2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automated Manual
  • Horse Power 291 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

  • Die-hard Evo fans may be wary of a more civilized 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, but this one hasn't lost its overall touch. It's one of the best-performing cars for under $40,000.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent steering and overall grip, potent turbocharged engine, long features list, available automated-clutch manual gearbox.

  • Cons

    Tilt-only steering wheel, regular Lancer interior materials don't match the car's price.

  • What's New for 2008

    After a one-year hiatus, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution returns for 2008. Based on the similarly redesigned Lancer, the new Evo is more refined and boasts a new engine, an available automated-clutch sequential-shift manual transmission and new features like a hard-drive-based navigation system.

Full 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Review

What's New for 2008

After a one-year hiatus, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution returns for 2008. Based on the similarly redesigned Lancer, the new Evo is more refined and boasts a new engine, an available automated-clutch sequential-shift manual transmission and new features like a hard-drive-based navigation system.


If you think that the Mitsubishi Evolution X is some sort of crossover along the lines of the Taurus X, stop reading. There'll be a gang of crazed gearheads with torches and pitchforks at your door momentarily. They know that the X is in fact a Roman numeral indicating the 10th generation of Mitsubishi's iconic all-wheel-drive, rally-inspired sport compact sedan. The reason you might not recall previous incarnations is because the "Evo" didn't show up on this side of the Pacific until midway through 2003, and by then it was already in Evo VIII form. That's how legendary this car is -- it had a fan base without even being sold in this country.

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is entirely new and based on the similarly redesigned 2008 Lancer compact sedan. As before, it's a high-performance version, with a potent turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive and related upgrades to improve handling and braking. The Evo X, however, is meant to be more refined and accessible to a wider range of buyers. It starts with the new Lancer platform; a slightly longer wheelbase and a much stiffer body structure give the 2008 Evolution a more substantial feel. The Evolution also benefits from the Lancer's sharper exterior styling, improved interior and new entertainment and safety features.

However, while its styling and newfound creature comforts are key to bringing new folks into the Evo cult, maintaining the performance and handling that created that cult in the first place is paramount. On that front, the Evo X is a mixed bag. Specifically, the new Lancer has gained weight over its predecessor, which wipes out the added horsepower gained by its all-new aluminum block (versus iron) turbocharged inline-4. When comparing acceleration numbers from this and the prior generation, the two work out to nearly even. The new engine is certainly a smoother operator, however, cleanly building boost in a linear manner even at low engine speeds. It doesn't have the same high-rpm kick as its predecessor, but it's still a hell-raiser and easier to live with.

There are two Evo varieties available. The GSR is aimed at the more hard-core enthusiast set, with more aggressive suspension settings and a standard five-speed manual transmission. The MR not only sports a softer suspension, it features Mitsubishi's new automated twin-clutch manual transmission that's operated via metal paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. (It can also operate as a traditional automatic.) This transmission swaps ratios with lightning-quick precision, which is welcome regardless of whether you're driving at 10/10ths or just turning your brain off and leaving it in "D."

Like past Evos, the X sends power to all four wheels, but this one manages to feel more rear-biased in the way it drives and handles. Credit the fact that this is more than simply all-wheel drive. Dubbed Super All-Wheel Control, Mitsubishi's system features an active center differential that sends power to all four wheels, while Active Yaw Control calculates various vehicle dynamic factors and compensates to maximize grip. With a hard launch, you can expect a 0-60 mph time of about 5.0 seconds. And around our skid pad, the GSR managed an impressive 0.99g of grip, which is supercar territory. Throw in sublime steering and the Evo X becomes one of the best-performing cars at any price.

With an MSRP starting at about $33,000, the Evo is in the same general price range as sports cars or coupes like the Nissan 350Z or upscale versions of the Ford Mustang. But there's really only one true competitor: the Subaru WRX STI. Both cars are fully redesigned for 2008, and both take a similar route in their evolution (pun intended) by focusing on creature comforts and overall refinement to appeal to more buyers. While the STI features a nicer interior, its hatchback-only body style is rather controversial in terms of styling. And it's just not styling that the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has on its side -- we've found it to be more fun and playful in nature than the STI, too. While some will miss the high-strung nature of the previous Evo, the new car is much better all around. For a performance car, it's not to be missed.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a high-performance compact sedan available in GSR and MR trim levels. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, foglights, full power accessories, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, Recaro sport bucket seats and a six-speaker stereo with single-CD player. The MR is similar but has BBS alloy wheels, softer shock absorbers and springs, HID xenon headlamps, a larger rear wing, Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls.

Optional on the GSR is the Sight, Sound and Spoiler Package, which adds HID headlights, the MR's larger rear spoiler and a Rockford Fosgate sound system with 10-inch subwoofer, satellite radio and an in-dash six-CD changer. The MR Technology Package adds keyless ignition/entry, the Rockford Fosgate sound system and Mitsubishi's hard disk-based navigation system with digital music storage system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 Evo is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumps out 291 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. The GSR comes only with a five-speed manual, while the MR is equipped with Mitsubishi's new six-speed automated-clutch manual transmission with paddle shifters. Power is sent to all four wheels through an advanced all-wheel-drive system. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway for the MR version.


