The new, ninth generation of “Lancers” made its debut at the 2003 Russian Motor Show and is already being offered by dealers.
The car has so far been represented on the domestic market by two 1.3 liter, 60 kW / 82 liter gasoline engines. with. and 1, 6 l, 72 kW / 98 l. with. with mechanical or automatic (for 1.6 liter version) gearboxes.
The sedan stands out among its competitors not only with a high level of equipment, but also with very interesting prices - from $ 13, 900 to 16, 950.
The updated "Elantra" also debuted in 2003 and is represented on the domestic market by sedan and hatchback bodies.
The car comes to us with a 1.6 liter gasoline engine, 77 kW / 105 liters. with. and two gearboxes - "mechanics" or "automatic".
Depending on the level of equipment (GL or GLS), the prices for the Elantra Sedan at official dealerships range from $ 13, 190 to 15, 990.
For the first time the four-door “Liana” was presented to the general public in 2001, and in 2002 its European presentation took place.
A sedan and hatchback are delivered to Russia only with an engine of 1.6 liters, 78 kW / 106 liters. with., aggregated with a five-step "mechanics" or four-step "automatic". An all-wheel drive version of the machine is also provided.
The basic equipment “Liana” sold by us is distinguished by a high level of equipment. The price range is from $ 14, 900 to 16, 850.
These cars were already in the editorial fitting room and somehow left their first and perhaps most vivid impressions about themselves.
However, everything is known in comparison, so we were not afraid to bring them together in order to not only highlight the advantages, but also emphasize the shortcomings.
Of course, the culprit of the event was the laureate of the Grand Prix “Driving”, an example of the new corporate style of Mitsubishi - “Lancer”. With him, the company has high expectations, including promotion in the Russian market. After all, it was he who should replace the slightly bored “Karisma”, and also make serious competition to other pillars of the Japanese auto industry - “Nissan” and “Toyota”.
In our test, the opponents of Lanser got non-standard, although not deprived of the attention of the domestic consumer. "Hyundai Elantra" has recently been updated, having received an even more Europeanized shell and a number of improvements. Well, “Suzuki Liana” is not only a radical “Japanese”, maybe not as popular as eminent brands, but also a classmate who combines a lot of unusual design solutions that attract attention. So, our wards - three sedans with 1.6 liter engines, about the same price category, each of which will certainly be interesting in its own way.
Oh, these modern computer-designed cars. It seems that their creators forgot about the revolution of the exteriors, bright, juicy lines. Alas, with rare exceptions, cars are becoming more and more alike. And then there’s still a universal love of silver colors and shades … I confess, I often found myself, when, studying, for example, “Lancer”, I suddenly unexpectedly found the Hyundai emblem and vice versa. What then to speak of inexperienced people for whom they all are on the same face? It is interesting, but against the background of such one-facedness, Liana suddenly acquired a lot of external advantages. Its unusual proportions, and even the factory tuning design suddenly turned out to be a pass into the world of recognition. No one has ever tried to call this car a stranger. Of course, this colossus with small legs-wheels (by the way, is quite an “adult” dimension 195 / 55R15), to put it mildly, does not shine with the sophistication of shapes and lines, but at least it has a non-standard appearance.
Let's hope that the internal content will allow others to stand out. And therefore, let's take a closer look at the interiors, carefully examining the individual characteristics of each.
I remember that the same “Mitsubishi Lancer” at the first meeting did not make a stunning impression. He seemed thoughtful, solid, well equipped, but looked more than familiar.
Now, against the backdrop of fellow competitors, he suddenly began to look more comfortable. The polished ebony inserts began to play, plastic began to look more pleasant, the car immediately felt individuality and novelty. As a result, it was only necessary to be inside, all questions with confusion in stamps and emblems instantly faded into the background.
Comfortable, spacious seat, well-readable instrument cluster, carefully calibrated effort and movement of controls. Everything is logical here, everything is at hand - as a result, you get used to the car almost immediately, without getting used to it. Of course, not everything in this car is perfect. It is difficult, for example, not to complain about the large-sized steering wheel - a tribute to Japanese traditions or not to notice the picket fence from the rear head restraints covering half the glass. But in general, everything is thought out in the front to the smallest detail.
But in the back seat it’s a little crowded, and the roof is openly hanging over your head, so, from the point of view of passengers, the “Lancer” is quite ordinary.
