Mit­subishi Lancer

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - RICHARD BAR­NETT MAR­KETS ED­I­TOR

It’s al­most a year since I bought the Lancer es­tate – and the last 12 months have been a tale of fan­tas­tic re­li­a­bil­ity. A cou­ple of trips over to Led­bury for HVA auc­tions re­vealed the Lancer’s qual­i­ties: it com­bines the re­li­a­bil­ity and ef­fi­ciency of a new car with the char­ac­ter of a clas­sic.

Whether it’s on the mo­tor­way, B-roads or Welsh back lanes, it never ceases to im­press, but what’s al­ways out­stand­ing is the light­ness of the con­trols and the noise sup­pres­sion. By day, for my auc­tions cov­er­age, I usu­ally drive a 3.0-litre Jaguar X-type, and the Lancer is just as en­joy­able.

In many ways it’s prob­a­bly bet­ter. The lack of power steer­ing is no hard­ship, thanks to the thin 13in wheels shod with tall ra­di­als. It’s not lack­ing in grip or road­hold­ing, and in­spires plenty of con­fi­dence. So too do the brakes – late last sum­mer, dur­ing a ma­jor ser­vice when all flu­ids and the cam­belt were changed, it needed no work in the stop­ping de­part­ment. I put that down to the Lancer’s light­ness – it tips the scales at 981kg, com­pared to 986kg for a MkII Golf.

One of its finest jour­neys was last au­tumn – a 360-mile round trip to South Buck­ing­hamshire for my folks’ 60th wed­ding an­niver­sary. Al­most the en­tire trip was on the M4, and the Lancer took it in its stride, eas­ily sit­ting at 70mph all the way. Plenty of driv­ers (of one make in par­tic­u­lar) seemed to take of­fence at be­ing over­taken by the strange es­tate.

A slightly bent track rod has been the only thing that has needed fix­ing – it took a hit when the axle stand be­ing used for a wheel re­moval wasn’t put in the right place (not down to me). Luck­ily my lo­cal garage sorted out,

I still en­joy driv­ing the Lancer. It’s just so right in every re­spect, from prac­ti­cal­ity to drive­abil­ity, and once you fac­tor in its re­li­a­bil­ity and low run­ning costs, it’s def­i­nitely a keeper.

A car well worth keep­ing, says our auc­tions ex­pert.

The Lancer has plenty of friends – it keeps com­pany with Richard’s other as­sorted clas­sics in his stor­age unit.

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