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There are some who find a few extra tenths on the back of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X’s 0-60mph time to be seriously, tremendously disappointing. Nevertheless, the Evo X possesses far more potential than any Lancer Evolution that came before. Meanwhile, the garden-variety Mitsubishi Lancer is more competitive in North America than it’s ever been.

Mitsubishi has given the Lancer a desirable image. That means a lot in a segment that is absolutely bursting at the seams (Civic, Corolla, Focus, Astra, 3, Impreza, SX4, Cobalt….) and features May’s best-selling car. Mitsubishi will chuck the Lancer Sportback into this field as an alternative that not all the big names possess. Prepare for some American media to treat the Lancer Sportback vs. Toyota Matrix comparisons as dull. 

Forget that: having space for your friends, your stuff, their stuff, and some decent fuel economy all at the same  time is nothing to sneeze at. Drawing some connections between the Evo X and the run-of-the-mill Lancer will be the Lancer Sportback Ralliart. 237 horsepower from its turbo 2.0L will meet all-wheel drive and Mitsu’s direct-shift gearbox.