If you consider all-wheel drive to be a key part of the Evolution and Ralliart package, the Lancer Evolution's only direct rival remains the 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
Relative to the Evo, the STI has a much smoother and quieter ride, along with a roomier, more comfortable interior.
That said, even if the STI is as fast as the Evo, its more refined feel might spoil the edgy, go-fast sensation that some are seeking in a vehicle such as these.
The Twin Clutch gearbox in the Evo remains a standout in this class—the WRX and STI don't even offer an automatic option—and makes it more fun as a track toy, thanks to its quick shifts, done so well as to not interrupt the tires' grip.
However, the Subaru is also tops in its class for safety, with top federal scores as well as IIHS accolades.
The GTI and Mazdaspeed3 have only front-wheel drive, which some will see as inferior.
There's also the new MazdaSpeed3, which feels more like a tuner special, with sharp reflexes and a powerful turbo engine, yet it manages impressive interior comfort and refinement.
The new Volkswagen GTI is more sophisticated than ever, with an excellent, almost luxurious interior, but it continues to feel a little too refined at times for this rowdy crowd.
|2011 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution / RalliartBrowse Used Listings||2011 Mazda MAZDASPEED3Browse Used Listings||2011 Volkswagen GTIBrowse Used Listings|
|21 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy|
|N/A||N/A||Gas Turbocharged I4|
|N/A||N/A||2-Door HB Manual|
|N/A||N/A||Front Wheel Drive|
|N/A||N/A||2 Door HB|