By on January 30, 2013

I review fairly few new cars, but when I head to the American Irony 24 Hours of LeMons race at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois, I feel like I need to take on a country club sort of approach. That means I need the appropriate press car for an official at the race that feels like Caddy Day at the Bushwood Country Club pool. In 2011, I tried to get Chrysler to get me an Avenger R/T, because who wouldn’t want the fallback rental-car Dodge with 283 front-drive horsepower? Instead, I got the Challenger SRT8 392, which was fun but certainly no Avenger R/T. For the 2012 American Irony race, I decided that what I needed was the nice version of Mitsubishi’s contribution to the current rental-car gene pool: the Galant SE. What I got, thanks to Mitsubishi axing the Galant (though not cold blasting it) and generally acknowledging that the Evo is the only big Mitsubishi blip left on Americans’ car-awareness radar, was this white ’13 Evolution MR. Hey, that’s what I’ve got, that’s what I’ll review.
Actually, what ended up happening was that a helpful LeMons team gave me the use of a very nice Piaggio Ape 50 pickup for the race weekend, and of course I ended up parking the Evo and reviewing the Ape instead. That’s understandable, because who wouldn’t prefer the three-wheeled Italian truck built by a scooter manufacturer? However, I did drive the Lancer from the airport to the track, and then back and forth to the hot-sheet flophouse of a crackhouse hotel that my cheapskate, press-car-destroyin’ boss chose for the LeMons staff, so I was able to get an idea of what this car is about.
What you get with the ’13 Lancer Evolution MR is a 3,517-pound commuter sedan that has been hit with a batshit-crazy 291-horse engine huffing huge boost, all-wheel-drive, lots of scoops and flares and maws straight out of Manny, Moe, and Jack’s most fevered dress-up-accessory dreams, Recaro crypto-race seats, and a couple of decades of race-winning heritage.
The package feels more like a machine put together by crazed hot-rodders in a little shop behind an Osaka noodle house than a production vehicle built by a major automaker. That’s both good and bad.
The Evolution’s ability to deal with a given driving situation can always be determined by asking one simple question: How much does this task resemble screaming balls-to-wall down some Scandinavian dirt while dodging rally spectators?
Driving around the 25-MPH-limit streets of Joliet in a bouncy, noisy, paddle-shift-automatic-equipped, cramped-yet-large car isn’t much like a rally stage, and therefore the Evo falls somewhere between the Dodge Nitro and the Misery Edition Toyota Corolla for this slice of the driving experience.
However, drag-racing a brand-new VW GTI out of the tollbooths on a rain-soaked Chicago highway is something like a maniacal dirt-eating race, and for that situation the Evolution MR becomes the best possible choice of vehicle (yes, the GTI got stomped so bad that I felt vaguely guilty for the rest of the evening). They say this car is good for high-13-second quarter-mile times, which is a bit slower than my ’65 Impala, but the madness of the engine in this car makes it feel much quicker.
As further evidence that we are currently living in The Golden Age of Engines, I present the MIVEC (Mitubishi’s catchy acronym for variable valve timing) 2.0 liter four. If Mitsubishi had been able to build something one-third this good for the Cordia, Things Would Have Been Different for Mitsubishi USA. Every time I felt like laughing at this silly, expensive ($38,960 as tested), flimsy-feeling car, the incredible competence of this powertrain changed my mind.
The numbers of die-hard Mitsubishi fans in America have been dwindling since the heyday of the Starion and Eclipse as mainstream sporty-car options, but I did meet this young Evo VIII owner and her “Live Fast” Santa Cruz License Plate tatt in a LeMons paddock. Perhaps the berserkitude of the Lancer Evolution will keep the Mitubishi brand in our minds long enough for the company to come up with a new line of vehicles that will— finally— make significant quantities of American car shoppers say, “Yes! I must own that!” On that subject, has anyone seen a regular Lancer on the road lately?
The ride is race-car rough and bouncy, of course, and the interior falls somewhere between “rental car” and “sporty.” The Recaro seats are covered with the same type of sweat-proof petroleum-based fabric that faux-Aeron office chairs get, and they’re made for drivers with way narrower shoulders— e.g., wiry Finnish rally drivers— than I have.
The baseball-style stitches on the “Sportronic” automatic shifter add a bit of Nippon Ham Fighters flavor to the interior, but the overall impression feels more Detroit than Tokyo, something like the world’s nicest 1998 Chrysler Sebring.
I couldn’t find anything in the owner’s manual about the “AWC” button (as a former technical writer, I know exactly how this stuff gets left out of manuals: the writers’ eyes glaze over during the 114th slide of a 4,358-slide PowerPoint presentation and they miss some features), but I suspect it unlocks the center differential. When driving on wet roads, I decided I wasn’t going to be The Writer Who Stuffed a Press Car Into a Concrete Abutment and opted to keep the hoonage to a minimum. It grips hard on wet asphalt, and I’ll bet it lets go real sudden-like.
Anyway, the button made some change to the way the all-wheel drive system took care of business.
Overall, the ’13 Lancer Evolution MR is sort of annoying to live with, except for the moments when it’s the greatest car ever built. Were I to own one, I think I’d spend about 95% of my Evo driving time being mildly annoyed and the rest of the time laughing maniacally. Worth nearly forty grand? Strangely, yes.

