In terms of price and performance, the Ralliart is positioned between the standard sedan and the legendary Evolution in Mitsubishi's compact Lancer lineup. It offers plenty of power and the performance/foul-weather benefits of all-wheel-drive, although drawbacks include a bargain-basement interior and questionable value quotient.
The Ralliart's greatest asset is its punchy and capable powertrain. A 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, essentially a less sophisticated version of the Evolution's engine, cranks out 237 horsepower, 253 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch gearbox provides quick shifts at speed but can bit a bit jerky at parking lot velocities. The zero-to-60 mph sprint takes under six seconds, and fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The standard all-wheel-drive system features Mitsubishi's active differential system, which employs an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch center differential that vectors drive torque to the front and rear according to different driving conditions.
Making sure that passerby are appropriately apprised of the Ralliart's performance potential are several exterior upgrades over the standard Lancer. These include a more aggressive front fascia with an oversized front grille, dual exhaust and a lightweight aluminum, ducted hood that delivers cooling air to the turbocharger.
Things don't change much inside compared to the standard Lancer, which means the Ralliart is stuck with the interior of a much less expensive vehicle. While the overall design is pleasant enough, the ratio of soft-touch materials to hard plastics is not good. A sport steering wheel, "sport" interior fabric and leather trim on the shift knob and boot do provide a welcome bit of upmarket flair.
Standard and Optional Features
The Ralliart comes outfitted with a six-speaker, 140-watt AM/FM/CD sound system, auto-off headlights, a color LCD multi-information display, Mitsubishi's FUSE infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and voice command functionality, a USB port, a rear spoiler and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels in addition to expected items like air conditioning, power windows and locks and cruise control.
Highlights from the options list include a navigation system, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system and a rear parking camera.
All Ralliart models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to a driver's knee airbag, traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is the slightly hopped-up hatchback version of the Japanese automaker's compact offering, doing battle with the Mazda Mazdaspeed3, Ford Focus ST and Subaru Impreza WRX Hatchback.