I hear so often on Curbside Classic about days long past where young people cruised around the USA in modified Chevrolet Novas, invariably jacked up at the rear and boasting other modifications of dubious taste. Subsequent generations of young people seemed to gravitate towards Honda Civics with big wings and “fart can” exhausts. What do the young people in your area drive today? And what else did they like in the past?
When I saw this Mitsubishi Lancer (aka Mirage) the other day, I had a flashback to over a decade ago when I was graduating high school. It seemed like every second former classmate who got their open license bought one of this generation of Mitsubishi Lancer. Fortunately, they didn’t usually look this lurid.
They looked more like this. And still do. These Lancers were reliable and so there are still a few around, always with aftermarket rims…
…and the obligatory big exhaust.
Mitsubishi has always had a much bigger presence in Australia than in other markets. In fact, they were the fourth best-selling car brand here in 2018 although it’s their crossovers and trucks that drive sales nowadays. For many years, a Lancer has been a sensible, popular option in the compact segment so there’s always been plenty available on the used car market. Couple that with an available coupe body style – a rarity in coupe-averse Australia – and you’ve got the makings for a popular used car for young adults. The Evo’s halo probably didn’t hurt sales, either.
The lively 1.8 and willing handling made these Lancers pretty fun-to-drive. Alas, many Lancers came with the decidedly less powerful 92 horsepower 1.5. That didn’t stop a lot of enthusiastic young drivers from wringing the hell out of the little four-cylinder. It’s fun to drive a slow car fast, after all. And the Lancer was a good-looking car, especially in coupe form, which is why they became so common to see with a P-plate (provisional license holder) attached.
What do the young people drive in your area? Or what did they in the past?