Ride & HandlingRide & Handling  - 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Review - Reviews - Mitsubishi Lancer

It's not especially difficult to firm up a car's suspension and call it a sport model, but doing so doesn't guarantee driving it will be fun — just look at the Toyota Corolla XRS.

Automakers that do sporty cars well understand that both ride comfort and an entertaining driving experience are important. BMW has been successful at this in the luxury realm with models like the 3 Series, while the Mazda3 has carried the torch among small cars. The Lancer Sportback reminds me a lot of the Mazda3 because its chassis and steering tuning encourage you to have a little fun when the road bends.

While the Lancer Sportback's suspension tuning is on the firm side — it definitely gives you a feel for the road — it's not so firm that it'll grate on your nerves. Overall, the suspension does a nice job managing body motions while still allowing the car to have a playful, lively feel to it.

The nimble chassis is complemented by its quick-reacting steering. The standard leather-wrapped wheel feels nice in your hands, and there's a good amount of power assistance, which means you don't have to put a lot of effort into turning the wheel.

It can get a little loud in the cabin at highway speeds. Both road and wind noise contribute to the din, and backseat passengers will hear wind noise generated by the roof spoiler, which is right above their heads.

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