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55 Comments on “Review: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR...”

  • avatar

    And, *that*, ladies and gentlemen, is the right way to do a car review.

  • avatar

    The “See you” message when you shut it down is the consolation prize for losing the big-nosed humanoid in the instrument panel– the 80’s weirdness remains. I love it.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      My buddy has a regular ’08 Lancer GTS. The dash says “Welcome” and “Goodbye” which made me entirely creeped out the one time I borrowed it.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve always loathed these cars because they have literally no redeeming qualities outside of the context of the track.

        Of course, that same thing could be said about any number of other cars, many which cost more and/or aren’t as practical.

        Maybe it’s because I’m getting old or have never been a diehard fan of the “fast & furious” genre, but the Evo has always seemed plastic-y, cheaply constructed, loud (and not in a good way), as harsh riding a passenger car can be, and very cold and sterile in general.

        It’s about as good a daily driver, IMO, as a Smart Fortwo, which is to say, not the least bit good.

      • 0 avatar

        Fast and Furious or not, in my experience, some of the most crazy impressive driving I have ever seen on the streets have been done by Evo drivers. Seeing one of those, or a Miata with a roll cage, hacking though traffic way too fast, makes me feel infinitely more at ease on my motorbike than seeing a Bimmer, Porsche or Corvette being driven in a similar manner.

        And also, being rally, rather than race, cars, they are not really that track specific. They still fit well on secondary roads, unlike, say a GTR, and have comparatively great visibility in all directions. On a race track, their power to weight aren’t really all that compared to any number of pricey luxosport barges. Besides, track time is costly enough, in both time and money, to appeal more to the P crowd than to hopped-up econobox intenders. The track “culture” can also be a bit offputting to many who simply want to drive fast and hoon.

  • avatar

    I have similar feelings about my 05 STi.

    Most of the time the low end power is crap in traffic. It’s not all that luxurious. The accessories on my wife’s base level Kia Sorrento leave the STi in the dust.

    And then the day arrives that there is snow/sleet/mush coming down in Early January & the plow trucks can’t move it and the 10-15 mile commute from o-hare to downtown is 2+ hours (I’ve seen 4 before). It is THEN that I can take the small unplowed side-roads at speed limit of 25-30 home in the STi & have the best time ever.

    Sadly these days have only presented themselves 2-3 times in the last 2 years so I’ve been waffling about trading/selling it for something more fuel efficient (hybrid/stick?) for a few months now.

    • 0 avatar

      i used to own a WRX. since the roads here are only flat and straight, snow was the only time it made a whole lot of sense.

      but when it DID snow.. i’d be out all night, going through every abandoned suburban intersection sideways.

