Mitsubishi Lancer VRX manual 2008 Review

Mitsubishi Lancer VRX manual 2008 Review

Mitsubishi Lancer VRX 2008 fq

New Life is the new Lancer’s catchphrase. In fact, the Lancer has been reborn numerous times since the world first laid eyes on it in 1973. In 1973 I was the New Life that my parents were practising creating (they eventually got good enough to succeed), Pink Floyd released The Dark Side of the Moon, the Endangered Species Act was passed, and there was the Arab Oil Embargo which triggered the Energy Crisis.

While my conception (so far) has had minimal effect on Mitsubishi, the Arab Oil Embargo was very important for the Lancer. The shortage of petrol meant you couldn’t give away the big muscle cars that are (ironically) now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to collectors. It started getting people out of big V8s and into smaller-engined frugal Japanese cars.

Pulling this new Lancer along by the front wheels is the World Engine developed jointly with Chrysler and Hyundai — the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA). Its model number is 4B11, a departure from the usual 4G6X engine associated with Lancers, and it’s a 2-litre MIVEC mill producing 115kW at 6,000rpm, and 201Nm of torque at 4,250rpm. It gives the VRX adequate performance for everyday motoring, but it’s the platform that is the star. Mitsubishi shares the GS platform with Chrysler and, along with the shared engine obviously contributes to the Lancer’s sharp pricing and sharp handling. Drawing on decades of rally experience, the VRX simultaneously feels light and agile on the road, but with an undertone of sturdiness. The VRX is what you buy if you want something sporty that’s as manoeuvrable as a hummingbird, but you can’t justify or afford the Evo. Our test car was a manual, and with a light clutch and relatively short-throw gearbox action it encouraged spirited driving. A CVT automatic with paddle shift is also available for those who contend with rush hour regularly.

The body styling looks coherent again, something in my opinion that hasn’t happened since Evo II/III of 1994-1996. The forward-sloping shoulder line points towards the shark-like nose capped by the slightly bulging bonnet. There’s a hint that the raked grille can barely contain the engine, visually strapped in as it is by a design line that runs horizontally through the middle of it.

From the back, the large spoiler forms a mono-brow across the glaring rear lights — it’s even slightly intimidating while you’re following it and that might deter tailgaters.

Inside it’s the usual Lancer fare: a safe and slightly boring interior that will not polarise opinion, cause offence or otherwise inspire emotion. Best just to leave the chassis to do that, and you can experience it in the palms of your hands through the steering wheel as the MacPherson struts, coil springs and stabilisers encourage the 215/45R18 wheels and tyres to bite hard into the corners. They conceal 16-inch disc brakes which, in conjunction with ABS, EBD and Active Stability Control, extend your ability to reach the edge of the Lancer’s capabilities.

Other safety features include the cornering headlamps that angle the light in the direction you are steering, seven airbags (including a driver’s knee airbag that works in unison with seatbelt pretensioners) and the Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) bodyshell design that consists of a super-strength cabin surrounded by crushable zones to absorb impacts.

While the Lancer’s interior is not that inspiring, it is certainly functional. A 6-CD MP3-compatible stereo, climate control air conditioning and a fancy Bluetooth hands-free telephone system make commuting far more pleasant. Privacy glass in the rear reduces glare for back seat passengers, and contributes to the sleek look of the exterior.

Cars can sometimes lose their way only to be reborn in a flash of brilliance and confidence. The Golf GTI is one of them, and the Lancer may prove to be another. Its 35-year history has seen the highs and lows of rally success, and a mediocre previous model (not including the Evo). If this shows the way forward for the Lancer it will inject New Life and new enthusiasm into potential customers.

