2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution / Ralliart vs. Its Competition

2011 Mitsubishi Lancer 5dr HB TC-SST Ralliart AWD Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX and STI are direct rivals to the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and Evolution.

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.

The Volkswagen GTI and MazdaSpeed3 have front-wheel drive, which limits their appeal in some respects, even though they're both a blast to drive.

The Speed3 feels more like a tuner special, with sharp reflexes and a powerful turbo engine, yet it manages impressive interior comfort and refinement; the GTI, on the other hand, is the more sophisticated choice, with an almost luxurious interior.

Another more sophisticated-feeling choice is the BMW 1-Series M (!M), which is by some accounts one of the best, most fun-to-drive track vehicles at any price.

2011 Mitsubishi Lancer 5dr HB TC-SST Ralliart AWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution / Ralliart
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2012 BMW 1-Series Coupe and Convertible2012 BMW 1-Series
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2012 Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv2012 Mazda MAZDA3
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2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza
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2011 Volkswagen GTI2012 Volkswagen GTI
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Quick Specs
The 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Ralliart might not make the best daily drivers, but they're among the most athletic, track-ready performers for the money.
If you can get past the often-confusing iDrive system, the 2012 BMW 1-Series offers a great blend of style, power, handling, and luxury at a sometimes reasonable, sometimes objectionable price.
With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.
Crisply restyled, with higher gas mileage, more space inside, a nicer interior, and all-wheel drive standard, the 2012 Subaru Impreza is a newly compelling compact alternative.
It isn't the fastest or flashiest sporty hatchback around, but the 2012 Volkswagen GTI may well be the most balanced, carrying forward its legacy into the 21st century.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy
Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I6Gas I4Gas Flat 4Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class    
CompactSubcompactCompactCompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan Manual GSR2-Door Coupe 128i SULEV4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Manual 2.0i2-Door HB Manual
All Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door Sedan2 Door Coupe4 Door SedanSedanHatchback
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution / Ralliart vs. 2012 BMW 1-Series2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution / Ralliart vs. 2012 Mazda MAZDA32012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution / Ralliart vs. 2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution / Ralliart vs. 2012 Volkswagen GTI