      I remember a time when snow tires were a really good idea here. the past few years they would have been a total waste.

    • 0 avatar

      @Robstar, jco:

      Interesting that you both responded the same way. Cars like this (Evos, STis) are only bought by True Believers in high-power AWD.

      But nobody will ever convince me that playing Rhys Millen a few days of the year is worth $40k, plus the attendant misery you get driving such a car on the other 360 days.

      Resale on such cars is terrible, and they’ve all been beat to death.

      More importantly, this excellent review is sad testimony to Mitsubishi’s plight: Having such a car in their stable makes sense for the True Believers, but it’s all Mitsubishi has in the US that’s even worth considering. When they leave the US market in the next couple of years, the True Believers will mourn the Evo, but nothing else.

      • 0 avatar

        my complaint was of a geographical nature.

        I had taken the WRX on a few track days as well. it was a genuinely good car in stock form on the track. you can just throw it into a corner and put your foot down and it will behave obediently. it was really forgiving. I wouldn’t mind driving awd, with sticky tires, in a place like LA or SF where there lots of good roads but no snow.

        there’s something to be said for a fast, entertaining, turbocharged car that has 4 doors and isn’t FWD. something that isn’t an expensive German car, but rather a cheaper toy.

        3500 lbs, though. gak!

    • 0 avatar
      Speed Spaniel

      Try taking a peek at a Golf R. I have one as a daily driver and the luxury amenities, refinement and overall quality is top notch. It’s quiet from the wind, road hum and suspension thrash, the ride strikes that perfect BMW balance of shock compliance and handling, the interior material are top notch, nothing feels cheap. It goes like stink and handles in any type of weather. The doors have that perfect solid thunk and it has top safety scores to back up that thunk. I like the engine note too and the exhaust back burble when you take your foot off the gas although the service advisor (it was the courtesy break-in inspection) said the engine sound is fabricated and piped into the passenger compartment…I find that kinda hard to believe and if true would have prefered Homelink to a burble, but I digress….Regardless, recognizing I’m in the minority, the Golf R is a terrific vehicle and a better alternative as a daily driver where the daily drive isn’t on a track. The complaining about the price of the R is baffling to me and it’s a good example of getting what you pay for. Personally I wouldn’t buy a cookie cutter 3 Series, C class or A4, my ego can handle it, – and yes this car can certianly play in that league with comfort, luxury, refinement and performance at a much cheaper price.

  • avatar

    Somewhere in PR-Land, Mitsubishi PRs are huddled round an iPad reading the above and asking “Was that a five star review or a one star review?”.

  • avatar

    A few of my friends have these, and I’ll never understand it.
    Your 95/5% joy assessment is correct.

    It’s quite easy to build a car with those attributes. The price isn’t worth it to me. It’s not even worth the price difference from the Galant to me.

    You pay a premium for gizmos that give you that extra 1/100th of a performance advantage over a beat up base Impreza on a rally stage.

  • avatar
    Volts On Fire

    To be a true homage, that girl has to have her tattoo financed for 84 months at 17+ percent interest.

  • avatar

    “I think I’d spend about 95% of my Evo driving time being mildly annoyed and the rest of the time laughing maniacally.”

    This statement perfectly sums up my 2004 Subaru STi ownership experience. Rental grade interior, worst seats I’ve ever experienced in any car, painful to ride in…. but the drivetrain was so easy to control that you could stomp the go-pedal in the middle of an intersection and come out the other side looking and feeling like Petter Solberg.

    It felt like cheating, like you’re bending the laws of physics, making a car do what it shouldn’t be able to do with so little effort that it all felt like a lie.

    ……and then my daily driver beater car got ran into at an intersection…. forcing me to drive the STi every single day…… and six months later it was gone and replaced by a GTI not unlike the one I destroyed the first and only time I went to the 1/4 mile track.

