Mitsubishi has been providing affordable performance vehicles for years, dating back to the aggressive 3000GT. The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution carries on this theme as the company’s flagship, providing performance from a four-door sedan that equals that of European models costing twice as much. While the Lancer Evolution provides performance, it comes up lacking in the comforts department, and is beginning to fall behind its competition in the performance department as well.
New For 2013
Thanks to a very successful 2012 model, Mitsubishi did not see any changes necessary for the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
The outside of the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution belies what is underneath the hood. Despite a few changes to the sheet metal and the front end, as well as a spoiler on the rear deck, the Evolution can’t hide its relation to tame Lancer compact sedan. The cabin is clearly identical, but the stance and front and rear ends set the Evolution apart. The overall stance appears more forward than that of the Lancer sedan. The front fascia is more aggressive than the standard Lancer, with a large mesh grille. Flared fenders give the appearance of a wider stance, while a hood scoop and air extractors add contours and openings. In the rear, one of two spoilers shows up. The GSR model has a large wing spoiler, while the MR is adorned with a smaller, subtler lip spoiler. The GSR Exterior package also adds side skirts for an alternate exterior appearance.
Interior & Cargo
The inside of the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is shockingly mild considering the performance technology under the hood and the stylized exterior. The cabin is nearly identical to that of the Lancer sedan, with minor changes including sport bucket seats, aluminum pedal covers, upgraded gauges and trim, and a tilt-only steering wheel column. The lack of height adjustment on the driver’s seat and the tilt-only steering column create major issues for drivers who are on the short or tall ends of the spectrum. The rear seats are also mildly uncomfortable for persons of larger stature for longer rides. Additionally, a lot of the components are constructed of cheap-feeling plastic, while there is quite a bit of road noise and a lack of comfort. The ride itself is rather poor due to the performance-tuned suspension without a performance-tuned interior. Cargo space is lacking, only seven cubic feet, due to the relocation of the battery and washer fluid reservoir to the trunk.
Thankfully, the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution can be made a much more pleasant place to ride through optional packages, including the Premium and the Touring packages on the MR and the Sunroof and Leather and Sight and Sound package on the GSR. The Sight and Sound package adds a better stereo system, while the similar Premium package adds that along with leather and faux-suede upholstery and an upgraded center console inside. The Sunroof and Leather Package and the Touring Package both add full leather upholstery, heated front seats and sound insulation to reduce road noise.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is equipped with a good deal of standard safety equipment. The stiffening of the chassis itself is a safety feature, as it is built to withstand the use and abuse of rally racing. In the case of an accident, the Lancer Evolution has front seat side airbags, front airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a knee airbag for the driver. To avoid accidents, the Lancer Evolution is equipped with anti-lock brakes that bring the vehicle to a stop from 60 miles per hour in only 113 feet. Additionally, Mitsubishi has equipped the Lancer Evolution with stability and traction control to help the driver avoid collisions. The Lancer Evolution received a score of ""good"" in side impact, frontal-offset, and rollover tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While the pure numbers behind the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution are not particularly impressive compared to its competitors, the overall experience is still top notch. Standard all-wheel drive works to give the Lancer Evolution impressive handling and traction, with capabilities near to the level of rally cars. The steering and suspension provides incredibly responsive steering that allows for fast, lightning-quick turns, while the driver receives a great deal of road condition feedback.
The 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine is not particularly impressive at first sight, but Mitsubishi has managed to squeeze 291 horsepower out of it with the addition of a turbocharger and precise tuning. The turbocharger has some issues, as it has some surprising lag at low speed. The engine is attached to either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed auto-shift manual transmission. The auto-manual has flappy paddle shifters for use in manual mode, and also has the sixth gear, which is sorely lacking in the manual. The manual has close gearing for acceleration, but the short fifth gear means that the engine is running at high RPMs at cruising speeds, which causes it to drink gas at the rate of a midsize sport utility vehicle.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer-Evolution
- Subaru WRX STi
- Ford Mustang
- Hyundai Genesis Coupe
- Chevrolet Camaro