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New Hybrid Or Used Hellraiser: 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid vs. 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

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On: Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 4:38PM | By: Teddy Field

New Hybrid Or Used Hellraiser: 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid vs. 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

Okay, you’ve got $25 grand to spend, and you want a little car that’s small enough to maneuver through traffic, yet still has enough room for 4 (5 in a pinch), and a reasonably sized trunk. What are your options? Well, if you’re the sort of person that actually eats fiber in order to maintain a regular schedule, then you might consider the 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid. It’s got a roomy interior with nice materials and a raft of electronic gadgets. The Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system yields a 401k-friendly 45 average mpg, and it’ll depreciate even slower than it accelerates. But if you’re the sort of person that conquers constipation with Taco Bell and a 12-pack, then you’d probably be interested in the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. It’s got a powerful turbo-4, AWD, and more attitude than a constipated teenager. Decisions, decisions…

2014 Honda Civic Hybrid

The 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid starts around $25k, and comes pretty well equipped with standard features like touchscreen audio, keyless ignition and Honda’s LaneWatch blind spot camera. This is a well thought-out car that has surprising rear seat room, lots of conveniently placed storage cubbies, and a suspension that provides both nimble handling and a smooth ride. You won’t do much better in the compact segment, and the Civic Hybrid’s 45+ mpg is another incentive to choose this very grownup car. Of course, it’s about as stylish as a librarian’s sweater, and you won’t be getting many speeding tickets either. But the trunk is certainly big enough to hold those ‘family pack’s’ of recycled toilet paper.

2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is a tastefully aggressive pocket-rocket, along the same lines as a Subaru WRX, or its big brother, the Mitsubishi Evo. But unlike its more expensive kin, the Lancer Ralliart uses a simpler AWD system (so there’s fewer expensive parts to eventually go wrong), and its twin-cam turbo-4 is much cheaper to maintain. It also doesn’t get the EVO’s brilliant wide-track suspension setup, but the Ralliart’s certainly no slouch in the handling department. You can summon the 2.0L turbo’s 237-hp / 253 lb-ft, then go rocketing through the canyons, banging off shifts with your paddle-shifted dual-clutch 6-speed automated manual. 60 mph will appear in around 5.4 seconds, it’ll pull 0.93 g’s of lateral grip, and the top speed is a more-than-adequate 144 mph.Of course, it’s not as refined or comfortable as the 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid. It only gets 20 MPG’s average, it requires premium gas, and insurance can be a little pricy. But for the same money as a nicely trimmed hybrid, you’ll get a reliable car that’s way more fun. And if you ever get ‘plugged up’, you can just floor it to scare the...you know...out...

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