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WRX STI vs Lancer EVO X: Which Rallycar belongs in your garage?

The all-new 2015 Subaru WRX STI is getting ready to make its dealer launch, and the 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is making its last hurrah. Which would you buy?


You can order the all-new 2015 Subaru WRX STI now, and the last-generation 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution will be launching later this year. Both Rally-bred performance cars are worthy of consideration if you are looking for true race-tested all-wheel-drive performance car. But this is the last time the two cars will be offered together in the same model year, because Mitsubishi is dropping the Lancer EVO after the 2015 model year. So this is the last chance to compare the two iconic cars side by side. Which performance car would you buy?

2015 SUBARU WRX STI Sedan ($34,495)

  • Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder Subaru Boxer
  • Horsepower: 305 HP @ 6,000 rpm
  • Power to weight ratio: 11.1 lbs/HP
  • Torque: 290 lb ft. @ 4,000 rpm
  • All-wheel-drive: Symmetrical AWD with helical limited-slip front, Torsen limited slip rear and electronically controlled center differentials
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Electronic Torque Vectoring VDC: Standard
  • Driver Control Systems:

2014 Mitsubishi EVO GSR Sedan ($34,995)

  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 291 HP @ 6,500 rpm
  • Power to weight ratio: 12.1 lbs/HP
  • Torque: 300 lb ft. @ 4,000 rpm
  • All-wheel-drive: S-AWC AWD with open front, electronically controlled center and rear differentials
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual, or Twin-Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST). Automatic available only on the MR model ($38,195)
  • Electronic Torque Vectoring VDC: Standard via Active Yaw Control

Sure there are other cars out in this category, but do they really match up with these two rally-tested performance cars? The other cars on the list could include the 256 hp 2014 VW Golf R 5-door that comes with the 4 Motion permanent AWD system, the 220 hp 2014 Audi A4 2.0T Sedan with Quattro AWD and the 300 hp 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Sedan with xDrive AWD.

Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution are close enough in terms of power and torque and their off-road all-wheel-drive capabilities, that it makes this a difficult choice to make if you don’t have allegiances to one brand. Both performance cars have been rally-tested since the early to mid 90s and have the pedigree to make them worthy of consideration. And both have received plenty of WRC championships between them to fill a trophy case. Which Rallycar would you park in your garage? Or if you wouldn’t choose either one, which performance car are you putting in your garage? Tell us your choice and why you think it’s the best.

Other 2015 Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution stories of interest.


Norman (not verified)    April 15, 2014 - 11:44PM

I own a 2014 Mitsubishi Evolution GSR and test drove a 2014 Subaru STI prior to purchase. The Evolution has more agile steering and handling, and connects to all of the driver inputs. It is true what critics say when they call the Evolution "raw" when compared to the STI. For those who want a blend of real world amenities, comfort and handling, then the STI, but for the true enthusiast strives for the best driving experience and willing to give up the everyday conveniences, then its the EVO. I am by no means bias in my opinion as I also own a 2008 Subaru Forester XT Stage 2 pro-tuned which I drive as my everyday car. So no allegiances to either brand, but more of an appreciation for two of the best Japanese car-makers!

Joe (not verified)    July 10, 2014 - 10:52PM

In reply to by Norman (not verified)

Norman, The 2015 STI is dramatically different than the 2014. The 2014 is often viewed by many of us Subaru fans as water downed. I think that is why the 2005 - 2007 STIs in particular have held their value so well (the 2004s to a lesser extent). The 2015 seeks to remedy a lot of the squishy-ness of the 2008 - 2014, so I would say that your 2014 to 2014 comparison isn't particularly relevant to the 2015 STI to 2014 or 2015 Evo. I hope to get out and drive both soon and see if the new STI can deliver, but I would also like to see some comparison tests that compare both thoroughly and see if the STI can finally lap faster than the Evo. Should be interesting when we see those comparisons.

hahm (not verified)    December 4, 2014 - 1:23PM

In reply to by Norman (not verified)

I am avid lancer fan over sti, but the ergonomic in lancer is for really short driver. If you are of average height, you will feel like sitting in a small box with legs flexed. No to evo unless steering column telescopes, and geat knob relocated backward by at least 3 inches.

