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William Maley

Review: 2015 Mitusbishi Lancer Evolution MR

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The end of an era is upon us. After this year, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution will be no more. The model which was first introduced back in 1992 for the Japanese marketplace, was a technological tour-de-force with a turbocharged four-cylinder, all-wheel drive, and a limited slip differential. From there, Mitsubishi would introduce a number of new technologies such as traction control, YAW control, and a dual-clutch automatic. But Mitsubishi hasn’t done much with the Lancer Evolution in the past few years, instead changing its focus to electrics and crossovers. So before the Lancer Evolution heads up to the great parking lot in the sky, we decided to say farewell by driving an MR for a week.

 

As the name suggests, the Lancer Evolution is based on the Lancer compact sedan. Not a bad place to start since the Lancer is a distinctive looking sedan, despite being the oldest design in the class. From there, Mitsubishi makes some changes with a new grille and hood to improve cooling of the engine. The side boasts new skirts and a set of multi-spoke, lightweight BBS wheels. Towards the back, Mitsubishi fits a rear diffuser and twin exhaust system. MR models get a small lip spoiler on the hood. Those wanting the big wing will need to go with the base GSR model. These changes make the Lancer Evolution a standout in the Mitsubishi lineup.

 


2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR 14

Moving inside, you can’t help but feel massive disappointment. The Evolution has the same problems as the standard Lancer with cheap feeling and looking plastics throughout the material. You can’t help but question why anyone would spend almost $40,000 if it includes materials like this. At least Mitsubishi did use some better materials on the door panels and fitted a set of Recaro bucket seats up front. The bucket seats provide the right amount of bolstering to keep you and your passenger locked in when driving. The back seat is best used for emergencies as space is very much at a premium.

 

No matter which trim of the Lancer Evolution you decide to get, it will come with a 6.1-inch touchscreen and Mitsubishi’s FUSE hands-free system, which allows an owner to connect their Bluetooth phone and/or USB device to the vehicle and control them via voice command. I found this system to be somewhat hit and miss as it doesn’t always recognize what you’re saying, even if you are doing it as clear and concise as you can. The touchscreen system is not the most responsive and the interface looks like it came from the Windows 3.1 era.

 

See the next page for thoughts on the powertrain and handling.






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Still, hate to say I am going to miss it.....

 

I am as well. For all the problems it had, I'm glad I the opportunity arose for me to drive it. 

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I think time has passed this car by. Or perhaps Mitsubishi's lack of investment in it. But 10 years ago the Lancer was making near 300 HP, which was like Mustang V8 power. 300 HP was a lot in 2005, and all wheel drive grip wasn't common either in sports cars. The performance level was huge compared to other 2005 sedans under $40k.

Fast forward to today and a lot of cars have all wheel drive and 270 HP, you can get an A4 or ATS for $40k. The Lancer Evo sat still, the world has passed it by.

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