There's no debate about the performance of the Mitsubishi Ralliart Sportback-with 237-turbocharged horsepower, it has plenty of power. It's really a great alternative for buyers who can't justify spending $40k on a Lancer Evolution. I consider myself a fan of hatchbacks, as I've owned four of them, but after spending the extended Christmas weekend with the Ralliart Sportback, I found the Mitsubishi hatchback design doesn't offer as much storage room as I've come to expect from a typical hatch. The car's low roofline and awkwardly slopped hatch make the opening rather small, so larger items are difficult to fit.
The Recaro package is a necessity; the sporty seats give tons of bolster support and feel as though you just slipped into a rally car. But they aren't very comfortable for long drives and with their skinny design, you either fit or you don't, there's no in between. The package also includes HID headlamps and a ridiculous 710-watt sound system, although, granted it does sound pretty darn good.
Like to our departed long-term Evo, the Ralliart's dual-clutch transmission has column-mounted paddle shifters and begs to be played with, but this transmission seems more refined than our Evo's. It feels less clumsy, especially from a stop, in part due to the less aggressive programming.
Mike Ofiara, Road Test Coordinator