Price: from $33,990 (manual, as tested), or $35,490 for CVT

We like:

  • That Mitsubishi can make a car this good for this price
  • Handling
  • Exterior styling
  • Seat comfort

We don’t like

  • Air vents are in the wrong place — impossible to chill your face without frostbite to the hands.
  • Interior a bit drab in places
  • A slightly fatter steering wheel is my preference

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

VRX Manual

VRX CVT

Model code LA3VRX41 LA4VRX41
Seating capacity – persons 5 5
Dual stage air bags (driver, passenger, side, curtain, driver knee)
Immobiliser
Active Stability Control
2.0 litre MIVEC (4B11)
Fuel octane – unleaded 91
Exhaust emission regulation: EU-STEP4
Gearbox 5 speed manual 6 speed CVT with sports mode and paddle shift
Traction control
Shift knob leather leather
Front Macpherson strut with coil spring & stabiliser
Rear suspension multi link with stabiliser
Sport-tuned suspension
Front strut tower bar
Park brake lever type with leather with leather
ABS with EBD
Front brake – disc (ventilated) 16″ 16″
Rear brake – disc (drum in) 16″ 16″
Alloy pedals
Steering wheel – 3 spoke leather leather
Cruise control
Hands free Bluetooth telephone system with voice recognition
Audio controls on steering wheel
Alloy wheels 18″ 18″
Front and rear tyres: 215/45R18 89W
Spare wheel: space saver type
Simple tool & jack set
KOS – keyless operating system with 2 transmitters
Power windows front and rear with key off timer
Outer door handle body colour body colour
Door inside handle bright bright
Windscreen glass laminated
Privacy glass
Back screen with hot wire and timer
Front and rear seats: VR-X sports type
Front and rear leather seats option option
Driver’s seat: slide, recline & height adjusters
Front passenger seat: slide and recline adjusters
Rear seat: low back 3/2 split with 3 headrest
Rear centre arm rest with cup holder
Front seat belt: 3 point with ELR x 2
Front seat belt pretensioner with force limiter & adjustable anchor
Rear seat belt: 3 point with ELR & ALR x 2 and 3 point belt with ELR x 1
Instrument panel garnish – Geometric check print
Instrument panel ash tray
Floor console standard type with cloth lid
Assist strap retractable type x 4 x 4
Coat hanger x 1 RH side
Sunvisor driver with mirror, lid and ticket holder
Sunvisor passenger with mirror, lid and ticket holder
Outside door mirror power type body colour
Drivers foot rest
Front mud flap
Rear mud flap
Front air dam extension
Side air dam
Rear spoiler
ISO fix child-restraint
Tether anchor x 3 x 3
Air conditioning auto auto
Auto lighting control
Headlamp type discharge discharge
Headlamp levelling device
Cornering lamp
Auto lights off system
Front fog lamp
Room lamp with map lamp
Rear room lamp
Windscreen wiper: 2-speed with variable auto intermittent and rain sensor
Headlamp washer
6 disc CD with MP3 and AM/FM radio
Speakers 6 6
Clock digital quartz
Accessory socket on console
Accessory socket in console box
Model code LA3VRX41 LA4VRX41
Displacement (cc) 1,998 1,998
Max power (DIN) kW @ rpm 115 @ 6,000 115 @ 6,000
Max torque (DIN) Nm @ rpm 201 @ 4,250 201 @ 4,250
Bore and stroke (mm) 86.0 x 86.0 86.0 x 86.0
Compression ratio 10.0:1 10.0:1
Fuel consumption – l/100km 8.1 8.5
C02 g/km 192 203
Fuel tank capacity (litres) 59 59
Overall length (mm) 4,570 4,570
Overall width (mm) 1,760 1,760
Overall height (mm) 1,490 1,490
Wheelbase (mm) 2,635 2,635
Track front (mm) 1,530 1,530
Track rear (mm) 1,530 1,530
Turning circle (m) 10.0 10.0
Kerb weight (kg) 1,355 1,385
GVW (kg) 1,850 1,850
Head room – front (mm) 950 950
Head room – rear (mm) 895 895
Trunk volume by VDA (litres) 400 400
Towing capacity with brakes (kg) 1,000 1,000
Towing capacity without brakes (kg) 550 550
Type 5-speed manual 6-speed CVT
Gear ratios 3.538 ~ 0.820 2.349 ~ 0.394
1st 3.538 2.349
2nd 1.913 1.397
3rd 1.333 1.074
4th 1.028 0.832
5th 0.820 0.631
6th —- 0.518
rev 3.583 1.750
final 4.235 6.120

Mitsubishi Lancer VRX 2008 fq

New Life is the new Lancer’s catchphrase. In fact, the Lancer has been reborn numerous times since the world first laid eyes on it in 1973. In 1973 I was the New Life that my parents were practising creating (they eventually got good enough to succeed), Pink Floyd released The Dark Side of the Moon, the Endangered Species Act was passed, and there was the Arab Oil Embargo which triggered the Energy Crisis.