Joshua (not verified)    September 13, 2014 - 7:42AM

I love blanket comments such as "the Evo is always better".

Well I'm here to set you straight. I'm a hard core Evolution fan. They have always been a more hardcore track focused version of the two. That said the 2015 STi has come leaps and bounds, and in my opinion spudded the Evo in both steering feel, chassis, and suspension geometry. Subaru has reduced the steering ratio similarly to match the Evo, so the turn in is fantastic, and they reduced the heavy feeling nose. Much more neutral feeling.

The Subaru transmission is something I swear was forged by god himself. It's direct, short, and overall feels absolutely amazing. The motor is the typical rumbley rough boxer motor, but inline old Subaru's (they enhance this) you can hear the turbo and bypass valve making it an even more joyous drive.

Without saying any of that, the first thing I noticed was the upscale interior, the huge electronic boost gauge, and the amazingly beautiful gauge cluster. Though I typically don't mind a minimillistic approach to a vehicles interior, I do respect and hope for good fit and finish. The STi does all of these things and does it well. Though the carbon fiber on the dash is fake - it looks real, compared to the cheesy plastic trim on the Evo. The three point steering wheel is nice on The Evo but the Subaru flat bottom with ergo grips is way nicer. Thought the seats are not labeled as Recaro on the STi, my Evo seats actually started to fall apart (someone OCD like me, that was a problem). I love the new STi and can't wait to get it.

I owned the X for 3 years, and I have just put my deposit on a 2015 STi.

James (not verified)    September 16, 2014 - 7:36PM

In reply to by Joshua (not verified)

Sorry to hear that you have put a deposit down on a car that was "made more like an evo" but still not quite an Evo. An STI is not a true rally car (2.0l 300 or less hp) and hence it will never have that aggressive raw feel off the lot. Obviously you haven't done much homework on the 2015 STI because the engine no longer makes that trademark awesome rumble :( they got rid of the unequal length headers and instead put in a "sound tube" that directs engine noise into the car...LAME. I could be completely wrong and maybe this new STI will be a beast...*fingers crossed*...but comparing it to an Evo at this point is just stupid. I don't know if anyone noticed but the 2015 STI looks like a Honda civic had a baby with an Evo...clever marketing scheme eh???

BonesDT (not verified)    November 10, 2014 - 7:24AM

In reply to by thatguy (not verified)

"An STI is not a true rally car (2.0l 300 or less hp)"

Yes, that was his point. He meant the US-Spec STi does NOT have a 2.0L engine with 300hp or less, which were the WRC restrictions pre-2011. I think WRC is further restricted to 1.6L - 300hp or less now, so the stock Evo doesn't qualify either.

giannis kazia (not verified)    August 2, 2016 - 12:48AM

In reply to by thatguy (not verified)

Buddy always the subaru had given us more horsepower. My family is into rally and my father owned many cars and still owns an evo9. Always even in WRC the Mitsubishi car was getting and showing better results. Throughout the subaru models, each one of them had given more power than the evos BUT again the way the evos are made work (and by the way they give more torque and have better ballance) is a lot better. Google it a bit more and you will see. I am saying mu opinion based on facts, experiences and searching throughout my life

EvolutionMitch (not verified)    January 22, 2017 - 5:57AM

In reply to by thatguy (not verified)

Haha good one bro. I remember my first car.. it's sad a 2.5 liter boxer barely out powers a 2.0 liter and makes 10lb less torque you idiot... so thank you for coming bro. Get your specs str8 troll

Jake (not verified)    April 3, 2015 - 8:08AM

In reply to by James (not verified)

