That is, until now. The new Lancer - possibly for the first time in the badge's history - appeals to a very broad market, collecting the ladies' vote for its neat, well balanced lines and that of the men for its purposeful stance.
It works better inside as well, with a more spacious and attractive cabin that lifts the car from mundane and puts it onto the shopping list of anyone looking for a mid-sized sedan.
The engine size decreases to 2.0 litres from 2.4 but you wouldn't know it, and there's the option of a more efficient CVT gearbox in place of the old automatic. Best of all, it's safer with a stronger body and comes with standard electronic stability control and ABS brakes.
Lancer is now right on the money for buyer appeal and was a no-brainer to get nominated as one of this year's Car of the Year finalists.
Check out the video below and let us know if you think this is a worthy Car of the Year nominee.
For all the latest on the carsguide Car Of The Year each week go to www.carsguide.com.au/car-of-the-year