Last updated on October 4th, 2023 at 11:10 am

Mitsubishi Lancer is a well-known compact sedan, launched in 1973, produced by the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors.

The Mitsubishi Lancers were discontinued in August of 2017 worldwide, except in Taiwan and Mainland China.

Between 1973 and 2008, over 6 million units of the Lancer were sold.

This article will discuss its average lifespan, quality, and long-term reliability.

How Long Do Mitsubishi Lancers Last?

Mitsubishi produces an extensive lineup of vehicles. Nevertheless, the Lancer is considered one of the best values in the midsize segment. The model range has a few different engines. The basic engine is a four-cylinder V6 with a power output of 148 hp. The more powerful V8 models are even more powerful.

In the case of Mitsubishi Lancers, their lifespan is respectable. While they may not be the most durable Japanese cars, their longevity is still quite high. There are many examples of early- and mid-2000s models that are still on the road.

The Mitsubishi Lancer is a good car that can last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles and even surpass essential maintenance and conservative driving. Also, manual-transmission Mitsubishi Lancers are known for lasting longer.

When your Mitsubishi Lancer reaches the ten-year mark, some issues are more likely to occur. Some Mitsubishi Lancers have a 7-year/100,000-mile anti-corrosion warranty. This warranty can be extended by contacting the dealership before buying your car. Another issue to be aware of is rust. If you find rust in your new Lancer, it is highly recommended to take it in for a checkup at a dealership.

If the annual mileage is 15,000 miles on average, then the vehicle can provide 10-13 years of service before requiring expensive repairs. Lancers provided with a manual transmission will last longer. 

Treating your Lancer well will elongate its life expectancy. Service appointments and using quality parts are crucial for the life of your vehicle.

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Thoughts on High-Mileage for a Mitsubishi Lancer

A Mitsubishi Lancer with 100,000 miles on the clock is considered high-mileage and often a riskier investment due to more chances of major component failures.

Once high numbers are hit, there are increased chances of essential items such as engines and transmissions failing. 

Lancers are highly reliable cars as models from the early to mid-2000s still work and can be seen today.

Before getting a pre-owned Lancer, check the car’s maintenance history and get a checkup from a mechanic to see if everything is all right with the vehicle.

A higher mileage Lancer can be a good buy if you are confident that it has been appropriately taken care of and has extensive service records.

Mitsubishi Lancer Reliability: Are Mitsubishi Lancers Reliable?

The Lancer is Mitsubishi’s most popular model and is famous for its dependability.

Older Lancer models are equipped with traditional automatic and manual versions that are less troublesome.

The last generation of the Lancer had lower quality and reliability ratings primarily due to the CVT transmissions reported to be failing if not routinely serviced. 

Kelly Blue Book consumer rating gives the 2017 Lancer a reliability rating of 4.7/5, and Repairpal gave Lancer a rating of 3.5/5, which is an average reliability rating.

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How does the Mitsubishi Lancer Hold Up Compared to Similar Car Models?

Here we will compare the Lancer with other compact sedans of its category.

Mitsubishi Lancer vs. Hyundai Elantra

The Elantra is a compact car in production since 1990 by the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai.

Elantras can reach up to 200,000 to 250,000 miles or last between 15 to 17 years, which is a bit more than the Lancer’s mileage.

The Elantra has an annual maintenance cost of $452, and the Lancer has a maintenance fee of $646, on average.

The reliability rating of the Hyundai Elantra is 4.5 out of 5, while the Lancer got 3.5 out of 5, according to Repairpal. 

J.D. Power scores the Elantra at 82 out of 100 while the Lancer gets 79 out of 100, both in terms of quality and reliability.

Hyundai Elantra is a top choice among budget-conscious buyers as it has good reliability.

Mitsubishi Lancer vs. Mazda 3

Mazda 3 is a stylish and sporty sedan with a better luxurious interior than other cars in its class.

Mazda 3 is reliable and can last up to 200,000 to 250,000 miles, which is more than the expected mileage for Lancer at 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

The annual repair and maintenance cost for the Mazda 3 is $433, and for the Lancer, it is $646.

Repairpal rates the Mazda 3 a 4 out of 5 while the Lancer receives 3.5 out of 5 in terms of reliability.

J.D. Power rates Elantra at 81 out of 100, whereas Lancer gets 79 out of 100 for quality and reliability.

Even though Mazda 3 cars are more reliable than the Lancer, they are much costlier.

Mitsubishi Lancer vs. Honda Civic

Honda Civic is one of the well-known compact sedans produced, famous for being fun to drive and having high ratings.

The Civic can certainly reach 250,000 to 300,000 miles which is much higher than the Lancer’s mileage ability. 

