Flash Drive: 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2010 to 2012.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Lancer Ralliart Sportback is new for 2010 and provides all the turbocharged fun you'd expect, with added utility in the rear. In addition to the spacious cargo area out back, Mitsubishi has made a few style updates; most noticeable is the trip computer readout, which is now much easier to read. The Recaro seats are a tight fit, but after a 200-mile drive, I found them to be much more comfortable than expected. The Ralliart's 237-horsepower engine teams perfectly with Mitsubishi's Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission. Shifts are extremely quick, either executed manually via column-mounted paddles or in automatic mode, which even blips the throttle for ultrasmooth downshifts. Handling is excellent, with great grip. The ride is a bit stiff, but still comfortable for long trips. I expected fuel economy to be a bit better, though - I averaged 25 mpg in mostly highway driving. Regardless, fewer miles per gallon is a tradeoff I'd be willing to make to get the fun-to-drive performance offered by this sporty Lancer. —Perry Stern
Even though it's toned down a notch from the near legendary Lancer Evolution, the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is still a serious performance car and a much easier car to live with on an everyday basis than the Evo. It brings an additional dose of functionality to the equation with the hatchback body style. Don't be deceived by the additional practicality; the Ralliart Sportback still packs a punch with its 237-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. The Ralliart Sportback is so quick, precise and downright fast that it's a challenge not to switch into boy racer mode every time you slide behind the wheel — it's just so much more capable than most of the other vehicles on the road. If you're looking for a sports car but need to be practical, the Lancer Ralliart might just be the perfect combination. —Mike Meredith
The Lancer Sportback Ralliart is for those who like to have their cake and eat it, too — in this case, drivers who like to have confident handling and quick acceleration combined with the all-around utility of a hatchback. The Sportback Ralliart is fast, and its Sportronic Shift Transmission gives the driver a clutchlike experience while providing the fuel efficiency of a smart automatic transmission. The interior is functional but plain. The firm Recaro seats provide ample lateral support for aggressive driving, but can obscure over-the-shoulder views during day-to-day commutes. There is decent room for two adults in the back seat, and those seats can be folded down for extra storage space. Definitely check out the Lancer Sportback Ralliart if you are considering a Subaru Impreza WRX wagon. —Joe Chulick