2015 Mitsubishi Lancer AWC: All Wheel Drive Tech Review


When compared to most modern small vehicles, the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer AWC is a bit anachronistic. While it lags the market with modern amenities and an updated design, it does have something unique: it’s all-wheel drive (AWD) system. The 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer AWC is one of the few vehicles in its class that offers a selectable AWD system.

Mitsubishi calls this AWD system All Wheel Control (AWC).

The AWC system uses several electronically controlled clutches which direct torque from the front axle to the rear axle when slip is detected. This system, combined with braking-focused traction control, contributes to maximum traction when called upon.

According to Mitsubishi: “Mitsubishi’s revolutionary electronically controlled All-Wheel Control (AWC) system continually monitors the road and intelligently transfers power and braking to the wheels with the most traction to improve handling and performance—without compromising on efficiency. So whether you’re driving on snow or ice, or simply demand top-line performance on tight corners, you can rely on All-Wheel-Control to help keep you on track.”

Mitsubishi’s AWC has three selectable settings:

2WD (normal mode) this system works only with the front wheels for the most economical driving on normal and dry roads.

4WD AUTO (automatic AWD mode) this setting is best for AWD performance enhancements and AWD at the ready for the possibility of low traction. This is similar to the AWD systems used by Fuji Heavy/Subaru.

4WD LOCK (low speed, maximum traction) ideal for deep snow, mud and situations when slower speeds and maximum traction are most beneficial.


The Fast Lane Car tested this system in the Rocky Mountains and found it to work exactly as advertised. On a steep slope covered in snow, ice and mud, the AWC system was put to the test:

In 2WD, the 2015 Lancer AWC immediately lost traction and the front wheel spun.

In 4WD AUTO, the Lancer was able to drive up most of the hill until it lost traction. The system scrambled for traction, but it was unable to regain traction.

In 4WD LOCK, the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer AWC easily crested the hill.

It is easy to surmise that, if the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer AWC was equipped with winter tires, it would have fewer issues on the aforementioned obstacle. Still, the electronics did an outstanding job finding the traction.

2015 Mitsubishi Lancer SE AWC Specs:

  • MSRP: $20,995
  • Engine: 2.4-liter DOHC MIVEC 4-cylinder
  • Power: 168 bhp @ 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 167 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
  • Transmission: continuously-variable transmission (CVT)
  • Drivetrain layout: AWD
  • Curb weight: 3,142 lbs.
  • EPA-estimated fuel economy (city/highway/combined mpg): 22/29/25
  • Wheelbase: 103.7 inches

nathan adlen Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism – Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.