==Mitsubishi Lancer 1.6 Car==
As smoke poured from the inside section of our steering column and we were forced to pull over and evacuate our previous Seat Ibiza car before we were all blown to smithereens we thought it was about time we invested in another car. Living on an island is not ideal when it comes to the purchasing of a good, affordable second hand car as the dealers really have somewhat of an advantage and tend to over price rust buckets and expect you to be grateful for a 3 month guarantee. However we were lucky enough to come across a new dealer who quite clearly hadn't got the message that he could rip people on the island off easily and without complaint and who was selling this little gem of a car for a really reasonable price.
==What car is it?==
The car we purchased was a Mitsubishi Lancer with a 1.6 sized engine in a 2006 plate. This is a family saloon car that actually looks a lot more sporty than it is due to the addition of a spoiler on the back. We have it in a black colour which in my opinion is the best colour to have as not only does it make it look more sporty but generally like a more expensive car than it was.
The car we purchased had done a minimal amount of mileage too and we were surprised that we were able to secure the deal with a cash price of £3,000. Of course this was partly due to my expert haggling abilities. I had checked the usual sites one should look at before purchasing a second hand car just to make sure we were getting the best deal and not a car that had previously been stolen or anything. It appeared that by paying £3k for a car of this year and with little mileage we were getting the car for a under minimum price.
This car was by far the best option that we had available to us as for this price other cars we were looking at were a lot smaller and a lot rustier with a ton more mileage. At first I was suspicious of the low price but the car dealer we bought it off had taken it as part exchange and he was more into selling soft tops which seemed like a valid enough reason for him to be selling it at such a reasonable price. Having a look online a car of this year with the mileage we had you would expect to pay around the £5k region.
==The Look of the Car==
As I am a girl you would assume I know little about cars, well you would be right. I try to accustom myself with any car I own as much as possible to not get ripped off by the ton of cowboy mechanics that work around my area that think I am an easy target so over the 12 years of driving I have done in a multitude of different cars I have picked up enough knowledge to appear a little wise. However the fact that I like black cars did count for something when I saw this car as I was instantly drawn to it........
The car has a leatherette type interior which is not so bad in the winter but with bare legs in the summer this is every skirt wearers nightmare. The black car along with the black leather draws in the heat of the sun and you could fry an egg on my seat in under 5 minutes (not fact based information). However it does look nice and with children eating in the back the wipe-able seats means that it is easy to keep clean.
The outside of the car does look nice, like I mentioned before there is a spoiler on the boot, yes I did say boot as this is not a hatchback car. This makes the car appear a little longer than a lot of cars and it seems that most cars nowadays are hatchback rather than having a boot. This was a slight novelty at first and was something that appealed to the other half as his golf clubs would have more than enough room to fit in the spacious boot area.
The bonnet of the car does seem a little elongated and to be fair I can't say it is the prettiest bonnet of a car I have seen as it has a slight point to it as well. This isn't a problem for me because most of the time you are either looking at it from a side angle as you get into the car or in fact looking out the front windscreen, driving the car.
It is a four door car which is much better when you have children as this makes it easy for them to climb in the back without having to push back any chairs which is what happens on two door cars and isn't ideal. It came with basic alloy type wheels which give the car a nice smart look and add to the slightly racer-ish effect that the black colour and the spoiler give off. It is by no means a sporty car though
So aesthetically I personally find this car very appealing. It looks good to me and we have had a lot of comments on it although really it is nothing more than a nice family saloon car. I think that is more than enough about the look of the car lets get down to the crux of the matter and how the car actually drives..........
==A Few Tests I Did on Test Drive==
There are a few little things that I am aware of to do when thinking of purchasing a second hand car in order to make sure that you are not buying a dud. Of course this is probably something everyone knows but I thought it would be helpful to those looking to buy a second hand car of any sort if I were to include this in the review. If there are any other little tests that can be done I would be very interested in anyone's ideas.
On main thing I do is to test the clutch of the car and I know that if you are stationary but then put the car into a higher gear such as third and then try to drive off. If the cars rev's dip and/or stalls then the clutch is good. However if the car is able to pull away in third gear then the clutch is on the way out.
Another important thing to check, as it would be expensive to fix if they were broken is the seals around the windows on the doors. These must not look perished or too worn otherwise they will be letting in dampness to the car and like I say are not a cheap thing to fix.
Looking under the bonnet at the condition of the engine is another thing to do even if you don't know what you are looking at. Thankfully the engine in this Mitsubishi was super clean and tidy and there didn't appear to be any kind of oil leaks or leaks of any kind which of course is a good sign and were I to have seen something that looked like a leak then I would of stayed clear.
The usual tests of the horn, the brakes, all of the lights including reverse lights and the hazard lights is a total must. Make sure that the spare type in the boot is up to scratch too as the added expensive of replacing this will boost the cost of any purchase up.
==Driving the Car==
The car is registered to me and although it is the only family car we have I like to think of it as my car (expect when it needs cleaning then it is very much a family car!) however this does mean that I do drive it a lot and me and the other half do squabble over who drives when we all go out together. As the man he feels he should always drive but as I feel his driving is too slow and old lady like I often take control. I have to say that I find this car really easy to drive and at times a pleasure.