Civic has an average maintenance cost of $368, while the Lancer’s cost is $646 annually.

Repairpal rates the Civic an excellent rating of 4.5 out of 5, while Lancer receives a mid rating of 3.5 out of 5.

J.D. Power gives the Civic 83 out of 100 while the Lancer gets 79 out of 100 for quality and reliability.

Honda Civic is more popular and is cheaper to maintain than the Lancer.

Comparison Chart

 Car ModelsMitsubishi LancerHyundai ElantraMazda 3Honda Civic
Expected Mileage150,000 to 200,000 miles200,000 to 250,000 miles200,000 to 250,000 miles250,000 to 300,000 miles
Annual Maintenance Cost$646$452$433$368
Repairpal ratings3.5 out of 54.5 out of 54 out of 54.5 out of 5
J.D. Power Scores79 out of 10082 out of 10081 out of 10083 out of 100
Price RangeStarts from $18,630Starts from $24,100Starts from $26,340Starts from $21,900

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Best and Worst Years for Mitsubishi Lancer

The Lancer has been around for a long time, so there will be some problematic years and good ones.

Best Years

Models haven’t been upgraded since 2008; Lancers onward 2008 will have fewer factory defects and lower miles on the clock.

The best year for Lancer is 2016, as the models had zero reported complaints.

From 2013 onwards, a significant drop in complaints can be noticed, which means that Mitsubishi has solved most of its quality issues. 

Any of the last model years of the Mitsubishi Lancer would be a great pick.

Worst Years

The 2011 Lancer was the worst model year because of severe issues, mostly engine problems, at lower mileage.

More problems such as loss of power during acceleration and shifting delays are also severe issues reported for the 2011 model.

According to Car Complaints, the 2008 model received the most complaints. A common complaint was subframe rot, which costs $1,370 on average to fix.

It is assumed that the rot problem is related to the corrosion recall, which affected the Lancers from 2002 to 2010.

2011 and 2008 are the Mitsubishi Lancer years to avoid if you plan to purchase one.

Model Years and Number of Complaints

Model YearsNumber of Complaints
20160 (best year)
200815 (worst year)

Are the Mitsubishi Lancers Expensive to Maintain?

Mitsubishi Lancers has an annual maintenance cost of $646, whereas compact cars’ yearly average repair cost is $526. So, the Lancer is a bit expensive to maintain. But this price is worth it if you can afford it.

The Mitsubishi Lancer has a 3.5 out of 5.0 reliability rating, ranking it 29th out of 36 compact cars.

Mitsubishi offers a five-year warranty, which can save you from paying a lot of money in the long run.

The battery in a Mitsubishi Lancer usually lasts three to five years, depending on the mileage and options. However, the battery can be quite expensive, and its lifespan depends on the climate, driving habits, and the car’s features.

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How Long Do Mitsubishi Lancer Engines Last?

Generally, the engine in a Mitsubishi Lancer lasts between 150 and 200 thousand miles, with basic maintenance.

The engine can go up to 300,000 miles before requiring major repairs if you take excellent care of the car right from the start.

The Mitsubishi Lancer engine will last for 10 to 13 years with regular maintenance on average.

However, this varies depending on how the vehicle is looked after and driving styles.

How Long Do Mitsubishi Lancer Batteries Last?

The Lancer’s battery is expected to last between 3 to 5 years, although a vehicle’s battery life varies depending on some factors such as driving habits, climate, and the type of battery.

Vibrations of the car can loosen up connections, leading to short circuits and internal damage.

Cleaning the terminals to keep them free from build-up and limiting short trips are some of the things you can do to lengthen the life of your vehicle’s battery.

How Long Do Mitsubishi Lancer Tires Last?

Stock tires of the Lancer can last up to 50,000 miles or about three years before needing replacement, but this varies depending on factors such as driving habits, road conditions, and climate.

Off-roading or driving on rough terrain will wear the tires out sooner than expected.

Have a mechanic check the wheel alignment and rotate the tires every 5,000 miles to extend the life of your vehicle’s tires.

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Mitsubishi Lancer

  • Use good quality parts and fluids.
  • Keep updated with factory-recommended maintenance.
  • Check the engine oil, brakes, coolant, and transmission fluid levels and fill them up whenever needed.
  • Adopt smooth driving styles.
  • Wash the Lancer regularly to remove grime and dirt to protect the undercarriage and paint from developing rust.
  • Change the CVT fluid every 30,000 miles and replace the filter every 60,000 miles to prevent failure.
  • Store your vehicle inside a garage to protect it from harsh weather.
  • Read the owner’s manual to know about the location of essential parts, what the Lancer requires, and understand the symbols and dashboard warning signs.

We hope this article has helped you with any questions regarding a Mitsubishi Lancer.

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