2008 Subaru Impreza and 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer

Sam Smith
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2008 Subaru Impreza and 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer

If you'll forgive me for invoking a hallowed piece of genre-defining cinema, there's a moment in The Brady Bunch Movie that always tends to stick in my head. Jan Brady, the middle of three sisters, has grown mildly psychotic, and she's begun talking to herself. Her sister, Marcia, always seems to have the upper hand:

Jan (to herself): "She has every right to be mad; they are her socks. But why does Marcia get all the socks? Why does Marcia get all the trophies? Why does Marcia get all the good drawers?"

Jan (out loud): "Yeah, why does Marcia get everything? Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"

The poor kid then proceeds to go more than a little nuts. (The next Jan line that the Internet Movie Database shows in its list of Brady quotes is, "Watch my head spin! Kill! Kill! KILL!") For the most part, this is easy to understand. Older, prettier, luckier Marcia gets all the credit, gets all the guys, and generally lives the life of a privileged hottie. Jan, on the other hand, mostly wears glasses, walks into walls, and gets treated like a retarded elephant.

This, in turn, brings me to the Mitsubishi Lancer and the Subaru Impreza. Yep, you read that right: I said Lancer and Impreza with nary a hint of the words "Evolution" or "STI". These are the forgotten sisters, the base-model Jan Bradys of the hot-turbo-rally-clone world. They don't have turbochargers, fancy big-bolstered seats, or massive multi-piston brakes. They have no rally pedigree. These cars are almost perpetually ignored by the media and the public at large, cursed as they are with low horsepower numbers and a lack of drama. They do not, to coin a phrase, get all the good drawers.

This doesn't mean that they're bad cars. It's actually quite the opposite. The Lancer and Impreza are two of the best small, sporting econoboxes on the market, and both of them share a heck of a lot with their more expensive, better-known siblings. You can read our individual reviews of each car here and here, but it's worth taking a look at the two cars side by side. Let's go point by point:

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