Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) has unveiled a new variant for their C-segment Lancer sedan. Called the Lancer EX, it’s not exactly a “low spec” Lancer that a first glance would lead you to believe, but a different kind of Lancer appealing to a different set of buyer from those of the Evo-styled Lancer GT. Here, out goes the sporty bits we love about the GT and in comes some nice equipment and a more pleasant cabin.

Let’s first look at the exterior. The most obvious change from the current Lancer GT is the deletion of the single chrome frame “jet fighter” grille – the EX uses the old split into two version of the pre-facelift GT. Also gone are the GT’s 18-inch alloys, replaced by 16-inch items wrapped with 205/60 Yokohama touring rubber. At the back, the trademark huge wing makes way for a slim, subtle spoiler on the boot edge, and there’s a strip of chrome below the badges. Chrome also appears on the door handles.

Inside, it feels almost like a different model. The main change here is the use of grey leather seats, which brightens up the cabin considerably. It’s not the “Nappa” leather found in the GT and the shape of the front seats also differ, focussing more on comfort than support. The main piece of trim that spans the dashboard has wood grain imprints in a classy grey tone.

Probe higher and you’ll find the 2-DIN touch screen ICE system, which also incorporates a GPS system (maps by Mapking). iPod and AUX jacks are in the glovebox, while the USB jack joins two SD card slots (one for GPS) on the interface. There’s a list of all Mitusbishi showrooms and service centres installed in the GPS and one can drag and drop to customise his/her four favourite functions.

The Lancer EX’s other highlight features include keyless entry and start – no start/stop button, but you twist a knob where the key hole normally is, like in the Nissan Latio hatchback and Suzuki Swift. Cruise control is also here, and its controls on the steering wheel make the wheel look better and full functioned.

With all these added kit, something’s got to give, and it’s the magnesium shift paddles that control the INVECS-III CVT. One can still access the 6-speed sports mode via the shift lever, though. Under the hood is the now familiar 4B11 2.0-litre engine with 153 bhp and 199 Nm of torque.

The Lancer EX is priced at RM117,676.10 (OTR without insurance), which makes it slightly cheaper than the RM120,598.10 Lancer GT. Available in two colours – black and white – the EX is covered by a 5-year/100,000 km warranty and comes with a 2-year/50,000 km maintenance free program.

Live images from the launch after the jump.

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