Very true on the civic evo baby lmao, gotta say the new 2015 was a disappointment in looks, but talking about the engine noise, we all know how turbocharging an engine is going to make it more quiet, and a large portion of the time, you end up putting (aftermarket) equal length headers on anyway for better in essance, sti gives you a "half aftermarket-ish stock enhancement" ...however, Subaru did have cut back on certain things to make it more evo-ish so you can actually compare them LMAO (just kidding) but in all respects, being an sti fan, both the sti and evo will go down in history as two of the biggest icons in rally... P.S. Subaru had only hit its 40th year mark and already won 3 back-to-back championships (hence the fact the came out with the limited 22B)

Chris (not verified)    May 27, 2015 - 10:11AM

In reply to by James (not verified)

The 2.0L FA20 engine in the base WRX has equal length headers, the STi still has the old 2.5L EJ with unequal length headers.
"Obviously you haven't done much homework on the 2015 STI because the engine still makes that trademark awesome rumble :) "

You can't judge a car that you haven't driven, or compare it to another car you haven't given, with such authority. Obviously he has driven the Evo X and the STi and prefers the STi.

Anthony (not verified)    November 12, 2015 - 2:37PM

In reply to by James (not verified)

I do agree on the fact that subaru redirected the sound from the engine was dumb, because the brz has like NO sound being projected from the engine, but I am still a big subaru fan. I'm not saying that I dislike the Evo, just that I prefer subaru over mitsubishi. I have rode in both models, and I love the responsiveness of subaru's transmission, and the steering quality on the evo is awesome. Just imagine what they would make if they combine...

Elliot O (not verified)    March 26, 2016 - 4:03AM

In reply to by James (not verified)

Actually the new Stis don't actually sound that bad, different yes not bad. Very fast too in stock form. I wouldn't put an evo better than a new sti but I wouldn't put it at any less....

mark slaney (not verified)    October 18, 2014 - 8:33AM

In reply to by Joshua (not verified)

If you really owned and Evo you wouldn't be talking trash about it and would realize it's a superior track car and why even bring up interior quality that has nothing to do with a good track car.

mark slaney (not verified)    January 6, 2015 - 7:12PM

In reply to by Joshua (not verified)

The new Sti has come very close almost as if they were copying the Evo .The Evo is still a little more focused on what its known for but not by much .As far as looks go you decide Subaru has much work to do still .

EvolutionMitch (not verified)    January 22, 2017 - 5:52AM

In reply to by Joshua (not verified)

Go ahead and conform like everyone else. U want all the tech, go ahead cause that's what you are paying for. When you buy an EVO, you know what you are buying: engine, transmission, drive train, brakes.. all the other stuff is looks and that's an STI.. just looks with equal power but if it's so great. Why do they keep changing it? I love that the evo stays the same awhile. No bullshit that way, you know what your paying for. No need to second guess it.

Mike (not verified)    September 20, 2014 - 10:56AM

What makes you think the sti has a 2.0? Pretty sure a wrx does yes. But an sti has a 2.5. Everyone's entitled to there own opinion but if u drive a Subaru and drive an evo. There really isn't a huge noticeably difference in the two cars. Both have great handing and amazing power and enough torque to throw you in your seat. We buy these cars to modify them not to keep them stock so how the car Handles and drives and accelerates is ultimately up to you and how deep your pockets are...

Mark Slaney (not verified)    October 18, 2014 - 10:25AM

The STI is trying to be an Evo and it has sucedded in being a cheap rip off as one .Only one Evo and it will die as one of the most awesome cars ever produced in terms of handling.

sergio (not verified)    November 9, 2014 - 7:21PM

Ive ripped the evos with my wrx 02 from the start, i think the evos are slow off the line. Sti 2015 is very fast

big boi (not verified)    January 22, 2017 - 3:09PM

In reply to by sergio (not verified)

Evos are slow off the line because the engines are made for mid to high rpm range. In a race car, off the line means nothing. If you launch an Evo from proper racing rpm, its faster then an STI launched, but yes if I cruise off a stop light and then floor it, a guy on a skate board could beat me to 20mph lol. Its a difference in priority, Evo's are not designed to be redlight racers like a lot of modern cars. In any racing event, power under 4000 rpm never matters unless you have the gearing of a Dodge.

