Compact sedans and other vehicle models are beginning to make a true impact on the automotive market. Earlier, the compact was frowned upon because: a) it didn’t offer drivers enough power, b) most were front-wheel drive only, c) they compromised class and comfort with crunch, and nobody likes being crunched.
The 2012 Lancer Ralliart debunks all three of the above reasons why most people do not buy compact vehicles. The Ralliart is a high-performance compact sedan and comes with what they call, all wheel control (AWC), providing drivers with more grip and control of their vehicle in slipper weather conditions. The electronic all-wheel drive system left us starstruck by how far technology has come along. You are able to calibrate the AWD for certain road conditions, let it be gravel, snow, or hardtop. More specifically the all-wheel drive Lancer Ralliart is the high-performance trim of the Lancer model-lineup. The Ralliart comes with an inter-cooled turbocharged 2.0 liter engine that surprises a lot of people by pushing nearly 240 horsepower. That’s not all, the Ralliart comes with Yokohama speed tires, and a 6-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission. Say what? A tongue-twister, but it gives the driver an incredibly sporty feel.
Power is one thing, but how does it handle? The Lancer Ralliart took to the corners as we expected any high-performance compact would, tight, hugging the line for dear life, and with us white-knuckling the wheel. The Ralliart was a thrilling ride, one of the sportiest compact sedans we have driven in a while. The new Sportronic transmission provided great up-shift and downshift around town – even more so when we accelerated onto the highway to open it up.
After our rally-car like experience with the Ralliart, we decided to stop over at The Firkins Automotive Group to give the Lancer SE a spin. Even with the spoiled experience we had with the Ralliart, the SE still offered a lot of torque for a compact sedan. The throttle hums beautifully, and if we hadn’t played with the sportier Ralliart, we both agreed that the Lancer SE offered much more than you would anticipate for such a small car. The SE or the Ralliart, either way the Lancer did not disappoint.