2016 mitsu lancer oz 1

The latest Mitsubishi Lancer facelift has reached Australia. The 2016 Lancer, unveiled in North America in October, sports a mildly altered face and extra equipment Down Under.

The Lancer has been around largely unchanged since 2007, and this facelift retains the familiar looks save for a new grille and front bumper treatment. No more aggressive shark nose, and the now divided grille is outlined with chrome. The most obvious new bits are those LED daytime running lights that curve around the fog lamps, a layout also seen on the current Mitsubishi ASX . New side skirts and wheel designs feature, too.

Inside, Mitsu lists a high contrast instrument cluster, new front centre console with silver and black accents and new colour touchscreen Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) head unit as changes.

In a range revision for Australia, the top spec Lancer XLS is no more, and the torch is passed to the cheaper sporty GSR. Entry ES Sport and mid LS variants continue. Slight price increases means the Lancer’s new entry price in Australia is A$19,500 (RM60,633), topping out at A$24,000 (RM74,625).

All models soldier on with MMC’s 2.0 litre Mivec engine with 150 PS and 197 Nm, but GSR variants (Sportback is GSR-only) get bumped up to the 2.4 litre engine with 170 PS and 226 Nm. All variants except for the CVT-only LS sedan provides the option of the CVT with paddle shift or a good ol’ stick shift. Next stop ASEAN?

Those still hoping for a new Lancer, don’t hold your breath. MMC CEO Osamu Masuko recently said that his company lacks resources to develop a Lancer successor, and will be focusing on SUVs and 4x4s. The attempt to strike a deal with Renault for a sedan has fell through and MMC is not in talks with any carmaker at the moment.