2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart new car reviews

The Lancer Ralliart lacks the wide fenders of the EVO X, but it still features a purposeful look.
The good: a stout engine and cyborg techno-gearbox.
The bad: an interior that feels too much like its budget-minded Lancer base model. This doesn't bode well for a car approaching 30k, Recaros or not.

Better than: Lancer GTS
But not as good as: Lancer Evo X
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 81.15

After taking a spin in Mitsubishi's latest iteration of the Lancer, it's clear that the war between the all-wheel-drive superpowers isn't slowing down yet. When it comes to driving thrills, the Ralliart falls a bit short of its big brother, the EVO. However, it does offer a lower-cost alternative for faithful Mitsubishi fans.

We loved the TC-SST gearbox, especially in its Sport mode. The specs say that the Ralliart is about 50 horsepower down from the EVO X, but from the driver's seat it doesn't feel much different in town. Narrow bodywork helps the car keep a low profile, avoiding the sort of attention garnered by the bolder-looking EVO.

Our criticisms of the EVO still hold true with the Ralliart, however. Interior quality is kinda shabby, and even though the Recaro seats are supportive, they are an expensive option that pushes the car ahead of its peers in cost.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

I have to admit, I kind of lost interest in this car when I saw that it only had two pedals--go and stop. But a late-night drive converted me. Mitsubishi has done an excellent job with their take on the whole twin-clutch setup. I think they may have taken the lead from VW.

The Ralliart's upshifts are crisp, and when in the Sport mode the downshifts accompanied by some nice rev-matching. Run it in manual mode, and you can drive around while bouncing off the rev limiter. Honestly, I didn't miss the clutch.

Okay, some things that didn't impress me about the car. I stand by the comments I have made about other Evos in that the interiors are substandard. Where Subaru took the most recent Impreza up a notch, Mitsubishi didn't follow suit. True, you don't purchase a car like this for the interior accouterments, but still, you don't want to feel like a chump when you're making a real payment.

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