    • 0 avatar

      Funny that. My daily driver from 05 -> Oct 2011 was my neon. The STi was my snow/weekend car. The neon got junked when the auto-tranny went at 210k. Now the STi is my daily driver pulling 23mpg on my 30mile commute mostly hanging out at somewhere between 40-70 mph and it seems like such a waste of the car and boring/somewhat uncomfortable to boot.

      If I could find a hybrid that I could trade in for even with a stick I might do it. Need 40mpg+ however….Unfortunately I think Toyota has pretty much killed stick/hybrids and IIRC that leaves me with old honda civic hybrid/stick (hard to find) and the old old old honda insight that I’d be afraid to drive on I-94 in Chicago.

      • 0 avatar

        Cars like this are perfect if they’re second cars. I always loved the choice when walking out to the cars for the drive to work… if I looked at the STi and thought “yeah, that…” then the pain wasn’t an issue, because just operating the car was enjoyable; it always brought a smile to my face.

        It was lack of choice that killed my love for the car. I was no longer driving it only when I *wanted* to, I had to drive it because I needed to.

        If I were you I’d either buy another beater to replace the Neon (mine was a Hyundai), or replace the STi with a more comfortable, but still sporty car. I miss my STi a lot, but I don’t regret purchasing a GTI; overall the VW is a better fit for an only car.

      • 0 avatar

        Premium/Limited 09+ WRX are quite comfortable for daily driving when kept stock. I own a 09 and it’s “nice” for commuting. It’s a little annoying for stop/go bumper to bumper traffic on the freeway but it makes up for it everywhere else.

        STI is probably not as comfortable but I have a hunch that Subaru probably made comfort improvements to the STI as well with the newer models.

      • 0 avatar

        Robstar, have you looked at the CR-Z? It’s a hybrid and you can get them with A 6spd manual. They are 2 seaters however…..

      • 0 avatar

        That’s what happened to my ’06 Mustang GT. It was a terrific car, never had anything go wrong with it, but it was not meant to be a daily driver.

        Rough, punishing ride that really exemplified California’s poor roadwork, cramped, almost no trunk room and Walmart quality interior. It looked good, loved the 4.6’s power and sound, loved the fact that it was rear wheel drive, but some days I just wanted a comfortable, non-eventful drive home. Plus I was never really comfortable with every other driver on the road in gigantic SUV’s and trucks on their cellphones. The Mustang would fair pretty poorly in that regard.

    • 0 avatar

      I had an Evo VIII and drove it dailybfor five years before replacing it with…a GTI.

      The assessment is spot on for these rally-cars-for-the-street. They are annoying 95% of the time, with a bone-jarring ride, a transmission that whines, harsh shifts that make your head snap repeatedly, almost no sound insulation, low rent interior appointments, and mouse fur carpeting, headliner, and sun shades. But that glorious 5% of the time — it made it all worth it. The Evo is a Driver’s Car, of fearsome capabilities, with a cult-like community devoted to it. Car aficianados Get It. I sure did, and miss my old Rally Red GSR.

      This will be the last Evo in gasoline form, with the next generation rumored to be a diesel/electric hybrid. We shall see what those wacky Mitsubishi engineers come up with. The company definitely marches to a different drummer.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Congrats on an amusing and surprisingly content-filled review. I say “surprisingly” because it’s a rare art to pack a lot of content and a lot of humor in one compact package.

    You should not feel about about dusting off the guy in the GTI. He should have been smart enough to take one look at the boy racer next to him, and just toodle on down the road. As they say, “you gotta’ know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.”

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, but as the owner of a slower car sometimes it’s fun to watch/listen to a faster car fly away. It’s not always a serious matter of pride.

      (I roll down my windows to listen to cars with nice sounding exhausts)

    • 0 avatar

      Clearly it wasn’t a Golf R. My brother has one and claims it doesn’t matter WHAT the road conditions are – that car just FLYS!

      This EVO MR sounds worst then my 350Z which I daily drive without any complaints. Granted my commute is 75% highway so that helps, because in stop and go traffic the Z is a pain: heavy clutch, aggressive throttle tip in, loud and stiff ride. But honestly that’s what I LIKE about it… it feels like a proper “sports car”. If I wanted soft and quiet I would have gotten a Camry.