While my conception (so far) has had minimal effect on Mitsubishi, the Arab Oil Embargo was very important for the Lancer. The shortage of petrol meant you couldn’t give away the big muscle cars that are (ironically) now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to collectors. It started getting people out of big V8s and into smaller-engined frugal Japanese cars.

Pulling this new Lancer along by the front wheels is the World Engine developed jointly with Chrysler and Hyundai — the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA). Its model number is 4B11, a departure from the usual 4G6X engine associated with Lancers, and it’s a 2-litre MIVEC mill producing 115kW at 6,000rpm, and 201Nm of torque at 4,250rpm. It gives the VRX adequate performance for everyday motoring, but it’s the platform that is the star. Mitsubishi shares the GS platform with Chrysler and, along with the shared engine obviously contributes to the Lancer’s sharp pricing and sharp handling. Drawing on decades of rally experience, the VRX simultaneously feels light and agile on the road, but with an undertone of sturdiness. The VRX is what you buy if you want something sporty that’s as manoeuvrable as a hummingbird, but you can’t justify or afford the Evo. Our test car was a manual, and with a light clutch and relatively short-throw gearbox action it encouraged spirited driving. A CVT automatic with paddle shift is also available for those who contend with rush hour regularly.

The body styling looks coherent again, something in my opinion that hasn’t happened since Evo II/III of 1994-1996. The forward-sloping shoulder line points towards the shark-like nose capped by the slightly bulging bonnet. There’s a hint that the raked grille can barely contain the engine, visually strapped in as it is by a design line that runs horizontally through the middle of it.

From the back, the large spoiler forms a mono-brow across the glaring rear lights — it’s even slightly intimidating while you’re following it and that might deter tailgaters.

Inside it’s the usual Lancer fare: a safe and slightly boring interior that will not polarise opinion, cause offence or otherwise inspire emotion. Best just to leave the chassis to do that, and you can experience it in the palms of your hands through the steering wheel as the MacPherson struts, coil springs and stabilisers encourage the 215/45R18 wheels and tyres to bite hard into the corners. They conceal 16-inch disc brakes which, in conjunction with ABS, EBD and Active Stability Control, extend your ability to reach the edge of the Lancer’s capabilities.

Other safety features include the cornering headlamps that angle the light in the direction you are steering, seven airbags (including a driver’s knee airbag that works in unison with seatbelt pretensioners) and the Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) bodyshell design that consists of a super-strength cabin surrounded by crushable zones to absorb impacts.

While the Lancer’s interior is not that inspiring, it is certainly functional. A 6-CD MP3-compatible stereo, climate control air conditioning and a fancy Bluetooth hands-free telephone system make commuting far more pleasant. Privacy glass in the rear reduces glare for back seat passengers, and contributes to the sleek look of the exterior.

Cars can sometimes lose their way only to be reborn in a flash of brilliance and confidence. The Golf GTI is one of them, and the Lancer may prove to be another. Its 35-year history has seen the highs and lows of rally success, and a mediocre previous model (not including the Evo). If this shows the way forward for the Lancer it will inject New Life and new enthusiasm into potential customers.

