I haven't driven a Mitsubishi Lancer in quite a while and, because the Lancer Evolution lacks seat-height adjustment, I was prepared to be a bit uncomfortable behind the wheel when I signed out the GTS for the night. Fortunately for shorter people like me, this less-focused-but-still-sporty Lancer model comes with the full array of seat adjusters. In fact, overall this entire package is far more enjoyable as a daily driver than the high-strung Evo.
The 168-hp normally aspirated four-cylinder is far less powerful than the Evo's turbocharged 291-hp unit, but it certainly is no slouch. It definitely works hard and requires frequent shifting to get the most out of it, but the standard five-speed manual's shifter has good feel and weight, and clutch takeup is natural, so it's quite entertaining to run up and down the gears. The engine sounds good, too, and the extra sound deadening and thicker windshield in this GTS were evident the first time I reached the top of the rev range and my ears weren't ringing.
With a base price of under $20,000, the entertaining GTS is a fairly low-priced way to get a piece of Mitsubishi's rally heritage while not having to sacrifice fuel economy and comfort.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor