Although I didn’t get to really put the Mitsubishi EVO through its paces as there was a lot of traffic, my initial impression was favorable overall.
Going in, I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I’ve heard mostly negative about the EVO. In fact, almost everyone I know says that the Subaru STI is a better value and a better car overall.
One of the biggest things I hear complaints about are the EVO seats and how uncomfortable they are. I sat in the base model EVO which is the GSR. This was eye opening after sitting in the MR. The cloth Recaro seats weren’t nearly as comfortable. The back was wider so I felt like I wasn’t hugged as well and the seat actually was too snug. I’m 5’5″ and about average build and weight, so definitely didn’t expect to feel like I was too big.
I found the Recaro seats in the MR to be very comfortable. It was a snug fit which makes me wonder how it would feel with a winter coat on, but otherwise, I loved them! I’ll be curious to at least sit in the MR Touring model as it has full leather seats versus the mixed material of leather and suede the MR does.
I like the way the car felt while behind the wheel. The spoiler wasn’t too obtrusive, the gauges were easy to read, and the dashboard didn’t feel overly large. I felt like the view through the windshield was comfortable.
The EVO MR we took out didn’t have the fancy GPS system which I’m not sure I would want anyway, but I really didn’t like the way the stock stereo is integrated into the dash. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of it, so I’ll have to use this stock picture and explain that what this photo doesn’t show you is there are air vents on either side of it and the radio is fully integrated into the dashboard. I haven’t looked yet to see if there are after market options to fix this issue. Initial impression though is swapping out the stereo will be overly difficult.
The stereo is a Rockford Fosgate and I’ll admit that it sounded much better than most Japanese cars I’ve been in, however, in my experience, while there is certainly a difference in quality between stock stereos, they’re still not the same quality as an after market. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s definitely a concern at this point.
Even though I wasn’t pushing the car very hard, I could feel the difference with the Brembo brakes compared to what I’m used to. I barely had to push on the brake pedal to slow/stop extremely quickly.
Going in, I was unsure about the dual clutch system. The standard transmission is only available in the GSR. The MR and MR Touring both have the dual clutch (or dual system if you prefer). This was kind of fun once I got to play with it. You have paddle shifters on the steering wheel with the left to down shift and the right to shift up. You also have the option to drive with it in automatic or push the gear shifter to the side and select gears that way.
While it’s definitely not the same as driving a standard transmission, I can’t deny it. It was fun. I think with everything being equal if I had the option of either the dual clutch or a standard transmission, I would probably choose the old fashioned standard. However, I think I would be happy with the dual clutch system in the long run.
The acceleration was nice although, getting used to a turbo would definitely be odd. I think a turbo gauge will be a must have. From what I could tell, the cornering was nice. It definitely hugged the corners much better than my Explorer Sport (surprise, surprise). What little I was able to drive it definitely brought a smile to face.
My final thought on the Mitsubishi EVO MR:
It was fun to drive and I could see me owning one, but I wasn’t so taken in by it that I wanted to sit down and start talking numbers. I got enough of a taste that it’s definitely still on my list, but I think I would want to spend more than a few miles behind the wheel (maybe take it up Floyd Hill) before I’m completely sold on it.