  • avatar

    When I saw the word “Cordia” highlighted, my spirits rose, but were crushed when it linked to Wikipedia and not the greatest car commercial of all time, seen here on Youtube:

  • avatar

    Murilee, I think you would’ve enjoyed reviewing the GSR more. At least that comes with a manual transmission so one of your last sentences probably would’ve been more like “I’d spend about 65% of my Evo driving time being mildly annoyed and the rest of the time laughing maniacally.” =)

  • avatar

    I drove a boosted Evo, the last gen version. Holy hell was it fast. I agree about the maniacal engine. Pure craziness when it was on boost. I was laughing like a madman the whole time I drove it!

    Would I want to commute in something like this? Sadly, no.

  • avatar

    So when I see a guy driving one of these I know its the equivalent of the guys in the 60s-70s who tried to drive really insane big block muscle cars to work daily?

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      As a past driver of those cars, I would say the answer is “no.” Apart from really, seriously heavy clutches, these cars were pretty tractable around town, because the engine’s response to throttle inputs was pretty linear at normal-driving levels of acceleration. (These engines would give you a good shove in the back when the secondary jets in a 4-bbl. carburetor would open up, or the second carburetor in a progressively-linked multi-carb setup would come on line, but this kind of stuff only happened when you were asking for some serious delta-vee.) The problem with highly boosted small displacement engines is that the throttle response is pretty non-linear: soggy until the boost comes up and then frantic, once it does. Modern electronic engine management does a much better job of moderating this than early turbo implementations that came out in the mid-1980s, the most notable of which was the Porsche 911 turbo that had lightswitch power delivery (either full on or full off), making fast driving in them (given their significant trailing-throttle oversteer handling) a pucker-factor tolerance test for the driver.

    • 0 avatar

      Not really, because those things were more or less undrivable in the real world— if they weren’t overheating or vapor-locking, they were doing some other maddening thing. Most of the mean-looking muscle cars you see in old photos from back in the day were actually Chevelles with 2-barrel 307s and fat tires and Satellites with 318s and fat tires.

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, I don’t know. Try a ’68 Barracuda 340. On a 95 degree day, some vapor lock restarting in the A&W parking lot after a Papa Burger and Root Beer (the burps tasted great!).

        Other than that, no probs and would haul up steep hills at 1100 rpm in high, gently burbling with a 3.23 rear axle. Put the boot in and it did 14.2 sec quarters at the track. Ran to 6000 rpm, and in low at WOT you nudged the Torqueflite to 2 at 5600 because by the time it shifted, it was going by 6K.

        Never driven another car with a nicer-feeling engine. Just never broke a sweat. A bit noisy when on the gas compared to a 90s or later car.

        Also owned a ’90 Eagle Talon TSi Turbo AWD. Great car, but no low end at all when off boost. Oh well, that’s what the ropy shift linkage was for, but it at least rode quite well so the EVO as spiritual successor is a poorer daily driver by all accounts. Too tall and tippy needing rock-hard suspension compared to Mitsu’s earlier coupe, I theorize.

    • 0 avatar

      Relatively speaking, I’d have to say, “Yes”. You guys are looking at the extreme sixties’ musclecars in terms of today’s cars. From a perspective of what was available at the time, yeah, they were worse, but back then, most daily drivers didn’t come with power windows and A/C (and they sure as hell didn’t last anywhere near 100k miles, either).

      In the context of what’s expected of today’s cars, the sacrifices and benefits of Evolution MR ownership would seem quite close to that of a new Hemi-Cuda in 1970.

  • avatar

    What I remember of those Porsche’s was that you had to wait for the pressure to equalize before swimming to safety. Sadly, the same applied to those turbo Rx-7’s. My golfing buddies say water has a unique magnetism.

