While an improvement over the previous model, the redesigned Lancer scores only midpack in its class. While handling is agile and steering is responsive, lending the car a sporty feel, the ride borders on being too stiff. Further, the engine is noisy, and the brakes were disappointing. This Lancer also had subpar fit and finish, tight rear-seat headroom, and mediocre fuel economy.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer has been recalled 5 times by NHTSA. View Recalls

No Detailed Data Available

Consumer Reports obtains its reliability data from a questionnaire that is sent to subscribers. In the questionnaire, we ask subscribers to note any problems with their cars that occurred in the past 12 months. They are asked to identify problems that they considered serious (because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime).

A typical model has about 200 to 400 samples for each model year. For some model years, typically those of older or less popular cars, we do not have a large enough sample size to provide results of statistical confidence.

There are several ways in which a savvy car buyer can still research the quality of a car.

Learn more about Car Brands Reliability
Learn How To Avoid A Lemon Car

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
STRUCTURE, SUSPENSION
May 18, 2020
A detached front control arm can result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is recalling certain 2008-2010 Lancer, 2009-2010 Lancer Sportback, 2008-2013 Outlander, and 2011-2016 Outlander Sport vehicles originally sold in, or ever registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The front lower control arms may detach due to the front cross member corroding from salt water exposure such as from road salt use.
What should you do:
MMNA will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the front cross members. Depending on the level of existing corrosion, either a sealing/anti-corrosion agent will be applied or the front cross member will be replaced with a new one. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began August 7, 2020. Owners may contact MMNA customer service at 1-888-648-7820. MMNA's number for this recall is SR-20-003.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 20V279000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 141200
VISIBILITY
Jan 26, 2018
If the sunroof glass detaches from the assembly while driving, it can become a road hazard, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is recalling certain 2007-2010 Outlander, 2008-2010 Lancer, 2009-2010 Lancer Evolution, and 2010 Lancer Sportback vehicles equipped with sunroofs. The sunroof glass may detach from the sunroof assembly, becoming a road hazard to other vehicles.
What should you do:
MMNA will notify owners, and dealers will replace the sunroof glass assembly, free of charge. The recall began on February 27, 2018. Owners may contact MMNA customer service at 1-888-648-7820. MMNA's number for this recall is SR-18-003.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 18V071000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 56641
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Sep 12, 2014
If the drive belt detaches, the battery may discharge, resulting in an engine stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (Mitsubishi) is recalling certain model year 2008-2011 Lancer, Lancer Evolution, and Outlander; 2009-2011 Lancer Sportback, Lancer Rilliart, and Lancer Sportback Ralliart; and 2011 Outlander Sport vehicles. The affected vehicles, manufactured with 4B1 engines, have an engine pulley and belt arrangement for turning the alternator, the cooling fan and the power steering pump (if equipped). These pulleys may experience unusual wear and allow for belt detachment.
What should you do:
Mitsubishi will notify owners, and dealers will replace the drive belt with a rubber belt. Drive pulleys that are excessively worn will be replaced. These repairs will be performed free of charge. The recall began on October 15, 2014. Owners may contact Mitsubishi customer service at 1-888-648-7820. Mitsubishi's number for this recall is SR-14-009.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V562000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 165923
AIR BAGS
Nov 05, 2009
THIS COATING OVER TIME MAY CAUSE CORROSION OF THE SENSOR. IN THE EVENT OF A VEHICLE CRASH OF THE TYPE THAT WOULD DEPLOY THE AIRBAGS THIS TYPE OF SHORT-CIRCUIT MAY CAUSE A DELAY IN THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE AIRBAGS WHICH COULD RESULT IN DRIVER OR PASSENGER INJURY.
Summary:
MITSUBISHI IS RECALLING MODEL YEAR 2008-2009 LANCER AND LANCER EVOLUTION VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KENTUCKY, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN AREAS WHERE HEAVY ROAD SALT IS USED IN THE WINTER, A LONG TERM EXPOSURE TO A MIXTURE OF MELTED SNOW WITH SALT THROWN UP BY THE OTHER VEHICLES ON THE ROAD MAY CAUSE A WATER-SALT MIXTURE TO ADHERE TO THE FRONT IMPACT SENSORS.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSTALL NEW FRONT AIRBAG SENSORS THAT HAVE IMPROVED CORROSION RESISTANCE. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON NOVEMBER 27, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MITSUBISHI CUSTOMER RELATIONS DEPARTMENT AT 1-888-648-7820.
For more information:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V435000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 29353
SERVICE BRAKES, AIR
Mar 10, 2009
THIS MAY TEMPORARILY INCREASE THE STOPPING DISTANCE OF THE VEHICLE AND THEREFORE INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
MITSUBISHI IS RECALLING 39,711 MY 2008-2009 OUTLANDER AND LACER VEHICLES. INCORRECT MATERIAL COMPOSITION OF THE BRAKE BOOSTER CHECK VALVE MAY CAUSE THE CHECK VALVE TO STICK CLOSED WHEN THE ENGINE IS SHUT OFF. WHEN THE VEHICLE IS RE-STARTED AND PUT INTO MOTION, UNDER CERTAIN DRIVING CONDITIONS (VERY SLOW VEHICLE MANEUVERS), THERE MAY BE INSUFFICIENT INITIAL BRAKING ASSIST.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE BRAKE BOOSTER CHECK VALVE FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING APRIL 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MITSUBISHI AT 1-800-222-0037.
For more information:
MITSUBISHI RECALL NO. SR-09-002.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V077000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 39711
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