Derek (not verified)    January 9, 2015 - 1:31PM

I work at Subaru, have admired the Evo for YEARS but honestly. James the new WRX is not loud because of a "sound tube". The thing breaths heavy and makes pure sound in and outside the car that is intoxicating. The performance between the two is comparable so really how can one say "The evo is more track oriented and more uncomfortable so its better." How many of you actually do track days every day? Your on the street, daily driving and need to be comfortable, have a nice sound system, fantastic gearbox and a damn fast enjoyable straight-out-the-box rally beast with heritage and pedigree to back it up. Which when narrowed down is the WRX and WRX STI. Not to mention price point EVo 41,998 for the GSR and MR is 51,988 which only comes with "sport tronic" auto transmission!!!! The STI dosn't even offer an auto transmission. The WRX 29,995 and STI for 37,995. What do people even have to think about? There's a reason we're not comparing the 2015 WRX STI to the 2015 Evo. Its because they don't MAKE a 2015 Evo. Enough said. Subaru wins.

Matt (not verified)    August 4, 2015 - 12:06AM

In reply to by Derek (not verified)

"I work at Subaru" yeah no prejudices here. First of all if you want to talk pedigree the Evo kicks the Subie. The Evo was launched in 92 while the STi was released a full 2 years later. A stock Evo is extremely slightly priced higher than the Subaru so why bother complaining? If like you said not everyone is going to use it on tracks and daily it then why even bother buying the expensive hardcore track versions in the 1st place? That price jab you made was irrelevant. Note that the STi doesn't even pay homage to rallying anymore, (it used too) like the Evo does. No engines bigger than 2.0L and outputs higher than 300hp. And the Evos are nice place to be in, my 5'10" stature fits in there nicely. Sure the interiors cheap it has economy car roots, but it's the exact same story in the Subie. You seem to be ignoring the fact that the standard transmission in an Evo is a manual. They've even kept true to the 5-speed, you'd be surprised how many people prefer them over 6-speeds. Plus, just because they offer an auto doesn't mean you have to buy one! And it was smart of Mitsubishi offering an auto that makes the Evo open to a bigger market, sadly everyone's lazy and drives auto so they cashed in on it. I work at a garage not a dealer, I've driven both and I love both to death. But in the end the STi will be what it's always been, a wannabe Evo. Sorry pal Mitsubishi wins.

sti2015 (not verified)    January 12, 2015 - 12:11PM

I've never driven an evo but I do own a 2015 STI. On the track its amazing, but what I love most about it is how well it can be a daily driver. Turn SI mode on with traction control, the car calms down and gets 22mpg. Then when I want a racer, couple button pushes and I'm smilling. My only complaint is the motors lack of power from 2k rpm to 3k. Something a little motor work will fix when the summer hits.

mark slaney (not verified)    January 12, 2015 - 9:26PM

In reply to by sti2015 (not verified)

I know the motor well as I had it in my 2012 sti .Evo boost comes on sooner and the clutch is much more user friendly but I will take an Sti for those long hauls any day cant comment on the 2015 never owned one but I love my evo in the corners .Calling it a one trick pony describes it pretty good .I would not want to drive it every day .

sergio (not verified)    January 13, 2015 - 6:11PM

In reply to by sti2015 (not verified)

My brother owns a 2015 sti and i get to drive it sometimes. So far ive beaten a nissan 370z, ford falcon, r33, 2014 gts holden on the streets. The sti is a beast, i love it, it can almost win any car on the road.