  • avatar

    I ever bought an Evo because of the insane price increase between the VIII, the IX, and the X. $39k for a turbo economy car with a crappy interior? That’s 335i money, and the Bimmer is much better 95% of the time.

  • avatar

    They still make these things?

  • avatar

    Sure shows a lot of bolster wear for 566mi.

  • avatar

    I enjoyed this review.

  • avatar

    It’s crazy to think this costs the SAME as the Montero Limited (back in 06 when you could still get them).

  • avatar

    I drove one of these once, only it was called a “Dodge Avenger” and featured too many panel gaps to count.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I just went on the Mitsubishi home page that is linked on this article. They still have the 2012 Galant listed as well as a link for a bevy of concept cars going back to 2001. Either they are letting the brand limp along here in the states or it’s dead brand walking, the next Suzuki.

  • avatar

    Somehow a review of a Lancer Evo is more meaningful coming from a man who would rather drive a Piaggio Ape 50.

    Keep doing what you do Murilee.

  • avatar

    Fantastic piece, MM!

  • avatar

    Some background:
    -live in Japan, US military, 30 year’s old
    -own a relatively stock 2008 Evo X MR (USDM, in storage)
    -am selling a heavily-modded 1997 Evo IV GSR 5-speed
    -drive a 1997 Toyota Chaser Tourer V 5-speed (partially prepped for drifting)
    -previous vehicles: Jeep Wrangler, 3000GT, lots of experience driving/riding in military trucks @ work

    I always read Evo reviews, just to get different people’s perspectives on them. I’ve never understood the comments about the Evo’s “low rent” interior. My 2008 X MR is the most comfortable car I’ve owned for long drives, including cross-country, prior to getting a Chaser. I put 22,000 miles on it in 13 months and never felt uncomfortable. I love the Recaro seats; they didn’t hurt my back like the Wrangler or 3000GT, but then again I have a thin build and have no problem fitting in them. What are people looking for? Every surface wrapped in leather? What for? 95% of the time you won’t even touch it. That junk is just dead weight making your car fatter and heavier than it already is (and the X MR is a bit portly compared to my 2,900 lb. IV GSR). Also, to clarify, the MR is a dual-clutch, not a torque-converter automatic. I love driving manuals now (learned to drive one here in Japan with the Evo IV) but the dual-clutch is damn-near the best of both worlds with automatic mode for commuter traffic and Sport and SuperSport for banging through the gears on back roads (just without using your left foot). I took a vacation once and rented an automatic Jeep Liberty and HATED EVERY MINUTE behind the wheel because I had so little control over how it drove.

    I don’t think I’ve ever read or seen a review of an Evo by someone who “get’s it”, except for Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear (in the comparison with the new STi). Maybe I’m just one of these crazy car aficionados but I wouldn’t be caught dead driving a cushy commuter car with a limp-wristed powerplant and muted steering.

    Re: resale and buying used. I bought 2008 used in 2010 w/12,000 miles. Maybe I just got lucky but it was in exceptional condition. 3 year’s later the resale is still decent @ $25-27k (KBB). Not that I plan on selling the X; I take my cars seriously and it’s my baby. I’m one of those rare people who structures major life decisions (like what country I live and work in) around my car tastes. For example, I’m fighting tooth and nail to NOT move back to America because my Chaser isn’t street legal there, but I can always spend the $$$ to move my Evo X MR here to Japan.

  • avatar

    I DD an Evo X MR, have done so for the last (almost) 5 years, and even though sometimes I think about selling it (mostly when I’m filling it up with gas), I just can’t bring myself to do it. In fact, I’ve even though of trading mine in on a new one.

    It’s such an incredible car. Telepathic steering, insane engine, wonderful seats, and the interior (especially in the MR) isn’t _that_ bad.

    I agree, for your $40K, 95% of people should be looking to BMW or Audi. However, if you’re reading TTAC, you shouldn’t ignore the Evo.