Price: from $33,990 (manual, as tested), or $35,490 for CVT

We like:

  • That Mitsubishi can make a car this good for this price
  • Handling
  • Exterior styling
  • Seat comfort

We don’t like

  • Air vents are in the wrong place — impossible to chill your face without frostbite to the hands.
  • Interior a bit drab in places
  • A slightly fatter steering wheel is my preference

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

VRX Manual

VRX CVT

Model code LA3VRX41 LA4VRX41
Seating capacity – persons 5 5
Dual stage air bags (driver, passenger, side, curtain, driver knee)
Immobiliser
Active Stability Control
2.0 litre MIVEC (4B11)
Fuel octane – unleaded 91
Exhaust emission regulation: EU-STEP4
Gearbox 5 speed manual 6 speed CVT with sports mode and paddle shift
Traction control
Shift knob leather leather
Front Macpherson strut with coil spring & stabiliser
Rear suspension multi link with stabiliser
Sport-tuned suspension
Front strut tower bar
Park brake lever type with leather with leather
ABS with EBD
Front brake – disc (ventilated) 16″ 16″
Rear brake – disc (drum in) 16″ 16″
Alloy pedals
Steering wheel – 3 spoke leather leather
Cruise control
Hands free Bluetooth telephone system with voice recognition
Audio controls on steering wheel
Alloy wheels 18″ 18″
Front and rear tyres: 215/45R18 89W
Spare wheel: space saver type
Simple tool & jack set
KOS – keyless operating system with 2 transmitters
Power windows front and rear with key off timer
Outer door handle body colour body colour
Door inside handle bright bright
Windscreen glass laminated
Privacy glass
Back screen with hot wire and timer
Front and rear seats: VR-X sports type
Front and rear leather seats option option
Driver’s seat: slide, recline & height adjusters
Front passenger seat: slide and recline adjusters
Rear seat: low back 3/2 split with 3 headrest
Rear centre arm rest with cup holder
Front seat belt: 3 point with ELR x 2
Front seat belt pretensioner with force limiter & adjustable anchor
Rear seat belt: 3 point with ELR & ALR x 2 and 3 point belt with ELR x 1
Instrument panel garnish – Geometric check print
Instrument panel ash tray
Floor console standard type with cloth lid
Assist strap retractable type x 4 x 4
Coat hanger x 1 RH side
Sunvisor driver with mirror, lid and ticket holder
Sunvisor passenger with mirror, lid and ticket holder
Outside door mirror power type body colour
Drivers foot rest
Front mud flap
Rear mud flap
Front air dam extension
Side air dam
Rear spoiler
ISO fix child-restraint
Tether anchor x 3 x 3
Air conditioning auto auto
Auto lighting control
Headlamp type discharge discharge
Headlamp levelling device
Cornering lamp
Auto lights off system
Front fog lamp
Room lamp with map lamp
Rear room lamp
Windscreen wiper: 2-speed with variable auto intermittent and rain sensor
Headlamp washer
6 disc CD with MP3 and AM/FM radio
Speakers 6 6
Clock digital quartz
Accessory socket on console
Accessory socket in console box
Model code LA3VRX41 LA4VRX41
Displacement (cc) 1,998 1,998
Max power (DIN) kW @ rpm 115 @ 6,000 115 @ 6,000
Max torque (DIN) Nm @ rpm 201 @ 4,250 201 @ 4,250
Bore and stroke (mm) 86.0 x 86.0 86.0 x 86.0
Compression ratio 10.0:1 10.0:1
Fuel consumption – l/100km 8.1 8.5
C02 g/km 192 203
Fuel tank capacity (litres) 59 59
Overall length (mm) 4,570 4,570
Overall width (mm) 1,760 1,760
Overall height (mm) 1,490 1,490
Wheelbase (mm) 2,635 2,635
Track front (mm) 1,530 1,530
Track rear (mm) 1,530 1,530
Turning circle (m) 10.0 10.0
Kerb weight (kg) 1,355 1,385
GVW (kg) 1,850 1,850
Head room – front (mm) 950 950
Head room – rear (mm) 895 895
Trunk volume by VDA (litres) 400 400
Towing capacity with brakes (kg) 1,000 1,000
Towing capacity without brakes (kg) 550 550
Type 5-speed manual 6-speed CVT
Gear ratios 3.538 ~ 0.820 2.349 ~ 0.394
1st 3.538 2.349
2nd 1.913 1.397
3rd 1.333 1.074
4th 1.028 0.832
5th 0.820 0.631
6th —- 0.518
rev 3.583 1.750
final 4.235 6.120
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