The closest rival to the Lancer is probably the Subaru Impreza; a couple of years ago Subaru added a SVT and boosted its highway mileage up to 36 mpg in those versions.
At the same time its design, interior, and refinement were all improved upon, frankly leaving the more basic Lancers in the dust.
The performance-oriented WRX and WRX STI, which compared to the Ralliart and Evolution, have remain a bit stronger in straight-line acceleration compared to the Evo, although many enthusiasts prefer the sharper feel of the Evo.
The 2014 WRX gets all-new styling that should jump solidly ahead of the Evo in styling and design.
The Impreza offers all-wheel drive, even in its base form, while the Lancer only offers it in the SE, and in the performance models.
The Honda Civic got a surprising refresh for 2013 that improved on some of the inadequacies of the 2012; its quieter, more refined interior and improved feature set are hard to beat.
Meanwhile the new Nissan Sentra that was introduced this past year is bland, but a strong value in most respects.
Another alternative is the Volkswagen Jetta, which goes in a different direction with its torquey five-cylinder engine; in GLI trim, the Jetta package is more appealing than that of the Ralliart, and while it's not as crisp perhaps, it's far more refined and daily-driver usable.
And while the standard versions of the Ford Focus are a class above the Lancer in many ways, the Focus ST is a strong rival for the Ralliart--better in most respects, although some will like the Mitsubishi's excellent automated manual gearbox.
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|2014 Mitsubishi LancerBrowse Used Listings||2014 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2014 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings||2014 Nissan SentraBrowse Used Listings||2014 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings||2014 Volkswagen Jetta SedanBrowse Used Listings|
|18 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||27 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy|
|Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded H-4||Regular Unleaded I-4|
|Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars||Mid-Size Cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars|
|4-Door Sedan Manual ES FWD||4-Door Sedan S||4-Door Manual LX||4-Door Sedan I4 Manual S||4-Door Manual 2.0i||4-Door Manual Base|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|