2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

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$27,929

starting MSRP

2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Performance
  • Handling
  • Recaro front seats

The bad:

  • Pending further review

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • 276-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Rallye-racing heritage
  • Standard AWD
  • Brembo brakes
  • MR Edition new for 2005

2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Mitsubishi, the troubled Japanese automaker, is likely eager for any bit of good news, and I’m about to give the company a little: The 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR, an exhilarating sedan for The Fast and the Furious crowd, has plenty of fans.

One solemn, steely-eyed young man looked over my test Evolution MR. He said, “You have a very fast car.”

I replied: “Yes. Yes, I do.”

Unfortunately for Mitsubishi, he was the cashier at the local Taco Bell drive-through, and unless he’s working the late-night shift as a hobby, I doubt that he can afford the $35,594 price tag. He and I, then, are in the same boat: We like the Evo MR a lot, but we can’t afford it.

This is not to say the Evo MR is overpriced, because for what it is, and what it can do, the price is in the ballpark. It’s an all-wheel-drive rocket ship that Mitsubishi has created from the modest Lancer econo-sedan, thanks to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 276 horsepower, and a host of name-brand bits and pieces that add dramatically to the car’s credibility.

You might not appreciate it when I tell you that the 17-inch forged alloy wheels are from BBS, the high-performance tires are Yokohama, the seats are from Recaro, the shock absorbers are made by Bilstein, the brakes are ventilated Brembos, the steering wheel is from Momo, and the enormous, cartoonish rear wing is made from genuine carbon fiber. But rest assured these are ultra-premium brands, and this is the sort of equipment performance-minded buyers tend to add to their cars. Mitsubishi has done it for you already.

The price does not, however, include side air bags, cruise control or a sunroof.

This also calls for a Parent Alert: Your teen can find a nice, moderately boring Mitsubishi Lancer with a 2.0-liter, 120-horsepower engine for about $14,500. Before you co-sign for the loan, you might want to make sure that the brochure is not for a Lancer Evolution instead of a sensible-shoes ES, because if it is, go ahead and put some extra money aside for deservedly astronomical insurance rates. And bail. This is a serious car.

There are several models of the Evolution, with the MR being the king, as the $800 MR package adds a six-speed manual transmission instead of the five-speed, plus several other, lesser features, including some amusing little “vortex generator” fins at the top of the rear window that supposedly channel air to the big rear spoiler. The six-speed is a nice thing to have, as it maximizes the engine’s considerable potential. Despite the power, fuel mileage is a not-terrible 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg in the highway. (“See, Mom and Dad? It gets 26 miles to the gallon!”)

Inside, there’s no hiding the fact that the Evo MR starts life as an economy car, but the trim, gauges and switchgear are all nicely done. One disappointment was the six-speaker stereo: It just sounded tinny. The Recaro buckets seats are superb.

As you might anticipate, handling is race-carlike, but the ride, though stiff, isn’t uncomfortable. This little engine loves to rev, and the slick-shifting gearbox encourages it. This is a very nicely executed car, less frantic than the comparable Subaru Impreza WRX STi. The Subaru is a little faster, but daily, I’d rather live with the Evo.

Look for one parked outside your neighborhood Taco Bell, and inside, look for a very weary young man working double shifts to afford it. The Evo is that kind of car.

Sentinel Automotive Editor Steven Cole Smith’s TV reports air Wednesdays on Central Florida News 13.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.9
  • Interior design 3.7
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.2
  • Exterior styling 4.4
  • Reliability 4.0

Most recent consumer reviews

4.7

Most reliable turbo sports car I ever owned.

Super simple to drive, great visibility, never seen the CEL in years of driving a modified car, absolutely love this car. Simple to work on, loads of great aftermarket parts, handles like on rails, keeps up or beats higher end cars. I've outpaced everything that asked... With a nice turbo, cams and tune. Car will pull so hard, and still be daily driven

5.0

Fastest car I've owned

This car met all my needs when it came to style and speed. It is absolutely beautiful inside and out and is not your ordinary four door commuter.

5.0

AWD, 4 Doors, 300+ HP = This Amazing Evo

I absolutely love this car and I'm only selling it because of my knee injury (Clutch is a heavy one). I would recommend this car to any of my friends and it was a dream car of mine.

See all 14 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Mitsubishi
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Remainder of original 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain
Remainder of original 10-year/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
123-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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