Kia Cerato vs Mitsubishi Lancer LX

9 July 2013

Kia Cerato vs Mitsubishi Lancer LX

Kia Cerato and Mitsubishi Lancer LX go head-to-head in this comparative review.

Value

Kia Cerato

$23,990

It's the pick of the range: 16-inch alloys, reversing camera, parking sensors, auto headlights, keyless go, folding and heated mirrors, leather-wrapped wheel with phone and audio controls and touchscreen Bluetooth/USB linked infotainment system.  

Mitsubishi Lancer LX

$23,990

The LX has heated seats (power adjustable for the driver), leather trim, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth (voice activated and linked to the touchscreen six-speaker audio), well-hidden USB input and climate control. The automatic is of the continuously variable variety.

Technology

Kia Cerato

The Cerato's direct-injection 2.0-litre (129kW/209Nm) pips the Lancer for power and delivers 7.4L/100km from the 50L tank. The smooth auto comes with paddle shifters and lays claim to being the most compact six-speeder around.

Mitsubishi Lancer LX

The little Lancer is propelled by a willing alloy 2.0-litre (110kW/197Nm), with the brand's staple variable intake valve lift and timing system. It sips from the 59-litre tank at about 7.0L/100km. The drivetrain isn't as quiet or as refined as the Cerato's.

Design

Kia Cerato

Cabin space is good and boot above average (421L) but the driving position, even with reasonable seat and steering adjustment, feels long-armed, short-legged. Rear occupants get vents, which some brands still ignore. Sun visors extend -- a nice touch.

Mitsubishi Lancer LX

Bearing the familiar snout of the three-diamond brand, the five-year-old Lancer looks long in the tooth. It's not ugly but it's not as pretty as some newer opposition. The cabin fits a nuclear family and the 400-litre boot rivals bigger models.

Safety

Kia Cerato

Yet to be tested but the outgoing car won four NCAP stars. Kia expects five, thanks to six airbags, stability and traction control, seat belt reminders, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors and reversing camera. It lacks rain-sensing wipers.

Mitsubishi Lancer LX

It has a five-star NCAP rating, thanks to seven airbags front, front-side, curtain and one for the driver's knee, and adds stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes and emergency brake assist. Reversing camera and rear sensors are fitted.

Driving

Kia Cerato

It's in for a tough bout in the small car division. Willing drivetrain, with road manners that show Kia's Aussie engineering input to great effect. The combination of quiet cabin and peppy powerplant make the little Korean a worthy choice.

Mitsubishi Lancer LX

The lively power plant is more flexible than the outputs suggest -- it's among a handful of cars that achieve claimed fuel use in the real world. Nimble rather than agile and with a decent ride quality, it can cart kids without rear seat complaints.

Verdict

Kia Cerato

20/25

Better luck
next time :(

Mitsubishi Lancer LX

17.5/25

Winner winner
chicken dinner!

Time has wearied the Lancer and nothing shows that better than a new model in opposition. It's far from shamed here but the fresher car gets the gong.  

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Written by

Stuart Martin

Published 9 July 2013

Published In

Head to Head

We compare, head to head, two similar models of competing manufacturer cars. Which do we prefer? Why? Find out in CarsGuide's Head To Head showdowns.