Against the background of a well-thought-out “Japanese”, “Hyundai Elantra” does not look simple, although not so attractive. It seems to be a standard combination of gray and dark shades, but a bit rougher style, more modest upholstery, easier execution. Nevertheless, if you sit down and take a closer look, then in this car you will find everything you need, because in terms of equipment it is not inferior to the "Japanese". Here you just need to get used to the coarse-mesh grilles of the deflectors on the front panel, to penetrate, so to speak, the Korean approach to the layout of the workplace, and the Elantra will be very good. At least in terms of the convenience of landing or using this or that equipment. A somewhat peculiar, but convenient combination of devices, logical toggle switches and "twists" of the ventilation system.
Of course, not everything is perfect here, and, for example, the gear lever immediately alarms with large strokes. The driver's seat offers a very good range of longitudinal movements and as many as five adjustments, including adjusting the front and back of the pillow in height. In configuration, it is very similar to the "Lanser", but less rigid in the lateral direction. Naturally, the "breathing" backrest is slightly annoying, but otherwise you sit down almost exquisitely: here it is slightly lifted, there it is tilted, and the seat comfortably and unobtrusively took into its arms.
More comfortable and rear passengers. The picky people will surely notice a low pillow and a crushing roof, but with the knees everything is in order, there is even a margin to the one sitting in front.
The Suzuki Liana is definitely a different look at the concept of a modern sedan. It all starts with the fact that you enter this car, rather than get in, and when you get behind the wheel, you turn your head for a long time, believing in your soul that dealers are still wrong and slipped the compact van. But how could it be otherwise when there is not just enough space above your head, but also with a margin? The wide front pillars are lightened by small additional windows, and you sit here unusually high, almost like an all-terrain vehicle. The unusualness of the machine is only reinforced by a narrow strip of digital instrument cluster, high and massive front panel and selector “automatic”. Alas, one of the most expensive complete sets of "Liana", the Russian dealer referred to only as "Aero", we also got with an automatic transmission. Nevertheless, pedantic inspection reveals not only the emphasized high cost of decoration. You find a trunk (which means, after all, a sedan!) Of such impressive dimensions that competitors with their solid cargo compartments can only envy. Having come to taste, I immediately want to try myself as a passenger. After all, you can also enter the back seat and … But it wasn’t there. The stylish roof is in the way. But the rest is great: a high, comfortable pillow, a solid margin on the knees, oh, if the ceiling were still in front.
Nevertheless, it’s time to get comfortable driving. Admittedly, the enthusiasm gradually diminished. The range of longitudinal movement of the seat is small, and most importantly, its pillow is clearly short, not at all of European proportions. As a result, the hips hang slightly in the air, in the hands of the Japanese again a large steering wheel, and before my eyes is too bright a spot of a stylish instrument cluster. Here it is, another sedan in Japanese!
His hobby is a balance of riding properties. The engine performance is extremely smooth and most convenient for the consumer. In most situations, the Lancer motor is a little monotonous (extended transmission ratios), but it will be very reliable to accelerate a car from 1200-1500 rpm and do this until the speed limiter is activated. In principle, it is convenient for the average person, but if you go from the heart, the temperament of the car will seem boring. But acoustic comfort is definitely on top. This is noticeable from the first minutes of meeting. Of course, from 4000 rpm the voice of the engine breaks through, but it sounds veiled, as if ears were plugged with cotton.
Not bad car and suspension settings. Although I will not hide - domestic roads corrected the estimate. If in Finland (during the presentation) the chassis settings were just admirable, now “Lancer” annoys with sharp vertical shocks at high speed. It is very likely that our gentle waves are larger than the suspension moves embedded in the design.
But the handling has not changed. The car is accurate and very assembled on the road, while absolutely not annoying, allowing you to reliably and confidently move in space. In general, an understandable and logical car that does not present any surprises to the driver.
And so, perhaps, in everything. On the one hand, nothing special, outstanding, on the other - a strict adherence to all laid down design schemes, which allows to achieve stable results.
