2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Review

Lancer Evolution

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2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Overview

Not much has changed for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution for 2012. In fact, other than some minor tweaks to option packages, the only changes revolve around lights. The MR trim adds an “Eco” light to alert the driver when he or she has moved from speed zone to the green zone (better fuel mileage), and the GSR trim gets an upshift light on the center display.

Mitsubishi offers only two trims for the Lancer Evolution in 2012—the GSR and the MR. Both have what Mitsubishi terms Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) and come equipped with a 291-hp turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter DOHC MIVEC 4-cylinder engine that achieves 300 lb-ft of torque. The GSR comes standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, while the MR gets a 6-speed twin-clutch Sportronic transmission. Each trim runs on regular gas, and both are rated to get 17 mpg city. The GSR is estimated at 23 mpg highway, while the MR is estimated at 22.

The GSR has a number of standard equipment selections to keep owners comfortable and their new vehicle looking stylish. These include air conditioning, power windows with driver’s side auto-up/down function, power door locks, keyless entry with a panic alarm, a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel with audio and cruise control switches, Recaro semi-bucket racing seats with fixed headrests, auto-off halogen headlights, a rear spoiler, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a rear window defroster, aluminum roof, hood and front fenders, a rear diffuser with dual exhaust outlets, a 140-watt audio system with 6 speakers, AM/FM/CD/MP3 capability, digital signal processor, and speed-compensated volume and equalization, Fuse Hands-free Link System with USB port and 18-inch Enkei cast aluminum alloy wheels with Yokohama Advan tires.

The MR trim has most of the same standard items as the GSR, adding magnesium steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, remote keyless entry with a panic alarm, bi-xenon HID auto-off headlamps, a rear lip spoiler, Bilstein struts and Eibach springs, 2-piece front brake rotors with alloy hats and 18-inch BBS forged aluminum alloy wheels with Yokohama Advan tires.

Mitsubishi allows owners to configure their Lancer Evolution a number of different ways to make it their own. Packages available include the Sight and Sound Package, which adds xenon HID headlamps with auto-off, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate performance audio system with 6-CD/MP3-compatible head unit and 9 speakers, including a 10-inch trunk-mounted subwoofer, Sirius XM satellite radio with a 3-month trial subscription and the Fast-Key electronic keyless entry and start system; the Sunroof & Leather Package, which adds a power glass sunroof with sunshade, heather leather seating surfaces and improved sound deadening; and the Navigation System Package, which adds a 40GB hard-drive-based navigation system with a music server and real-time traffic. Many of the package items can be added individually as well.

Safety and security are prime concerns at Mitsubishi, and the 2012 Lancer Evolution is no exception. Standard features include a 7-airbag safety system including advanced dual-stage front airbags with occupant seat position sensors, side-impact head protection curtain airbags for front and rear occupants, front seat-mounted side airbags, and a driver's knee airbag, interior head-impact protection, fog lights, a tire pressure monitoring system, Brembo sport antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, active stability control, an antitheft engine immobilizer and security alarm system, as well as the aforementioned keyless entry with panic alarm.

Handling and ride get top marks from current owners of the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, especially the steering's responsiveness. The S-AWC makes cornering and driving on varying terrains a breeze. What does not get good reviews from owners is the amount of road noise that seeps into the cabin, a problem that has plagued the Evo for a number of years.

With ample room for 5 passengers, the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution finds itself competing on equal footing with the likes of the BMW 135i Coupe, Lexus IS 350 and Subaru Impreza WRX STi. With a slightly lower sticker price, powerful turbocharged inline-4 engine and Mitsubishi’s signature S-AWC, the Evolution offers a lot of vehicle for the money and should definitely be given a look if you're in the market for a compact sports sedan.

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