InteriorInterior  - 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Review - Reviews - Mitsubishi Lancer

As stylish as the outside is, the inside carries over more of the company's trends from other vehicles, like the Outlander compact SUV. It's a stark existence; black is the only interior color choice. The good thing about black, though, is that it hides a lot of flaws.

Not that the interior is terribly flawed; there are some cheap elements, like the grab handles on the doors and the trip computer button beside the gauges, but it certainly holds its own against the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus in the compact class. Only the Honda Civic and perhaps the Mazda3 upstage it on the inside.

The Lancer's gauges are quite sporty, as are the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. These are the key areas that drivers are always connected to, and doing a good job with them is vital. Ergonomically, the Lancer does just fine, with short stubby stalks on either side of the wheel for the turn signals and windshield wipers, three easy-to-grasp knobs for the environmental controls and a straightforward stereo interface. There are plenty of areas around the center part of the dash to store cell phones, drinks and MP3 players, as well.

The front seats are comfortable and keep occupants firmly in place. They're covered in a microfiber material that should be easy to keep clean, though they could be static electricity magnets in the winter. While the front seats are adequate, the backseat really shines with its legroom. At 5 feet, 10 inches, I sat behind a driver's seat adjusted for my height and had several inches of knee and foot room.

I chauffeured my in-laws to the airport in the Lancer, and my wife and mother-in-law thought the backseat was plenty roomy, though my mother-in-law noted the seatback reclined a bit too much for her taste. Like most rear seats, they cannot be adjusted.

The seats also fold down with the press of a button near the headrests. The resulting cargo floor isn't level with the trunk floor, and I can't think of much I'd need to fit in such a space beyond a set of skis. Otherwise, for cargo hauling you're probably better off just leaving the seats up and placing cargo on the rear floor and seat cushions.

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