Test Drive: Mitsubishi Evolution X GSR

Did I mention I drove a 2011 Mitsubishi Evolution X GSR this weekend? It’s a great looking car but what a pile of shit. Shutting the doors sound like dropping an empty tin can. The windows motors were reluctant to do their job. The front seats offered zero adjustability other than forward, back and recline angle. The stereo was garbage with no tone or zone adjustability. The door cards and dash were all made from the same hard plastic used mold office phone handsets and the steering wheel was thin enough for my 15 mo old daughter to get a solid grip.

Okay, the Evo is not garbage but it is obvious where Mitsubishi’s head was at when developing this car. The Evolution is reasonably comfortable once you dial in the Recaro seats. Can’t speak for the back seats but I’d imagine them to be no more comfortable than what you’d find in a base model Nissan Sentra. The clutch is soft enough for daily driver duty with a high engagement point. Typically I like the engagement to start low just as I release the pedal but with my driving position I found the high point acceptable.

The engine provides loads of power in the mid range from 3-5k RPM. Torque then falls off a cliff but the engine continues to pull redline. Shift and do it again. The 5-speed transmission whines ever so slightly and the interior does get quite buzzy above 5k. I don’t think an ounce of sound deadening could be found on this car. In the name of weight reduction!

Around town, the 5-speed is easy to row through the gears. With all the power in the mid range, I understand why Mitsubishi opted not to use the 6-speed. Closer gear ratios would simply be too much shifting and not benefit the power band of this engine. Cruising on the highway, I found the Evo to have plenty of passing power in 5th. At those speeds I would have liked a 6th gear if for nothing more than better fuel economy.

I may have only driven the Evo X on the highway but I did chew up and spit out four S shaped exit ramps. Good God. That is what the Evo does. I took an exit ramp that I would normally hit at 65 in my M3 at nearly 85 in this Evo… on all-season Pirelli P6 tires, no less! It was unworldly. And I had to do it again. Just when you feel the front end should be losing grip, the Evo claws for more. Every mechanical sound echoes through the cabin. Good thing these Recaro seats have hellacious bolsters.

In short, the Evolution X is ridiculous. If you live on the top of a mountain and need to get up and down it in a fucking hurry, this is your ride.

  1. Great page! After years of begging my dad for an Evo or STi, he finally test drove both and got the new 2015 WRX STi, by the way it’s much much better than the new WRX by miles, I don’t think you would’ve been disappointed like you were with the WRX.

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