My 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR Review

So here is my attempt at original content....Just wanted to give a quick write-up after owning a 2015 Lancer Evolution X for 8 months, which I sadly just parted with. Here goes!

I got the Evo in June of 2015. A number of factors led to me picking the Evo, such as: it was available with a stick, AWD, 4 doors, tuning potential, etc... Not many cars can can meet all these criteria nowadays, especially with the aftermarket/modding potential that the Evo has. In my eyes, it was the perfect fun car for all situations. It's the closest thing we have to a modern day Supra, in my opinion. With $2k in mods, you can make 400+ hp at the crank! That plus the AWD make it very controllable/usable power, the only thing that comes close is the GTR, but it costs 2-3x more not to mention the price for parts. High HP stangs, vettes, AMG's, BMW's, etc, won't be able to put the power down in any real-life situation without slicks or aggressive traction control. In addition, it was the final year for the Evo, so I figured why not...they will become less and less common as time goes on.

When you first get in the Evo, you wouldn't think it was anything special compared to a regular Lancer. Mine had the premium package, so it was a bit more upscale (leather, piano black trim pieces, sunroof), but nothing to indicate its sporting intentions. No emblems inside, no boost gauge, and since it was the 2015 model, no Recaro seats. Whatever -- this didn't bother me, I was in it for the actual driving experience. Many people point out that the car has a cheap interior, but I have to say its not as bad as people make it out to be. There are soft touch materials on the door sills, mine had a leather insert by the armrest and on the center console. The plastic used inside feels good to the touch, especially compared to my prior 2013 Camaro SS which definitely felt a grade cheaper inside. The Rockford Fosgate stereo packs a punch and is enough to satisfy the entry-level audiophile, as it includes a 10" sub in the trunk. 90% of owners won't ever feel the need to upgrade the stereo if you check off this option.

On to the drive -- right off the bat, you notice the steering. It's extremely precise and reactive, any turn in the wheel correlates to an immediate change in direction. As it still has a hydraulic pump in this age of electric steering, feedback is quite good: changes in the road surface can be felt, giving you confidence as you navigate twisty roads. I can't say I've ever driven a car that has steering this good. As expected, the grip this car has when going around a turn is immense. The stock Advan rubber is extremely sticky, and combined with the specialized AWD system, allows you to go around a turn faster than you ever thought possible. The Active Yaw Control gives the car neutral handling characteristics and even allows the car to oversteer -- what AWD car can do that now?? The stock brakes are excellent, and remain competent on the track even after raising performance past stock levels. The transmission is a bit notchy like most Evo's, but that can be remedied somewhat if you replace the stock fluids with Redline and the stock bushings as well. To be honest, it never really bothered me that much. As a whole, the Evo feels like a race car -- one that can be driven everyday, and one that can ferry around your in-laws when the need arises. How many cars can claim that at the Evo's price point?

As for reliablity, I never had any problems with mine. I had an exhaust and Cobb tune to give a nice bump over stock power levels (350ish crank HP). Many owners have been able to push the stock engine/turbo up to 400whp with just boltons and a tune, and at those levels, the Evo will prove to be more than a handful for most sports cars on the streets. If you desire more, aftermarket turbos can allow the Evo to make up to 1000whp -- the limits are still being tested by aftermarket companies like English Racing and AMS.

My final thoughts - The Evo really is something special, and with more and more cars nowadays coming with electronic nannies and doodads, the purity of the driving experience is getting lost. It's one of the last few cars STILL on lots now that can provide such a direct, unencumbered, driving experience. And combined with the power potential of the drivetrain, you'll never get bored modifying it. If your situation allows you to, I recommend picking one up while you still can. If you live in a metro area like New York City, I would go with the MR edition, which comes with the 6-speed dual clutch transmission. Clutching in grid-locked traffic will definitely get old quick, no matter how much you love manuals. It definitely took some of the joy out of ownership for me. If you live in a rural/suburban area, or have a separate car as a daily driver, go with the GSR. The stick can handle as much torque as you can throw at it, if you plan on heavily modifying the car. And nothing beats a stick for pure driving enjoyment on those empty, twisting roads!

Hope you guys enjoyed my little review -- if you have any questions feel free to ask away in the comments!

Comments

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