“But this one is with character,” we note, as soon as measurements of the longitudinal dynamics begin. Of course, the "Korean" can hardly boast of the correctness of the "Lanser" settings, but that its motor is more fun, obviously. Quite high-torque, it carries already from 1000–1200 rpm, and by three and a half it suddenly flashes with a grab and then spins easily and naturally, up to the limiter. Suddenly it turns out that the transmission “falls into” all the desired ranges: the car is not only comfortable, but also very dynamic. Eh, if it weren’t for a too long-shifting gear mechanism and not very distinct clutch operation, we could even talk about the sport settings of the power unit. "Hyundai" is noticeably noisier than the correct "Japanese". The motor sings, tires itch, reacting very actively to the quality of the coating. On the one hand, this, of course, emphasizes morale, but on the other, in certain modes it annoys with persistent sound pressure.
But the suspension seemed quite successful. They are not as comfortable as the "Lanser" ones, and they are much more active in transmitting all the minor bumps in the road to the body. Nevertheless, they are good at holding a blow and can cope with gentle waves without problems. Only at high speed the car is a little annoying with sharp vertical pulses that occur on a gentle wave.
Not bad "Elantra" and in terms of controllability. Of course, it is inferior to Mitsubishi in the accuracy of its responses, but is generally reliable in most everyday situations. Of course, there are more body rolls, and when driving fast, you will certainly feel some discrepancy between the driver’s commands and the car’s reactions, but in general Hyundai tries not to change the logic of its behavior on the road.
The car is emphasized playfully and dynamic, the “automatic” abruptly and abruptly shifts gears, enhancing the sports spirit. But something does not fit the ideology of a large family sedan with impulsive fighting qualities! And the thing is not only that the engine annoyingly sounds in the cabin from 2500 rpm and openly presses on the ears, and the gearbox tries to poke the lower one all the time, it is only necessary to touch the accelerator carelessly. In the end, there is also in the configuration "Liana" and the usual "mechanics". Just such sportiness, incorporated, by the way, in the characteristics of the suspensions, makes the sedan too nervous, somehow illogical. On a pavement as flat as a table, Suzuki surprises with surprisingly fast and accurate responses, but when it hits small waves in a bend, it starts to swing and swing, trying to straighten the trajectory. Or, having imposed the uncompromising rigidity of his “sported” pendants, gives up very quickly, it is worth appearing serious irregularities. Honestly, the struggle with such complex manifestations of character was not impressive, and the car, which was rather unusual in style, immediately turned out to be an outsider.
Non-standard competitors, unusual results … Who, for example, could have suggested that the Suzuki Liana, interesting both outside and inside, having roused the competitors with the dimensions of the cabin and trunk, suddenly refuses to play adult games, being very rugged in terms of driving? Honestly, they themselves did not expect this. Although, I must admit, “Hyundai Elantra” surprised, but in a pleasant way. “Korean” was competitive, primarily in terms of driving opportunities. The rest, of course, is simpler, but it takes the price, equipment and dimensions of the cabin.
Well, and the main instigator of the test? Convenient, practical, thoughtful "Mitsubishi Lancer" - a solid good man in most categories. And this, perhaps, is his main advantage, because being almost an excellent student in everything is quite difficult, but for the average person this is just what you need.
A cozy, pretty interior, where there seems to be nothing unusual, thoughtful controls, well-readable instrument scales. Is that the bagel is too big.
The "stockade" of the rear head restraints is not the best design decision, as, indeed, is the trunk with a complex configuration of the side surfaces.
The electric drive of all four power windows is standard basic equipment, which includes central locking and air conditioning.
The interior in Korean does not look so appealing: both the plastic is simpler and the style is rougher. Nevertheless, everything you need is plentiful.
Built-in eyeglass case, combined armrest at the back - very convenient.
Double boxing between the front seats is almost an integral part of a modern car. The main thing is not to forget what and where to put it.
Inside the "Liana" originality itself: a spacious interior, a powerful front panel, bright scales of digital devices. The peculiarity of this version is also emphasized by expensive upholstery materials.
In the back seat you feel a close ceiling, but otherwise just great. Roomy trunk envy many.
High seating is not only good visibility, but also the ability to hide a spacious tray for small items under the seat.
+ Convenient ergonomics of the workplace, good balance of driving capabilities, high acoustic comfort.
- Visibility impaired by the head restraints through the inside rearview mirror.
+ Convenient seats for rear passengers and the trunk, high-spirited engine, energy-intensive suspension.
- Large movements of the gear lever, slurred operation of the clutch pedal.