Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The buttons and switches on the dashboard are simple to use, but the quality of the cabin plastics is inferior alongside some of Lancer’s similarly priced, yet more refined, competitors. Another disappointment is the driving position - the steering wheel can only be adjusted for height but not for reach, which makes getting comfortable a challenge. Drivers will find the steering wheel-mounted audio controls helpful though, while top of the range GS4 models get a touch-screen, multimedia interface with satellite navigation, a hard drive capable of storing thousands of songs and an MP3-player socket.

Aside from the noisy diesel engine, which can spoil longer journeys and the slightly firm ride, the Lancer’s interior is comfortable enough. There's no shortage of space inside and the cabin is roomy enough for five adults, with plenty of leg and head room for all. All models have tinted glass and climate control as standard.