  • avatar

    I must say after reading your review. I do not agree with you. Which is my choice.I have been driving Porches for 32 yrs. So I am a nut when it comes to cars that I have owned.When I was thinking about getting a new car, but did not want to get back into the Porsche market $$$.
    So what do I get that has a great suspension, HP, and breaks.
    I did not want to spend much over $40,000. I did drive the BMW.Nice car. Did not give me the sports car feel.So many on the road. Every woman in L.A. has one. The interior was a little nicer than the EVO. Quieter on the road. Drove the Audi,was not impressed. Good looking car though. The second choice was the Infinity G37s which was a real nice car with excellent reviews. But I still needed that sports car feel.
    When I first drove the EVO MR. I got the WOW factor. Right off the parking lot. The car felt light. Not heavy like the G37,or the BMW.
    The Brembo breaks were fantastic, drive train great. The Recaro sports seats fit me perfect. If you are over weight forget about it.
    I test drove the car 4 times at 4 different dealers. Crazy right. Yes I am car crazy.Every time I drive the car I liked it more and more. Now after owning the car for 1 1/2 yrs. I love it.
    This car is not for your average consumer. If you are a performance person. This is the car. Yes the interior is cheap. But people always comment about the leather seats. In my eyes the car looks mean ,which is what I like. You will not find a woman driving this car. This is a car for a person who is into performance. If you get the MR with all the goodies ,it is a great daily driver. And if you want to take it to the canyons on a Sunday your passenger must hold on tight.You cant find that performance for that price. You have to step into a M3 for a hefty big price tag. If you mod the evo for $1300, It will kick a stock BMW ass. So if you want a kush ride. The EVO is not for you.
    If you want a fun car to drive . Weather the street or canyon. The EVO is Great. It was the only car for the price that actually felt better than my Porsche. Love my EVO at 62 yrs.old.

    • 0 avatar

      This is actually VERY good to read. @tominla – I love Porsches and currently drive a Mazda MX-5 2011. Eventually I want to build up an old 911 SC or even better, a 1970-1973 911.

      The reason I’m here is because last year, before I bought the MX-5 I was looking to buy an Evo X. I finally decided to buy the MX-5 and buy an old truck later for DD and beach duty. Well, needless to say, the MX-5 made me fall in love with Miatas and a year later I found a pristine 1995 Miata and bought it. Now with 2 Miatas, my wife is urging me to sell the 2011, keep the NA ’95 and buy something more practical. So, I’m looking at the Evo X again.

      However, it’s hard to part with the ’11 MX-5 as it’s a GREAT car. But I must admit, she’s right, I really should get something with more space. But, I can’t think of anything else. I like the Toyobaru, but not as much as the MX-5. I don’t like the WRX or the STI. I think Evo is what it’s going to be. Glad you like it this much coming from Porsches.

      • 0 avatar

        Glad you liked my review. Just test drive a MR. not the GSR. If you want a DD . The MR is more comfortable to drive. The Touring package is the way to go. I was looking at the Subaru yesterday with a friend. I am glad I bought the Evo. The Evo is so easy and cheap to mod. For about $1500 you can make it scream, and kick a BMW M3 ass. Look at Mitsubishi web site for all the options. Most sales people don’t know that much. They want to sell you what they have in stock.Good Luck.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks again. But have to stick with GSR. I’m the type that if I don’t have 3 pedals I will throw a fit and not drive. Lol. I’m thinking of a Wicked White, full base. I want to do leather, but Porsche Terracota medium red Katzkin leather. I would do my own audio and HID’s as well. Better equipment for less than the Mitsu packages.

  • avatar

    Old review but couldn’t stop myself. It’s crazy out of all the posts I think 2 people got it. They understood the Evo. When you respond with “I could get a BMW for that price” you missed the point and it’s odd you are even commenting. The Evo isn’t a car for you, why take the time to comment? But it is your right. Just strange. I read the same things in every review. Interior, gas mileage, harsh ride, trunk too small, wing too big. But what you are complaining about IS the definition of the Evo. It’s no accident it ended up the way it did. It was planned from the start to be an Evo. I want a zebra but I don’t like stripes.

