Subaru Impreza WRX STI vs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Subaru Impreza WRX STI vs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

Subaru Impreza WRX STI vs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

May 26, 2024

Subaru Impreza WRX STI vs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution: A Comparison Review of Performance, Styling, and Rally Heritage

This review compares the Subaru Impreza WRX STI vs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, highlighting their performance, styling, handling, value, and iconic rally heritage. Both models excel with robust turbocharged engines and advanced all-wheel-drive systems, making them top contenders in the high-performance sedan category.

The WRX STI boasts a 2.5-liter boxer engine for stability and sound, while the Lancer Evolution features a responsive 2.0-liter engine and superior handling dynamics. Each car has a distinctive style and maintains strong resale values, appealing to enthusiasts seeking the best all-around performance sedan. Whether you prefer the WRX STI’s usability and engine character or the Lancer Evolution’s sharp driving experience, this comparison review helps pinpoint the ideal model for you.

In the realm of high-performance sports cars, few rivalries are as celebrated or as fiercely contested as that between the Subaru & Evolution. These automotive titans have long been at the forefront of rally-inspired engineering, thrilling driving enthusiasts around the globe with their exceptional performance, distinctive styling, and deep-rooted rally heritage.

This article delves into a comprehensive review and comparison of all models of the Subaru WRX STI vs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, exploring each vehicle’s capabilities in terms of performance, aesthetic appeal, and their storied history in rally racing.

We will kick off our exploration with a detailed analysis of their performance metrics and design elements, providing insights into how these aspects contribute to their iconic status in the automotive world. Following that, our focus will shift to evaluating which of these legendary cars holds the title of the best all-around rally icon.

This includes a thorough examination of handling, value, and a comparison across all models. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of either brand or a newcomer curious about these rally giants, this article promises a riveting journey into the heart of automotive excellence. Join us as we explore which of these fierce competitors comes out on top in the ultimate battle of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Subaru Imprezza WRX STI vs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution: A Review of Performance, Styling, and Rally Heritage”

When considering high-performance sports sedans that blend everyday usability with rally-bred excitement, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution stand out as top contenders. This comparison review will delve into the performance, styling, handling, value, and rally heritage of all models of these iconic vehicles, helping potential buyers determine which might be the best all-around choice for their needs.


Both the WRX STI and the Lancer Evolution have earned their stripes with potent turbocharged engines and sophisticated all-wheel-drive systems, making them favorites among driving enthusiasts. Traditionally, the Subaru WRX STI is powered by a 2.5-liter boxer engine, renowned for its low center of gravity and robust power output, typically around 305 horsepower in later models.

On the other hand, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution counters with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, which, in its final iteration (the Evolution X), delivers around 291 horsepower. However, the Evolution often feels quicker in real-world scenarios thanks to its advanced dual-clutch transmission and lighter overall weight.


Styling is subjective, but both vehicles offer distinctive approaches. The WRX STI is known for its aggressive front fascia, hood scoop, and massive rear wing that make it instantly recognizable. The Lancer Evolution also features a performance-oriented design with a similarly assertive stance, vented fenders, and an iconic rear spoiler. Both models have interiors that focus on function over luxury, with sport seats, straightforward controls, and driver-oriented dash layouts.


Handling is a standout feature for both models, with each boasting all-wheel-drive systems that provide excellent grip and control. The Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is praised for its balance and predictability, while the Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control system offers sharp and responsive handling that can be fine-tuned through driver-selected modes. Both vehicles are equipped with stiff suspensions designed to handle high-speed cornering, though this setup can result in a ride that some may find too harsh for daily driving.


In terms of value, both the WRX STI and Lancer Evolution hold their value well, thanks largely to their loyal fan bases and limited production numbers. Initial costs can be high for newer models, especially in markets where these cars are in high demand, but owners often see this offset by strong resale values. Maintenance and running costs can be a consideration, as performance parts and specialized servicing can add up.

**Rally Heritage**

Rally heritage is where both models truly shine, each having a storied history in the World Rally Championship. This pedigree is reflected in their road-going versions, which offer an exhilarating mix of speed, agility, and ruggedness capable of handling both asphalt and gravel with ease.

