Auto 2014
Auto 2014

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback (2009-) Review

We last drove the Ralliart Sportback as a pre-production car and even then it was shaping up to be a good compromise for someone who can't stretch to an Evo.

The prototypes had their flaws, though. The Ralliart's auto 'box blunted the 237bhp 2.0-litre turbo's performance, while others complained that Mitsubishi had gone too far in softening the Ralliart to make it palatable for the Golf GTI buyers and the like.

Mitsubishi listened and got to work. The finished Ralliart still sprints to 62mph in 7.1 seconds, but now boasts better gear ratios. Even more significantly, engineers have found the 'box is strong enough to take the full 253lb-ft of torque without the need for the pre-production car's torque limiter on first gear, promising for harder acceleration.

If that's not enough, the brakes have been boosted, suspension tweaked and it's competitively priced from £21,649 - that's £7,000 cheaper than the cheapest Lancer Evo and about £1,300 cheaper than the five-door Golf GTI.

So has Mitsubishi succeeded in providing an appetising cut-price alternative to one of the fastest, most accomplished four-door saloons ever made? Read on to find out.