What HM gave us is a downright pathetic engine to a chassis that is derived from the EVO-IVs. No enthusiast who loves a fast car should think of a Lancer unless he is plonking in a Mivec/Evo engine. For visual mods, yes, nothing comes close.
You want a fast car in a straight line, mod a OHC Vtec. Lots of aftermarket parts save the suspension. Don't expect it to handle.
You want a fast and yet a good handling car, mod a Baleno. Won't be as quick as a Vtec in straights but come corners you will take the Vtec.
My vote? Obviously goes to the Baleno. All the fun is in the corners. And I prefer putting my money where my mouth is. A proud owner of India's fastest NA baleno officially timed.
Of the 3 I'd go with the Lancer. The Baleno and City are just hyped up. India is the only place where the Baleno is considered a drivers car. The City at least has some followers in Thailand & Phillippines at least.
BTW has anyone compared the City or Lancer with the Petra 1.6? I've compared it with the Baleno. It's much better than the Baleno. You can even pick up one real cheap now.
Although this an old thread. Just my 2 cents. have personally owned och vtec, baleno but not owned a lancer. however i have a good friend who owns it. the lancer according to me stands no where in the competition(stock), baleno is second and och vtec is First. I am talking about stock cars. My friend who is a renouned driver on drag strips in mumbai calls a lancer- underpower piece of s***t. so there u go.:0