440,162 Miles On A 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer LS Sportwagon: The Drive’s Most Anonymous Mileage Champion Ever
Need to hide from people in plain sight? This 13 year old Mitsubishi wagon was made for the job.
Old man's cars and family minivans are supposed to be the two best ways to blend in on the open road.
But I disagree. On the open road size always attracts sticky eyes as does anything that is unique. Whenever I see the back of a minivan, the bumper stickers and magnets that occupy the rear hatch automatically make me focus on the nearby license plate.
An old man's car can also easily attract the same type of attention because most drivers of these cars tend to drive a bit slower than everyone else. If you get into that habit, it's easy to have a nearby driver automatically flip their turn signal switch and. again, focus on that rear of the vehicle before making that pass.
So you want to really be anonymous? Here's how you do it in the real world.
Find a car that is small, plain, and white.
White never stands out. It is to cars what light beige is to walls.
This Mitsubishi Lancer LS Sportwagon was the rolling embodiment of that idea. This one has 13 years old and 440,000 miles. Who would notice?
It's a surprisingly decent ride for the time. 160 horsepower. Surprisingly comfortable seats that are a healthy upgrade from the regular models. Lancers from this era rode a bit taut, but this generation in particular had one surprising strength.
Longevity. Mitsubishi must have directed a lot of attention towards the quality of the components in the Lancer during its last few years before the brand new 2007 models came out because the long-term quality of the 2004 thru 2006 models is absolutely fantastic. So far the Long-Term Quality Index has inspected over 3,000 of these Lancers (3,145 to be exact) and the Lancer is automotive proof that you can still buy a nice used vehicle at a steep discount and focus on those particular model years that will hold up far better than others.
In fact, Mitsubishi, despite their age old reputation for offering cars to bad credit customers, often outperforms competitors that have a quality reputation for those with means.
Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru, Mazda, even prestige brands such as Volvo, BMW, Cadillac, and Lincoln play a strong second fiddle to plain-jane Mitsubishi.
Wanna great used car? Don't count out Mitsubishi. Often times they are the rolling embodiment of value in a marketplace that puts reputation first, and real long-term quality on the back bench.