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2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Touring Review

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The Evo Is a Fun Car to Drive

SEE ALSO: Mitsubishi Buyers Guide



SPECIFICATIONS: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Touring

Model: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Touring
Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC turbocharged four
Horsepower/Torque: 291 hp @ 6,100 rpm/300 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manual mode
Wheelbase: 104.3 in.
Length/Width/Height: 177.0 x 71.3 x 58.3 in.
Tires: P245/40R18
Cargo volume: 6.9 cubic feet
Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway/17.2 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 14.5 gal.
Sticker: $43,959 (includes $720 destination/handling charge and $2,249 in options (special paint and navigation system))

The Bottom Line:If this is evolution, what have we evolved from? The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (or Evo) is obviously aimed at a younger demographic. Still, at its base is a decent compact car with some nice features. I think it also has some questionable features.

As compact sedans go, the Mitsubishi Lancer fits in well with the competition. With a base price starting in the $15,000 range, it is certainly competitive with the other vehicles in its market segment.

Mitsubishi has also extended the Lancer range. Moving up a step is the GTS and Ralliart (the difference is in the engines), and both are available in a Sportback model that increases cargo space.

Our tester is Mitsu’s top-of-the-line Lancer, the Evolution Touring with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. This baby comes in with a base price closer to $41,000 and a final sticker of $43,959 – a bit much for a compact car.

Granted, the EVO comes with a turbocharged DOHC 2.0-liter four driving the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Fear not, performance addicts, you can still shift the Evo manually with magnesium paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel.

There’s no way you’ll reach the top peg on the speedometer, which is 190 mph. To me, that’s ridiculous. In the first place, you can’t drive that fast anywhere, even if the car could do it. In the second place, the critical area of the speedometer – from 0-60, where most people drive – take sup such a small segment of the dial that it’s hard to get a feel for exactly how fast you are going.

Enough ranting. The Evo is a fun car to drive. The power is there, thanks to 291 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque and only about 3,000 in curb weight.

The front seats are by Recaro, and offer exceptional side support, required in a car that handles as well as the Evo does. To get that handling, though, the Evo has a firm, almost harsh, ride, but you gets what you pays for. The front seats are also heated.

Rear seat legroom is tight, but it’s there. The Lancer is advertised as a five-seater, but I sympathize with the poor person stuck in the middle in the back.

Most compact cars offer folding rear seat backs to extend the cargo area. In the Evo, the cargo volume is a miniscule 6.9 cubic feet, and the seat backs don’t fold. One reason for the non-folding is that the battery is located in the rear seat back.

The Evo features keyless entry and start/stop, although there’s a faux key that you twist to start and stop the engine. This is easier to deal with if you’re constantly switching among cars, because it at least feels like a keyed car.

Styling is improved over earlier Evolutions. Where there had been a big ugly spoiler at the rear in the past, it has been replaced by a more conservative lip spoiler. Of course, neither is necessary in a front-wheel drive car, but it may be necessary in an all-wheel drive car.

The instrument panel consists of two large gauges for the speedometer and tachometer, with an information panel (water temperature, fuel level, what gear you’re in, outside temperature, odometer and fuel economy). One comment about the gear indicator; it shows which gear you’re in whether you’re in full automatic or manual mode. It’s nice to know this.

There’s a nice clear navigation screen plus 750 watts of audio power from the Rockford Fosgate sound system.

Interior storage isn’t exceptional. There are two cup holders in the center, with a small center console compartment. There are also cup holders in the doors. My wife was disappointed when she discovered that the visors didn’t have lighted mirrors.

While the Lancer in base or GSR trim is a decent compact car, in the Evolution it’s outlandish. Forty-three thousand dollars is way too much to charge for a compact car, no matter how good the performance. Because when it all boils down, you still have a compact Lancer to drive around in.

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate

SEE ALSO: Mitsubishi Buyers Guide