Honda Civic vs. Mitsubishi Lancer GT-A

Which car do you choose when you have space for just one vehicle?
by Botchi Santos | Sep 30, 2009


I'm one of the avid readers of your magazine. I find all the contents of the magazine very interesting and informative. I usually read your magazine everyday when I wake up and before I take a shower even though I've read the articles over and over again.

Anyway, I'm writing because I need your expert opinion on buying a car. I bought a new Honda Civic 1.8V AT in 2007 and I love it so much. I even upgraded the mags to their 2.0 version, replaced the entire cockpit to fit an LCD screen, and converted the sound system for a more desirable listening pleasure. No matter how I love my Honda, however, I'm still attached to the Mitsubishi Evolution X (it's actually my first love). One day, this Mitsubishi thing launched a pseudo-version of Evo X, the Lancer EX. When I bought your latest issue (August 2009), I saw the comparative price list together with the cars' specs. I found out that even the Honda Civic 2.0S AT is no match for the Lancer GT-A--whether in terms of power, accessories, and safety features. I even like the keyless trunk that automatically opens up when you click it from your key (just like in BMWs). The price difference is very slim (Honda 2.0 is about P1.1 million, while Lancer GT-A is about P1.3 million), I really loved the Lancer. When I went to Mitsubishi showrooms, unfortunately, none of them had a test drive unit for that model. I would really love to try it out.

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My question is: is it wise for me to buy the Lancer GT-A? I would like to sell and replace my Honda Civic 1.8VAT in place of Lancer GT-A and I would like to know from you guys if it's wise to do so. Mitsubishi says the trade-in value of my Honda is around 550k, but I'm sure I can sell it higher. I would like to know your opinion regarding the Lancer GT-A performance against Honda. As per your specs, it seems that Lancer GT-A outweighs the Honda 2.0S.

Hope you could reply soon cause I'm itching from buying one and replace my Honda or should I keep them both (unfortunately, my garage can only accommodate one car). WMore power to you and keep up the good work guys.



Hi Vic!

In these times of economic hardships, I think we should do our part and help support the local economy by spending our money, helping--in our own little way--to jump-start our ailing industries, helping give people jobs and trying out the latest stuff! So, let's get you a new ride!

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Both cars, the Honda Civic and the Mitsubishi Lancer are the very best in their specific fields.

The Honda Civic feels like a real premium product. The weight and heft of the controls make it feel like a premium product: a heavy Swiss-movement automatic chronograph, a pair of leather-soled formal shoes with wooden heels, a heavy, berrylium-tipped fountain pen. All these items have a sense of solid, stable and very dense mass. The Honda Civic feels the same. The doors shut with a reassuring thud; the switchgear, buttons and column stalks require that positive push, pull or prod. It helps that the Honda's chassis is very stiff, and the interior refinement is at a very high level, comparable to full-on luxury cars from Europe five years ago. The drive is good, as is typical Honda. Very linear, very progressive and quite predictable at the limit (nee, understeer). Resale value will probably be very good after 5 years, comparable to--if not better than--Toyota's. Maintenance will be quite expensive if something does go wrong, but that rarely happens with Hondas.

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The Mitsubishi Lancer EX is the most dynamic, most sporty-feeling and most lively car in its class. It feels most like a sports sedan that has grown up a bit. The suspension feels well-planted and stable through fast sweepers, yet feels composed through the rough stuff such as imperfectly paved roads. The chassis feels stiff and firm, just as much as the Honda's. BUT--and this is where it gets tricky--the Mitsubishi doesn't exude that premium feeling. It's a high quality car that is well-built and assembled, but it doesn't feel as expensively made as the Honda. The switchgear is lighter, there isn't a satisfying thud when you close the door, and the hyper-sensitive steering and suspension makes it feel like a track-day toy instead of a junior executive express.

Servicing and after sales should be cheaper than a Honda's, and resale value should fare much better than older Mitsubishi models because it looks damn good, has little supply on the market, is dynamically well-sorted and is pretty fast and fun to drive!

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Personally, I'd get the Mitsubishi Lancer over the Honda Civic. Either way, good luck on your choice!

Best regards,

Botchi Santos

Lost in a sea of cars and not quite sure which one to get? Click here to email your car query so Botchi can help you pick the right vehicle!

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