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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Well, these are two pretty similar cars we have here! It's only details that could potentially make the difference. Considering they both belong to the small family car segment and utilize the same 4-door sedan body style and the front wheel drive system, it all comes up to the specific petrol engine choice they offer. The first one has a Mazda-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 75hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 12-valves 82hp engine designed by Mitsubishi.Safety
The fact that the Mitsubishi got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), while the other contender didn't, doesn't actually do much for it, as it's still a lousy 2-star coffin on wheels. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the small family car segment, which is generally classifying them somewhere in the middle safety-wise, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. On the other hand, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, Lancer offers a considerable difference of 18% more metal.Reliability
Reliability is not the best thing to consider on the make level, but it is worth mentioning that Mazda does have a slight advantage, when all the models are taken into account. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Mazda with an average rating of 4.4, and models under the Mitsubishi badge with 4.6 out of 5. The same official information place 323 as average reliability-wise, and Lancer is more or less at the same level.We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as 323 rank it on average as 4.5 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.Performance & Fuel economy
Mitsubishi is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.6 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 171 kilometers per hour, 9km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be Lancer, averaging around 6.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (43 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 14% difference compared to 323.
Mazda appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, Lancer offers significantly better overall protection, taking the lead here. It all continues in the same direction, with Mitsubishi being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but Mitsubishi. Anyway, that's the most objective conclusion I could've came up with and it's based solely on the information found on this website. Aspects such as design, practicality, brand value and driving experience are there for you to measure them out. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.