Budget Rally Cars: Subaru WRX vs Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

Comparing the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart to the Subaru WRX

Comparing the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart to the Subaru WRX

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The largest problem with the WRX STi and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (Evo X) is the ticket price. The entry price into these two starts at little under $35K and that is getting up into luxury car territory.

There are, however, more budget oriented sedans. When the Mitsubishi released Lancer Ralliart in 2009, they could now compete with the standard WRX that the U.S. has been enjoying since 2002. So the Sports Car Monitor decided to take a look at how The Car Connection Bottom Lines for the two 2010 models stack up against each other.

In the looks department, the Lancer is the obvious winner. Straight out of the gate, the WRX Bottom Line points out that the cars have slowly become bland and ordinary looking, though the hatchback being a bit sportier. The Lancer is described on the other hand as looking like “more like well-done tuner cars than sophisticated performance machines.”

The WRX is making more horsepower, with 265 hp from its turbocharged flat four. The Ralliart makes due with a little about 30 hp less, with 237. Transmissions couldn’t be less different between the two: The WRX has a five speed manual or four speed automatic, the Ralliart only comes with a six-speed, dual-clutch, semi-automatic which is shared with the Evo X. The Bottom line suggests that both are snappy drivers, but the WRX has some noticeable turbo lag while the Ralliart is tuned for more low-to-mid range power.

In the handling territory, both cars seem to a good job of offering a decent road holding while soaking up bumps and ruts that are found on everyday roads, though the Ralliart is mentioned of being more skittish on bumpy turns compared to the WRX.

The WRX definitely wins in the interior quality category. The Ralliart is remarked with having an abundance of cheap, hollow, hard plastic interior trim and high wind/road noise. The only good interior bit is the recommended optional Recaro seats offered in the Evo trim.  The WRX may not be the best, but with no qualms over quality, it gets the thumbs up.

The WRX also beats the Ralliart in safety. Though no slouch, the Mitsubishi gets mixed 4-to-5 star crash ratings while the WRX gets nothing but top marks according to the Bottom Line.

The Ralliart seems to come better equipped with Bluetooth and automatic climate control. However, the starting price of the Ralliart at $27,190 is more expensive than the base WRX’s $24,995, so more standard equipment is expected.

The winner is not that easy to determine. Much like the Ford vs Chevy fight that has gone on for ages, you are either a Subaru fan or a Mitsubishi fan. But you probably can’t go wrong with these two budget rally cars.

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