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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 28th 2009
6— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, February 28, 2009 Lancer tailored mild to wild firstname.lastname@example.org with KEITH DIDHAM Mitsubishi obviously doesn’t believe in oldmaxim thatyou can’t please all of the people all of the time. ZIPPY: Lancer’s new Vrx2 is perfect for buyers wanting something sporty and with plenty of bling for their money. ing its small car, the Lancer. There’s seemingly a model for everyone. You can take your pick from 13 variants, a choice of three body styles and a range of driving fla- vours from mild to chilli hot. Not even Ford with its Focus, W Holden with its Astra and Subaru with its Impreza can match Mitsu- bishi’s extensive menu. For those seeking outright perfor- mance there’s the hard core EvoMR SST; at the other end of the scale is the more sedate family orientated ES sedan and hatch. But what if you need a sedan but still linger for something sporty and with plenty of bling for the money? Mitsubishi, naturally, has the answer. Enter the Lancer VRX sedan. It sits mid-stream in the line-up; certainly looks more sporty than the ES and VR but doesn’t quite have the fire-cracker credentials of the Ralliart or Evolution versions. What it does highlight is the diversification Mitsubishi can offer using just one platform and one model name. And the aim, of course, is to try and woo buyers opting out of larger cars although this Lancer comes with a $32,790 price tag. TheVRXwas given a hefty facelift late last year at the same time as the ANTINGto be a crowd pleaser, Mitsubishi has taken the scatter gun approach to sell- introduction of the Aspire which, at the time, stole most of the limelight. Pity, because the VRX has a lot going for it in appeal providing you can get your head around the fact this could be seen as more of a looker than a true performance car. Indeed, the VRX becomes more likeable the more you drive it. It just takes time. Initially, it feels too lightweight, too plasticky and a little under- whelming. Live with it long enough and you forget the steering isatad too lifeless and the ride not as sophisticated as you would expect. It’s best to look at the VRX as a plush sedan with a sporty bent and as such it does it well. It certainly isn’t lacking. You can tick the boxes for a five-star safety rating with seven airbags, plus it comes with traction and stability control. It also has almost every bit of bling in the carmaker’s jewelry box including Bluetooth phone and MP3 connection, six-stack CD audio, al- loy pedals, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, automatic headlamps and wipers, auto air conditioning, cruise control and phone controls on the steering wheel, and keyless start and locking. The body comes well-dressed in a full body kit, complete with rear wing; the interior is an all-black affair with plenty of ake-looking alloy and carbon fibre bits to the dashboard and surround. There’s a couple of niggles — an instrument cluster which flashes ‘‘welcome’’ when you start up then scolds you for leaving the door open with a loud beep. The VRX is now powered by a 2.4-litre motor instead of the the old 2-litre engine but it’s not a new engine — Mitsubishi uses it in the Outlander. Bigger engine capacity has lifted powerto125kWat6000rpmandpeak torque to 226Nm at 4100rpm. A five-speed manual is standard but the one we drove had the optionalCVTauto with six set ratios for manual shifting and you can change gears, using flappy paddles behind the steering wheel. If you shift manually and right up to the 6500-plus red line then the engine’s reasonable mid-range torque comes into play to give the Lancer good-mid speed acceleration. Gear shifting is delightfully smooth around the city and most buyers will be totally happy with that. This isasolid carandit feels it but the Lancer gives a better than expected return in terms of drive- ability. Fuel consumption varies wildly and depends on how you drive it. We got 10-12l/100km in the city but well over 20l/100km when the car was pushed on open, twisty roads. That’s no where near Mitsubishi’s claimed consumption of 8.5l/100km. Fast facts Mitsubishi Lancer VRX Howmuch: $32,790 Underthe bonnet: 2.4-litre four cylinder,125kW @6000rpm; 226Nmtorque @410rpm Fuel consumption: 8.5L/100km (claimed) 10-12l/10km as tested LASTCHANCE lexus.com.au Lexus of Hobart 267Argyle Street, Hobart Ph: 1800 631 298 After hour enquires please call Damian Mizzen on 0412 602 677 lexusofhobart.com.au *0% per annum is available to approved business applicants of Lexus Financial Services. Available on new 2008 RX 350, RX Sports Special Edition and RX 400h models. Maximum term 48 months. Minimum amount fi nanced $20,000. Conditions, fees and charges apply. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. Valid L1313 LEX06888/HM
February 21st 2009
March 7th 2009