We've test-driven quite a few Mitsubishi Lancers over the years, from basic econoboxes to fast, slick-handling Evolutions. The 2016 Lancer SEL with all-wheel drive was the first one to really hit the sweet spot for us. Although the Lancer hasn't been redesigned extensively in years, the SEL seemed more refined and people-friendly than any of its predecessors. Its versatile all-wheel drive system also was a pleasing addition in a car with an early February delivery date.
Our Diamond White Pearl Lancer had a sticker price of $22,805, with no options. That's high for a compact sedan – the base Lancer starts under $18,000 – but Mitsubishi may be counting on this model's all-wheel-drive system to nose out many of its front-wheel-drive competitors, especially in northern climes. Aside from the Subaru Impreza, the Lancer is the only economy sedan available with AWD.