The WRX STI’s heritage dates back to Subaru’s rally success in the 1990s, which continues to influence its design and technology. Similarly, the Lancer Evolution has been a formidable rally competitor, with numerous championships under its belt, shaping its development into a high-performance sedan.

In conclusion, choosing between the Subaru Impreza WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution comes down to personal preference regarding specific performance characteristics, styling, and brand loyalty.

Both cars offer thrilling performance, sharp handling, and a rich rally heritage, making them excellent choices for those seeking a sports sedan that’s capable of both exciting weekend drives and competent daily commuting. With their impressive all-around capabilities, these vehicles stand as monuments to their manufacturers’ engineering prowess and deep-rooted rally legacy.

Firstly, examining the performance of all models of the Subaru WRX STI and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution reveals a close match. Both cars are equipped with turbocharged engines and sophisticated all-wheel-drive systems that provide explosive acceleration and remarkable grip.

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Historically, the WRX STI has often featured a 2.5-liter boxer engine that delivers a distinctive rumble and a slightly lower center of gravity, enhancing stability. In contrast, the Lancer Evolution has typically utilized a 2.0-liter inline-four engine, which many praise for its rev-happy nature and immediate response.

Styling is another critical arena where these two models diverge. The Subaru Impreza WRX STI has consistently offered a more aggressive aesthetic, marked by its iconic hood scoop and widebody stance. On the other hand, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution opts for a slightly more understated but equally sporty appearance, with its sharp lines and functional aerodynamic enhancements like the rear spoiler.

Handling is a category where both vehicles excel, but their approaches differ subtly. The WRX STI is renowned for its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system that ensures balanced weight distribution, providing a confident and predictable handling character. Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution counters with its Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, which integrates active center differential, yaw control, and sport ABS to deliver razor-sharp handling dynamics that can be slightly more tailorable than the Subaru’s setup depending on the model and settings.

Regarding value, both cars have historically offered a lot of performance for their price tags, making them favorites among car enthusiasts who prize driving excitement over luxury. The WRX STI and Lancer Evolution have both maintained strong resale values, thanks to their cult-like followings and limited production numbers in later years. Additionally, both cars come with interiors that are more functional than luxurious, prioritizing straightforward controls and durable materials that can endure the rigors of spirited driving.

In summary, choosing between the Subaru Impreza WRX STI and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution often comes down to personal preference. The WRX STI might appeal more to those who value a unique engine sound and slightly better everyday usability, while the Lancer Evolution might be the choice for drivers who crave a more intense, sharp-edged rally car experience. Both vehicles uphold their rally heritage with pride and continue to be celebrated in the automotive community, making them top contenders for the title of the best all-around performance sedan.

In concluding our comprehensive comparison review of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI versus the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, it’s clear that both vehicles offer impressive attributes that stand out in the realms of performance, styling, and rally heritage. Each model brings a unique flair to the table, making the choice between them as much about personal preference as it is about technical specifications.

The Subaru WRX STI, with its robust rally heritage and dynamic handling, proves to be a formidable contender. Its all-around performance is balanced by a distinctive style that appeals to enthusiasts looking for a blend of tradition and innovation. On the other hand, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution offers a slightly different take on performance with its razor-sharp handling and aggressive styling, making it a favorite for those who prioritize a sporty driving experience.

When weighing value, both models present compelling arguments. The Subaru Impreza WRX STI often edges ahead with a slightly more refined interior and a reputation for durability that can translate to better long-term value. Meanwhile, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, often praised for its immediate and exhilarating driving experience, might appeal more to those looking for high performance right off the showroom floor.

Ultimately, choosing the best all-around vehicle between the Subaru Impreza WRX STI and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution comes down to what the driver values most in a car. Whether it’s the rally-bred excitement of the Subaru or the aggressive, sport-oriented nature of the Mitsubishi, both models continue to embody the spirit of their storied pasts while delivering modern performance and style. For enthusiasts of rally-inspired vehicles, making a choice between these two titans will always be a thrilling dilemma.

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