As if to celebrate its 40th year in New Zealand, Mitsubishi’s 2-litre Lancer sedan has raced to the top of the popularity charts.
According to official motor industry figures*, in the 12 months to 31 March more buyers in the car market’s ‘small sedan’ sector, as the industry terms it, chose the Mitsubishi model than any other.
Underlying Lancer’s accelerating appeal is the rebirth of the GSR namebadge that, back in 1974, hurtled the very first Lancer range into the limelight, laying the foundations of Mitsubishi’s legendary motorsport success with multiple Safari and Southern Cross rally wins.
Now, in 2014, the stunningly-priced GSR sedan – at $25,990 described by commentators as ‘best 2-litre value’ - is paving the way to sporty, economical driving for more and more Kiwis, with this model alone claiming a third of the total small sedan sector.
GSR continues to be a synonym for great driving: there’s plenty to be had with its 2-litre 115kW Smart-MIVEC engine and advanced sports mode-equipped 6-speed CVT transmission.
Plus all the “mod cons” such as six-inch touch screen audio, reversing camera and automatic climate control air conditioning, with audio and Bluetooth fingertip-controlled from the leather-covered steering wheel.
These days, GSR comes in hatchback style as well as sedan, both sporting smart, chrome-accented sports body kits, definitive 5-spoke 16” alloys and black cloth seat trim: clean, classic good looks that have won the car many friends.
The SEi sedan and hatchback add luxury features such as full leather upholstery, electrically heated front seats, auto-folding rear view mirrors and dusk-sensing headlights.
All Lancers have a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, thanks to seven airbags, Mitsubishi’s RISE monocoque body design and an array of active and passive safety systems.
“While Lancer’s leading the way, we’re also seeing heavy interest right across the range, from Outlander and Mirage to ASX and Triton”, says head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook. “In fact, more customers chose Mitsubishi in March than at any time in the past decade: mostly private buyers wanting vehicles that are appealing and perform well, yet at realistic prices”.
Lancer prices (plus on road costs):
- GSR sedan/hatch $32,990 rrp: sedan promotional price $25,990.
- SEi sedan/hatch $36,990 rrp: sedan promotional price $29,990.
- LS sedan/hatch $30,690.
*New Zealand Transport Agency