    It’s purpose built and designed for a small percentage of die hard fans. If you want a car that does everything well, BMW, Audi, Merc is the car for you. And you can wave at the 30 other people in the exact same car you pass on a 10 mile freeway drive. If you want a car that does a few things AMAZINGLY PERFECT and the others below average, Evo is for you. A true drivers car isn’t about leather, lack of noise, smooth ride, great gas mileage. I have owned those. BMW and others, they are great all around. But they aren’t soul touching. 2 years owning an Evo now, 38k miles and it still makes me grin ear to ear just thinking about starting it up in the morning to go to work. It’s the lack of so called comfort that makes it more enjoyable. It’s not seeing every other person in one that makes it special. Although I don’t think its uncomfortable and a harsh ride isn’t painful. Mine has stiffer springs so is harsher than stock. Pure performance cars aren’t soft. They beat you up, but that’s the point. They are designed for screaming around corners disproving the laws of physics. That comes at a cost, ride comfort.

    Here’s how I see the Evo price point. Manufacturers have a budgeted cost to build a car. Where the spend more they have to cut someplace else or raise the price of the car. True Evo people agree that cost cutting should be to the interior, trunk size, pretty parts and as much money as possible thrown at only the parts of the car that gives performance. In my opinion they made the interior too nice. Give me nice seats and a steering wheel and that’s it. Put the rest of that towards performance.

    What you buy for 35 to 40 grand the foundation. It’s a 600hp beast tamed down to sell at the price point and give the end users the option of how much HP they want. My 2012 has an exhaust, intake and runs E85 fuel, total cost less than 3500. HP at the wheels 400 (for those that go off magazine and manufacturer HP) that’s about 480HP at the crank. My 35k car is now about 39k and will hurt the feeling of any M3 that chooses to challenge me. Heck I can beat many of the Porsches, muscle cars, even a few Aston Martins. Do the math, 480 crank HP out of a 2 liter engine. That’s 240hp per liter. Find another car on the street like that. Nope, the 1000hp Bugati has half that. Yes, total HP is what matters but it shows Mitsu isn’t a slouch when building cars. And 400 isn’t even pushing it. 600hp daily driver out of a 2 liter is within reach.

    Yea it will never be a Porsche or Aston , but so what, it won’t cost me the same and there is that excitement when the guy in his 100k$ car thinks he is just messing with some “ricer” import that is all noise and no go.

    But ironically even though I wrote all this informing you of what makes the Evo special, it’s the fact that you DON’T understand what makes it special that truly makes it special.

  • avatar

    This article was well written.You really have to live with a Evo to understand the car.I drove Porsche’s for 32 yrs. I was looking around for a different car. It was time to get rid of the 911. At 115,000 mi. the car was going to eventually cost big bucks to rebuild. If I did not sell it now, it would been hard to sell with more millage.
    A friend of mine who was a real motor head told me about the Evo.
    I started to go car shopping on Sundays.The G37S,BMW,GTI,Geneses coupe,STI,VoLks Wagon CC. It was hard to be excited about driving something other than a 911.All these cars were boring.Yes BMW is nice,so was the g37s. But no balls. But when I drove the Evo. As soon as I took the car for a test ride . I went this is nice.Then WOW. Right away I had the ride I was looking for. Tight , great breaks, Amazing trany on the Mr.The suspension was what I wanted Love the sport seats. Perfect for me. And I don’t go out with fat chicks. They would not be able to fit in the seats.Besides to much weight on one side.Can’t do that.
    I test drove the car 5 times. To show you how crazy I am.I was trying to find something that I did not like. Just kept liking the car more and more.Like I say getting away from Porsche is not easy.
    I bought the MR. with everything (no nav). LOVE this car. It is not for the average driver. You really have to be a car guy.I wanted to get away from a stick. That is why the MR was the car for me.
    The car is great in traffic and a blast to drive in the Malibu canyons.
    So it all depends what your needs are.If you like to drive. The EVO is a Big bang for your buck.

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