Published on www.stuff.co.nz
ROB MAETZIG - Taranaki Daily News
05 January 2011
"For its $30,000-odd price, I felt it to be an honest sort of vehicle, one that really does offer value for money for the motorist in the market with price sensitivity in mind."
The ES in Mitsubishi Lancer ES probably stands for Extra Savings rather than Extra Special - but that's OK, says Rob Maetzig.
The small car segment of New Zealand's new-vehicle market can be very price- sensitive.
It is in here that there can be the private buyers seeking the best value for their dollars, or businesses seeking a no-frills vehicle for staff use.
Most of the manufacturers cater for this by offering base-model versions of their vehicles - they're the ones that have steel wheels instead of alloys, unadorned exteriors minus such luxuries as chrome door handles and rear spoilers, and the likes of manual air conditioning instead of the climate-control stuff.
That sort of thing. The end result is that these entry-level offering can go on the market with prices thousands of dollars less than other members of the same model line. And they sell, too.
A very good example is the Mitsubishi Lancer ES. This is a car that is directly related to such product as the $51,000 Lancer Ralliart SST - even the famous rally-based Evo whatever-the- number-now-is, in fact - but it is on sale in New Zealand for $28,990 with manual transmission, and $30,690 with a CVT auto.
It's a price-point sedan, you see - a no-frills model that is there to offer the best value possible for those who just want a new car and all the warranty benefits that go with that, but don't want to spend thousands more for additional specification.
The ES is on the Kiwi new market market for around $4000 less than the next Lancer up the pricing scale, the SX. The pricing has been kept down for four major reasons - it has steel wheels with wheel covers, it doesn't have a lid on its centre console, and it doesn't have side or curtain airbags.
Not much, huh?
MITSUBISHI LANCER ES POWER PLANT: 2.0-litre MIVEC four-cylinder petrol engine, 115 kW at 6000 rpm, 201 Nm at 4250 rpm.
RUNNING GEAR: Front-wheel drive. Continuously variable automatic transmission with six- speed manual override. MacPherson strut front suspension, multi-link setup at the rear. Electronic stability and traction control.
HOW BIG: Length 4570mm, width 1760mm, height 1490mm, wheelbase 2635mm.
HOW MUCH: $30,690.
WHAT'S GOOD: Honest performance for the price, good interior room.
WHAT'S NOT: Reduced number of airbags means this Lancer is not as safe as the other Lancers.
OUR VERDICT: As a price-point Lancer with nothing Flash-Harry about it, this Mitsubishi has plenty of appeal.