Educate Me on Mitsubishi Lancers

So looking at a car for 17yr old daughter to learn about cars (oil/water/tyres etc) and learning to drive in.

Bloke at work has had 2 Lancers and has 4 in the family. He swears by em, and daughter likes em and I dont mind em either

Most reviews seem pretty good, any real world experience with them?

Budget around $5000 ish

Any common complaints with them?? Timing belts or chain? etc



  • +5

    Had mine for almost 10 years now. Reliable car.

    • +3

      Yeah same, 2010 CJ Lancer, manual, bullet proof. Nothing has failed so far since I have owned it. Would have moved it on by now but can't find a good excuse to do so as it has given me no dramas.

      Surprisingly roomy inside for a small-midsize car. You do get a decent amount of road noise, but nothing unusual for that cost bracket.

      Feed it oil and filters on a regular basis and your good to go and shouldn't have any dramas.

      I has a timing chain so no worries there with an expensive timing belt change at 100k. Cheap and plentiful parts.

      Not powerful enough to do anything silly in but enough grunt to not be unsafe on the road either. Actually pretty safe for it's era, has a decent airbag package and ASC which actually works. There is crash test videos on youtube.

      Might need to extend your budget a little bit. Don't get anything older than the CJ model.

      • Agreed with all of the above.

        If you stretch your budget out to about 10k OP could probably get one a similar age as ours and it would be a great first car for OP's daughter, as it was for me. Admittedly mine was brand new then, but it's still a great car now.


    is this everything you need to know about the motor? besides the performance models

  • My first car in the 1990s was a lancer. Never missed a beat and was reliable up until I wrote it off a few years later, badly timing a right hand turn on spaghetti junction on Princes Hwy. Thankfully all were okay, except the vehicle.

  • +2

    Lancer's are reliable, although boring cars. I have an ASX, which is built on the Lancer platform and uses the same engine. Spare parts are aplenty and there's lots of people who know about. As a learning cars for both driving/servicing they are good.

    • Didnt know about the platform

      But the ex has an ASX, I know exactly what you mean about boring… and that flamming gearbox!

  • +2

    Budget around $5000 ish

    With covid tax at the moment the car will be older than your daughter and probably a manual and a shitty 1.5 litre donk.

    • +2

      Yup I know… but my lotto #s havent come up yet.

  • +1

    My cousin had a Mitsubishi Lancer 2004 2.4, in terms of issues with the vehicle he had none, really nothing to complain about, it was manual and ran until it reached almost 400K. The engines are interference that is if the timing belt snaps the valves will hit the pistons as such you're going to need to ensure the belt has been changed at correct intervals and if it hasn't been changed you'll need to change it as soon as you buy the car. The automatics I know very little about to be honest, however I understand they do not have the reliability of the manuals.

    I recommend upping the budget a bit and looking for a small Volvo, as the Volvo is considerably safer than the Mitsubishi and is a superior car in every capacity. The Mitsubishi doesn't have stability control, traction control, side airbags and so on.

    The Volvo in question is a very reliable vehicle, parts are cheap and the car is unlikely to break down or be expensive to fix, the engine is a tried and true design and the transmission is made by Toyota in Japan. Parts are made by bosch (Cheap and easily accessible) and the car is made so that you can easily replace parts.

    • no idea on why the neg, but thanks for info on the belt. Thats the kinda info was after.

      The budget is the budget sadly.. you can always play the grand more gets you ….. game :(

    • +1

      I don't know why you've gotten downvoted. I've felt the same about volvos, especially the older ones.

      One thing though, based on anecdotes, sometimes parts wise, checking online is still pretty important as sometimes importing parts can be cheaper than what can be had here.

  • There is a reason why a 10-year-old Mitsubishi Lancer is worth the same price as a 16-year-old BMW 7 series with half the kilometres.

    • Happy to answer any questions about work needed

      This sums it up perfectly

      • yea mates a BM master tech and doesn't have much good to say about them in recent years. He's had x series and his ex had a 318 which he sold both pretty quick after getting prices on genuine parts needed on both.

  • -1

    3 Part Diamond badge up front, same on the back.
    If it's got 4 wheels (which it should), and starts, chances are it will move.
    You should have a steering wheel in front of the driver's seat connected to the dash, front wheels and away you go…

    It's a Lancer… What do you want to know? :)

  • Does the OzGuessTheQuote crystal ball have a rough idea how much to do a timing belt on one of these?

    • $1200 with water pump

      • ouch

        • +1

          Lancer is a timing chain from 2008 (CJ)

    • Get the one with 4b11 and horrible cvt and you won't have a belt to worry about. On the older ones the belt is relatively cheap as it's extremely easy. Most places would (should) be around 6-800 with water pump.

      • +1

        Thanks Mr.. appreciate the info.

  • +1

    I had a 2000 lancer. Awesome little car, cheap and reliable. I've owned 2 other Mitsubishis and can't fault the reliability.

  • Have had a 2011 for about 6 years. Pretty boring car, but has never broken down (aside from a dead original 2011 battery after 10 years lol).

    In terms of serious negatives, it can certainly be quite zippy, but the ride leans on the looser side. It may be that the seats are fairly cheap and poorly fit to the human body, but you don't find yourself gliding with the car - it's a bit more wrestling.

    Other downsides are insanely high levels of road noise, especially when you only have a 5-speed and on a country road going 110+ km/hr at >3k RPMs. However, the price range suggests this.

    On top of that, everything in the car is cheap plastic. Door handles, panels, centre console, everything. Not really a problem, and just makes it look aesthetically cheaper… until it's a decade later and almost every panel is rattling. Eventually what I did was tore out every body panel and put little felt pieces on every clip and screw which dramatically reduced the rattling, but the point is they are put together very quickly and cheaply.

    In terms of positives though, it's incredibly reliable, quick when needed, and has cheap parts available.

    Overall, I would be very happy with it as a first car, but would use it as a learning experience for exact things you never want in a car again.

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