I thought the larger size would be a problem parking the thing but this too is a doddle. Because of the head rests on all three of the seats in the back of the car and the fact that the spoiler on the boot does restrict your vision somewhat out of the rear window using the side mirrors is essential especially for parking. Both wing mirrors are very clear and large and they are easy to control by the electronic controls found just right of the steering wheel in the interior of the car. The controls are simple to use and easy to direct the mirror to the correct position to be able to park the car well.
I find that the steering although not the lightest I have ever driven is easy to manufacture and generally takes corners well without feeling too heavy or indeed the opposite by being too light. It feels like proper driving although with the power steering is still easy and not so much of a work out on the bingo wings as it could be. It handles well around corners and keeps a good speed and handling ability when cruising on higher speed open roads too.
The clutch and breaks of the car are easy to use (thankfully) and in our car I did feel the breaks weren't as sharp as they could have been this is something that would perhaps need to be checked at our next service. The gear stick is in a comfortable position in the car and I never have any trouble getting it into any gear other than reverse which very occasionally will take a few attempts to click it in properly but again this is probably more relevant to my particular car rather than the make and model as a whole.
==Every Day Use==
The interior of this car is another reason why I was drawn to it, simply because of the lack of electronic items which due to my previous cars all having problems with the electric which lead to their demise seemed like a tick in the right box. There of course are a few electric items which could still give me problems but as yet (touch wood) there have been none. Like I mentioned before the control of the wing mirrors direction is done via an electronic device in the car as well as the windows which have a controller on each of the doors. The driver is able to control all four windows in the car from their door panel. These buttons are firm and sturdy and don't look like they will break any time soon.
The car came with a built in Mitsubishi CD player and speakers which I guess is standard and this gives a good clear sound and the quality is very good too and on this I can't complain even when I play bass rich music at a rather loud volume.
There are air bags for both the front seats in the car which is an added bonus unless you wish to put a child seat in the front passenger seat as this is not allowed when an air bag is fitted. I can't comment on the effectiveness of these as thankfully we have never had to try them out! However they are both front impact air bags and are housed in the front dash for the passenger and in the steering wheel for the driver.
The car has air conditioning too which I feel is really needed especially in the summer with the heat pouring into the black car and bouncing off the black leather type seats and this seems to work well in a short space of time too. There is the added pull of the cars petrol to think of when using the air conditioning but I think this wasn't even in my mind in the summer when the seats of the car were burning hot and we were all cooking like a Sunday dinner!
The lights of the car are easy to use, just like any other vehicle, as they are positioned on the left indicator arm. There is also the addition of both front and rear fog lights which in the last few weeks we have used more than ever. The buttons to control these lights are positioned on the right of the dash board next to the driver and under the wing mirror controls. They are within easy reach and also turn themselves off when the engine has been switched off so will need turning back on each journey.
The car has a heated back window which is a really necessity in this model purely because of the lack of a back windscreen wiper, something I think that is missing with all cars with boots but this has been quite a draw back for me. The heated back window is slow to remove any morning dew from the rear window and more often than not I have to wipe the window each morning on the school run just to have any sort of visuals available from the back. This isn't a big problem but possible one of the very few drawbacks with owning this particular car.
The foot well of the driver has the flick handles for both the boot and the petrol cap cover. These are strong and sturdy and easy to use and other than pulling the wrong one on occasion I have never had any real problems with either of them. When it comes to flicking open the boot using this pull leaver and the car key is really the only option as there is no button on the boot itself unlike a lot of other cars I have owned. Again this is probably the second and only draw back I have found to the everyday use of this particular vehicle. However the boot itself is really very big and it can easily fit a large child's buggy and a weeks worth of shopping with plenty of room left over. My other half can fit his golf clubs and golf trolley in with easy and he has also had other friends carry bags in there alongside his own. It is a very big boot and I can't complain about the storage whatsoever.
The storage on the inside of the car is pretty good too and alongside the glove box which is large enough to hold the thick manual for the car houses a packet of baby wipes and other car must haves. There is also compartments on each of the front doors to hold CDs and other items. There is a coin holder (which is always empty in our car) positioned just below the gear stick as well as a flip lid storage area that we actually use for a rubbish bin to hide all the junk we seem to get in the car. Under the CD player itself there is another large area for storage as well as a flip lid ashtray which houses my trolley coins and next to this is of course the cigarette lighter which comes out to fit the in car chargers nicely.
I have to say that I find this car really does have everything that we as a family could need and want. It doesn't have a lot of fancy electronic gizmo's in the car which is ideal for us as I just see this as more things that could possibly go wrong. It does have all the necessary items and ticks all the right boxes. There is plenty of space for five people in the car and fitting in car seats into the rear of the car isn't a problem in the least. The car has plenty of space in the boot and storage in the inside too. It seems to run very well and drives easily for both long and short distances with parking easily even with the limited visibility through the rear window.
Apart from the couple of faults to do with the fact that the car has a boot rather than a hatchback and thus doesn't have a back windscreen wiper or a button on the boot to be able to open the boot from the outside without using your keys there really isn't much else I can find to pick at with this car. It isn't the most economical car you can get much does seem to get a good deal of miles for the petrol but I should think it is more or less the same with any other car in the 1.6 range.
I am more than happy to award this Mitsubishi Lancer a fab score of 4 out of 5 stars and it is a car that I would highly recommend to any family who needs space, simplicity and a little bit of style.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.