Susan Frissell

The Lancer is available in several trim levels, including the ES, DE, SE (new model introduced in 2013), and GT, all with various amenities and features. For our purposes here, the EVO model (MR) which we drove is quite a different animal. Featuring a new design for 2016, the Lancer across the board is a nice looking sedan with enhanced features and technology.

Both the Ralliart and Evolution models are high-performance, track-like sedans/hatchbacks. Our MR sedan came equipped with Mitsubishi’s 6-speed Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission, with a manual option and paddles.

All those who go there…be clear, the Evolution is not a daily driver. Although, some may disagree with this writer, the Evo is a powerful, 291 horsepower-equipped sedan. And it is fast! Word is, Mitsubishi will be discontinuing the Evolution model after this year.

Nevertheless, Mitsubishi made a few updates for 2015 including heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, a new cupholder and more standard features on the MR model.

With undeniable agility and tractability, the Evolution can be a hoot to drive; even with expected Turbo lag, it is a performance star. Equipped with the latest technology, including Active Yaw Control, Active Center Differential, and helical-gear front differential, the Evo edition provides excellent steering and handling.

Offering versatility, the Lancer Evolution has very supportive front seats. One can opt for the Premium Package on the GSR model which includes Recaro leather-suede seats, but expect to pay upwards of $45 K for this decked out model. Our test Evolution, well-equipped listed for just under $41,000; no small change for a ‘play’ car; meaning, most probably wouldn’t opt to drive this sedan every day.

Even with its thrilling performance, the Lancer Evolution lacks refinement. No kidding! Shoppers will be limited too, except when opting for lower trim models. Fuel economy is not top-notch (again, expected), and the interior is noisy. Hitting any kind of bump in the road is jarring, giving the Evo a road quality ride rating of minus zero.

Competition over the last 10 years of the Lancer Evolution has included the Subaru WRX; more recently the Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST. The most notable-and a lot more fun-is the VW GTI. Our pick, hands down, in this category of vehicle.

While boxy in design, the Lancer is a nice-looking sedan. Our test model-named “Wicked White” was attractive, sported MR decklid badging. Our test vehicle came equipped with one option, the Touring Package (leather seating surfaces, power glass sunroof, heated front seats, sound dampening enhancement, scuff plates, $2,000).

We had to laugh at one standard feature: Child-safety door locks. Ha! Who would dare transport a child in this pocket rocket?

The Lancer Evo is a fun car to kick it up in once and a while, and performs that function better than most. We had a lot of fun during the week in the Lancer Evo. Got lots of stares, dares and interested onlookers. We especially had fun driving in Sport Mode, at as high a speed as areas would allow!evo2015-mitsubishi-lancer-4-door-sedan-cvt-gt-fwd-steering-wheel_100492887_t


MSRP: $38,995; total vehicle price $40,995; destination $610
Engine: 2.0-liter, Turbo MIVEC DOHC 16-valve inline, 4-cylinder, 291 hp., 300 lb. ft. torque
Transmission: Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift, steering wheel paddle shifters, 6-speed TC-SST
Wheelbase: 104.3 in.
Length: 177.0 in.
Width: 71.3 in.
Curb weight: 3,527 lbs.
Warranty: 3 yr./36,000-miles basic; 5 yr./60,000-miles powertrain ltd., 7 yr./100,000-miles Anti-corrosion; Roadside Assistance
Tires: 245/40 R18 93W Yokohama high-performance
Wheels: 18×8.5 BBS-forged alloy
EPA Fuel Economy: 17/22 mpg.