Transmission:Auto, 6-Spd Sportronic
Fuel Efficiency:17 CITY / 22 HWY
I grew tired of my Mazda5 minivan with the stick and was looking to return to my days with turbos. I did not, however, want to return to European cars. I had already looked at the MazdaSpeed3, Subaru STi, and was thinking about the Ford Escort ST. I eliminated the Escort after checking out the interior of the Titanium model, which did not fit my needs. About a year ago, I stumbled upon a Mitsubishi dealership and decided to see what they had in stock. After the salesman showed me a few cars without sticks, he finally got the hint, and found me one with a 5-speed. (Some people think paddle-shifting is manual.) The Evo GSR was introduced to me as it rolled out the showroom doors. (I don't really like white cars, but this car looks great in Wicked White with that black intake upfront.) The huge wing caught my eye, and my sons were both completely captivated. The test drive sold me as I continued to get plastered into my seat. Having driven other turbo'd manual-trans cars, I really didn't experience the lag associated with taking off from a stop. The car handled like it was glued to the road around corners. I could feel every imperfection in the roads... I think you might be able to feel a marble if you ran over it. This car is not designed to take you from point A to point B. It has to be driven! I swapped the rubber out for a set of Conti DWSs. The ride is slightly softer with a bit less grip on dry pavement. But... In the snow this car chews up and spits out the snow with all-seasons on it. I have to clean off the front of my car after my commutes through snow storms. The only drawback: The car gets very dirty during the winter drives, no matter how easy you drive. In response to expert reviews: 1. The manual transmission only has 5 gears for a reason; strength. I believe the designers found the 6-speed couldn't cope with the HP and torque. There have been more than a few owners swapping out the 6-spd for the 5-spd. 2. The shifting is difficult. If you are merely driving around, you will need to be slow and deliberate in shifting this beast. If you want clean, smooth shifting, you will have more luck in the high RPM area under heavy acceleration. This is by design. Not everyone will fit comfortably into the driver seat. I am 5' 11" (200 lbs) with short legs and a big head. I find it very comfortable. That huge wing just happens to block the area where lights atop cop cars reside. I would swap it for the smaller optional Lancer (non-turbo) wing, but my son would probably throw a fit. The trunk is small, but I have reconfigured mine by removing the useless spare, and re-cutting the carpet. (I can always toss it back in should I decide to venture into the uncivilized world.) I have also added an ETS intake system to enhance performance. This car is not meant to be practical; although, I have occasionally managed 27 MPG on the highway. (One whomp on the throttle to pass some slowpoke, and the mileage takes a BIG hit.) I have two booster seats in the back for the kids with my daughter the only complainer: She has trouble clicking the seatbelt. I love this car. It's fun to drive, looks mean, performs well, and is great for my short commutes. The family and neighbors love the way it looks and sounds. I enjoy driving cars over having them drive me. My sports car is a two-seater 1965 Triumph Spitfire. NOTE: I never considered a European car in my search. My past experience as a mechanic on them was a big factor in that.Read more reviews at Cars.com
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