Standard safety features on the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution include front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag. The Evo also comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control and a variety of advanced handling technologies. The Evolution hasn't been crash tested; however, in government tests the regular Lancer scored a top-rated five stars for driver frontal impact protection and front seat side impact protection. It received four stars for front passenger frontal protection and rear passenger side protection. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset crash test, the regular Lancer managed the top rating of "Good."

Interior Design and Special Features

The Evo's interior is far more sedate than its flamboyantly aggressive exterior. Recaro sport bucket seats, alloy foot pedals, fancier gauges and a different steering wheel are the only things that differentiate the spicy Evo from the vanilla Lancer GTS. Those Recaros are highly supportive and comfortable, but the driver seat's lack of a height adjustment and the steering wheel's tilt-only column make finding an ideal driving position difficult for many drivers -- not just tall ones.

Most of the interior materials are the same as those on the regular Lancer, which is to say that they're fine for an economy car but perhaps disappointing for a vehicle costing about $35,000.

Driving Impressions

The redesigned 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a sports car in sedan clothing. The advanced all-wheel-drive system works behind the scenes to give the car very impressive handling and traction abilities. The car's steering is not as quick as the previous model's, but it's still very responsive. Among the two Evo varieties, the MR trades a bit of the GSR's sharpness for a softer ride. Plus, with its paddle-shift automated-clutch manual transmission, it's definitely the choice for those who don't want a hard-core rally-ready sedan 100 percent of the time. Owners of the last-generation Evo IX may find the new car lacks the same hair-trigger steering response and that some of the overall connection between man and machine has been lost. Still, the 2008 Evo X is one heck of a fun car that's nearly impossible to beat for the money.

Read our Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X MR Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great car horrible warranty

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Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

i bought the car with high hopes for the first month loved it fun to drive great car but i started to notice little issues with the transmission it progressively got worse it started to pop second out when you down shift so i took it back to mitsubishi and there service dept. is horrible gave me the run around every time i call they say there going to call me back i have to keep calling them they didn't even provide me a rental took them a week to remove the transmission and now i have to wait for mitsubishi to give the ok to repair or replace it during all this im paying for a car that i cant drive and mitsubishi wont give me a rental but they expect me to pay

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 yr later with the

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Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

Update after 1yr w/ the X MR. The X is a fun Daily w/SST; I use Manual more than AUTO. My commute is more city than hwy; MPG avg 14.7 over the yr. Interior scratches easily, esp the trim around the glove box & radio. Rear vis with wing is poor. SST autoshifts slow when cold. Storage space: It is what it is. Trunk for wknd trips is ok (two carry- ons); big items need to go in the backseat (dog carrier). Leather is easy to clean/just wipe down. Front seats are comfortable on long road trips. Perf in bad weather is confidence inspiring. Track (Willow Springs) perf is excellent! Turn off ASC and it's Point and Shoot. Helmet clearance is not a prob-I'm 5'9". This X is way better than any XBox.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Amazing evo x

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Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

This AMAZING car is my daily driver and our family car for almost 2 years now. It's very reliable, safe, and SCARY-FAST around the curves, due to it's superb AWD system. It has an extremely responsive handling on asphalt and is very nimble in the pouring rain. It truly is a great TUNER'S car and the 4B11T engine will easily handle 400hp to 500hp:) The interior is mediocre and the trunk is tiny, but the Recaro seats and RockFord sound system are excellent. Gas mileage isn't too bad, my average is 24-26mpg on the hwy. Draft behind an SUV within my 40 mile commute and my 450hp Evo can get 26-28mpg. Considering price and performance potential, the Evo is hard to beat.

Nothing in the price range

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Performance? Oh yeah.. I owned the Evo IX and this car to me is MUCH better. It still has the cheap interior, thin paint, and bad gas mileage, but the X is a MUCH more comfortable car overall. I'm not a big aftermarket guy, but a tune really goes a leap ahead of what is already an excellent car performance wise. The S-AWC makes the new safe Evo even more safe than it already is by letting you turn the car suddenly without it even batting an eye. Like others have said and will say a strong 6 speed manual would be nice, but I don't drive fast where I live... the speed limit is still 55 and with the tune and a bit of added timing I can get 24-26 on the highway.

Great for the buy

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Just bought the car. Put about 1500 miles on her. Runs great. Don't really care about the interior. Bought it just for outside look and performance. Drifted around 80 degree turn at 80mph. Handles great! This is a sports car.....Not made for comfort. Don't buy if you want comfort. I bought it for drifting.

Lancer evolution

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)

Well, this isn't your normal Lancer. Owned this car for 1 year and had no problem but the clutch... I don't even drive hard or launch the car, but around 12k I had to change out the clutch. I ended up getting aftermarket clutch and new flywheel because of the warp. Beside that I enjoy the car and the fun that comes with it. I joined a local car club and ended up mod a bit out of the car... Gas stinks, but it is a 2.0 pushing out near 300hp on a 3k pound car... Love it... Interior is so so if you got the base model, but an EVO is made for driving not luxury.

Talk About The 2008 Lancer Evolution

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Discussions See all Started By

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Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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