New Car Reviews

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR – Four Seasons Update – April 2009

Long-Term 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Update: Spring 2009 ( 3 of 5 ) Miles to date: 0

Months in Fleet: Nine
Mileage to Date: 23,420

Last month we reported that our Four Seasons Evolution MR was getting ready to don its summer rubber again, but before we made the tire swap, Web producer Evan McCausland put the snow tires to good use while driving through a snow storm en route to the 2008 New York auto show: “As other drivers slammed on their brakes in horror, I simply smiled,” he recalled.

McCausland’s smile faded, though, once he made it to Manhattan, where the Evo did not shine as brightly. “Stop-and-go traffic means you’ll never leave second gear,” kvetched the first-time visitor to the Big Apple, “and the car is violently jarred by large potholes.” What’s more, the Evo’s twin-clutch transmission is almost universally loathed right now. The transmission seems to be freewheeling longer than ever between gearchanges, and the clutch likes to slip a lot before the car starts to accelerate from a stop. We plan to get the transmission fluid changed to see if that improves the response.

As we mentioned last month, our Evo doesn’t actually fit everyone on staff. Diminutive production editor Jennifer Misaros is one of those who can’t get comfortable in the Evo: “The positives rarely outweigh the negatives, unless I’m bombing down a curvy back road, and even then, it’s hard to enjoy the Evo because the lack of seat/steering wheel adjustability makes it nearly impossible for me to get comfortable.” The Recaro seats have been praised by others, but those positive comments only come from staffers who are several inches taller than Misaros, who is five feet, four inches. A vertical adjustment for the bucket seats would remedy this problem, we think.

Assistant editor David Zenlea sums up the general sentiment for the Evo by saying, “I would be all over this if it were $15,000 cheaper and had a manual transmission.” While the “base” Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR isn’t quite $15,000 cheaper, its $33,685 base price is much more palatable and there’s also a $2000 factory rebate on the car until June 1. Is it possible we’ve signed up for a year in the wrong Evo?

Evolution MR

Base Price: $38,965
As Tested: $41,515

Body Style: 4-door sedan
Accommodation: 5 passenger
Construction: Steel unibody

Engine: DOHC 16-valve turbocharged I-4
Displacement: 2.0 liters
Power: 291 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 300 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic
Drive: All-wheel
Fuel Economy: 17/22/19 (city/highway/combined)

Steering: Power rack-and-pinion
Turns lock-to-lock: 2.27
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft
Suspension, Front: Strut-type, coil spring
Suspension, Rear: Multi-link, coil-spring
Brakes, F/R: Ventilated disc, two-piece rotor/ventilated disc; ABS
Wheels: 18 x 8.5 in BBS forged alloy
Tires: Yokohama ADVAN
Tire size: 245/40YR-18

Headroom F/R: 40.6/36.9 in
Legroom F/R: 42.3/33.3 in
Shoulder room F/R: 54.7/54.3 in
Wheelbase: 104.3 in
Track F/R: 60.8/60.8 in
L x W x H: 177 x 71.3 x 58.3 in
Cargo Capacity: 6.9 cu ft
Weight: 3594 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 57.4/42.6%
Fuel Capacity: 14.5 gallons
Est. Range: 275 miles
Fuel Grade: 91 octane

Standard Equipment
Front, side, side curtain, and knee airbags
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Front and rear limited slip Differentials
Active center differential
Bluetooth handsfree communication
Automatic A/C
Cruise Control
Recaro front sports seats
HID headlights

Technology Package, $2550
   Navigation with 30 GB hard drive
   650-watt Rockford-Fosgate 9-speaker sound system with subwoofer
   Sirius satellite radio

Test Results:
0-60 MPH: 5.3sec
0-100 MPH: 14.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.1 @ 99 mph
30-70 Passing: 6.3 sec
Speed in Gears: 1) 45; 2) 82; 3) 108; 4) 100; 5) 100 mph
Cornering L/R: 0.97/0.96 g
70-0 Braking: 156 ft
Peak Braking: 1.06