For fans of the Mitsubishi Lancer, the big news for 2014 is the addition of a new 6.1-inch touchscreen display with rear backup camera, upgraded audio systems across the lineup, new seating surfaces, redesigned wheels and an optional new navigation system.

The five-passenger compact sedan has been a stalwart of the Mitsubishi lineup, providing customers with an affordable model with a wide variety of trim line options to suit just about any needs in the compact sedan segment.

For the 2014 model year, the Lancer is available in front-wheel drive ES and GT trim levels, as well as the all-wheel drive SE and Ralliart.

With a base price starting around $19,000 for the base Lancer ES, Mitsubishi has done a good job in providing a lot of bang for the buck by incorporating a lot of amenities and features into an affordable package.

Having spent a week behind the wheel evaluating the 2014 Lancer GT, I can report that it is a solid car that earns respectable ratings in performance, ride and handling and fuel economy, but certainly not worthy of earning segment leading honors.

The Lancer is stylish. It is nicely equipped and it is affordable.

While I find no glaring faults with the Lancer, I also have a difficult time finding anything that got me excited about driving it — other than it is a reliable means of transportation that gets me from Point A to Point B that is affordable and includes a lot of the features I really enjoy while driving.

As I mentioned earlier, the Lancer does provide a lot of options for consumers.

The base Lancer ES is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine that delivers 148 horsepower and 145 lbs.-ft torque. Mated to either a CVT (Continuously-Variable Transmission) or five-speed manual. It has an EPA fuel economy rating of 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway when equipped with the CVT (25/34 respectively with the five-speed manual).

The all-wheel drive Lancer SE and front-wheel drive Lancer GT are powered by a 2.4-liter I-4 engine delivering 144 horsepower and 168 lbs.-ft. torque. The SE is mated to a CVT or five-speed manual while the GT is only available with CVT with Sportronic shifting. It has an EPA fuel economy rating of 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway (CVT).

The famed Lancer Ralliart (featured in “The Fast and the Furious” movies) is powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.0-liter I-4 and mated to a 6-speed automated manual Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift transmission. It produces 237 horsepower and 253 lbs.-ft. torque has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.

While the performance-oriented Lancer Ralliart is very much worthy of “Fast and the Furious” status, the remaining Lancer trim levels provide respectable performance that you would expect from a compact sedan.

For those in the market for an affordable compact sedan, the Lancer is worthy of the test drive list.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts

MODEL:

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer

5-seat compact sedan  

Front-, or all-wheel drive

Trim packages:

ES, SE, GT, Ralliart

PRICE RANGE:

$20,000-$30,000

ENGINE:

2.0L I4 (148 hp/145 T)

2.4L I4 (168 hp/167 T)

2.0L Turbo I4 (237 hp/253 torque)

TRANSMISSION:

5-speed manual

CVT

Twin-Clutch automated manual Sportronic

EPA: 26/22/23/18 mpg city, 34/29/30/25 mpg highway (ES/SE/GT/Ralliart - CVT)

FUEL: Regular unleaded (premium unleaded for Ralliart)

STABILITY CONTROL:

Active stability control with traction control logic

BRAKES: ABS

LENGTH: 180 inches

WHEELBASE: 103.7 in.

WIDTH: 69.4 inches

HEIGHT: 58.3 inches

WEIGHT: 2866-3461 lbs.

TRACK: 60.2/60.2

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 15.5 gallons

TIRES: 16-, or 18-inch