires is really not much of an extra cost item, and depending upon circumstances, could wind up saving you a whole heap of money.

Ergo,ergo…I would agree and add that winter tires make for less tire expense regardless over the life of the car even w/o considering accidents. You’ll have to change all seasons at 5o %wear while winters give better traction than new all seasons in snow, all the way to the wear bars. Winter tires can give you equivalent wear if you change them when average temps are above 50 degrees. IMO, it cost less to include winter tires in your tire rotation.

Snow driving is about TIRES, not cars

REALLY…Put the BEST snow tires available on a 60’s muscle car…and I’ll lap it several hundred times on a snowy road with my wifes Lexus and decent all-season tires.

Tires are PART of the solution…but not THEE solution.

MSN Autos says that there is an occasional problem with the water pump on the 2007 tC. But it’s not expensive to fix. They report no problems with the Lancer. Which one to do like best? I don’t think that a well maintained Lancer or tC would be a big risk. BTW, there was no 2007 Lancer (small point, but don’t look for one).

I prefer not to ask which has the best reliability, but whether there are any known issues with the cars. I’ve heard that better is the enemy of good enough, and that seems to apply here. If you can find a Lancer in excellent shape, has been maintained by the book, and is priced attractively I would not hesitate to buy it.

My bad. I’ve been looking through so many car makes/models/years I guess I got confused. Thanks.