2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent steering and handling, potent turbocharged engine, long features list, available automated-clutch manual gearbox.
  • Stiff ride, tilt-only steering wheel, standard Lancer interior materials don't match the Evo's lofty price.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$6,991 - $10,865

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Though the $35,000 performance car arena sees a few new players for this year, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution continues to be one of the most thrilling rides available.

Vehicle overview

The 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is one of those rare cars that inspires fanaticism so fierce, its loyalists would rather drink used motor oil than drive the chief rival -- in this case, the equally stupendous Subaru WRX STI. Like its nemesis, Mitsubishi's iconic, rally-inspired road burner is based on a compact economy car. As an ultra-high-performance version of the Lancer, the Evolution starts with that sedan's basic architecture and adds a potent turbocharged engine, a highly sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and extensive upgrades to improve handling and braking.

This year, all Evos receive new black-accented taillights, larger side-sill extensions, a shorter radio antenna, a new color multifunction display, a leather-wrapped parking brake handle, covered cupholders and standard-across-the-line Bluetooth. Bigger news is the debut of the MR Touring trim level, which slots in at the top of the Evo line. With "Mr. T," a more covert lip spoiler replaces the big deck lid wing, and high-buck features (such as leather seating and additional sound insulation) have been added to make this Evo a bit more appealing for those who have a need for luxury as well as speed.

The other two trims stay the course, meaning the hard-core GSR still comes only with a five-speed manual transmission and an aggressive sport-tuned suspension, while the uplevel MR continues to offer more sophisticated Bilstein dampers and comes only with Mitsubishi's responsive automated-clutch manual gearbox (which can also operate as a traditional automatic.) The latter is among the best transmissions of its type available, as it changes gears in an eye-blink whether you're flicking the paddles while driving at 10/10ths on a racetrack or just leaving in it "D" as you deal with the cut-and-thrust of city traffic.

Like its predecessors, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sends its considerable thrust to all four wheels. But thanks to what's dubbed Super All-Wheel Control, the Evo feels more like a well-balanced rear-drive car. That system incorporates an active center differential that works in concert with Active Yaw Control (which constantly analyzes various vehicle dynamic factors) to maximize grip and balance.

All that engineering magic means the Evo can jump to 60 mph in about 5 seconds flat and pull nearly 1 g (0.99 to be exact) in lateral acceleration, which is supercar territory. Throw in sublimely responsive steering and the Evo becomes one of the best-performing cars at any price.

With an MSRP starting at about $34,000, the Evo's pricing is similar to sports cars/coupes such as the Nissan 370Z and upscale versions of the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. But its true rival is the aforementioned Subaru. The STI offers a slightly nicer interior and the versatility of a hatchback body style, but it's not quite as dialed in on twisting back roads. Our staff agrees that the Evolution is not only better-looking than the oddball STI, but also the winner when it comes to the all-important fun-to-drive factor.

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution models

The 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a high-performance compact sedan available in GSR, MR and MR Touring trim levels.

Standard equipment on the GSR includes 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, foglights, full power accessories, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with audio controls, Recaro sport bucket seats, Bluetooth and a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The MR is similar but has BBS alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, a larger rear wing and softer suspension calibrations. The MR Touring injects a healthy dose of luxury via a sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, leather seating, heated front seats and additional sound insulation.

Optional on the GSR is the Sight, Sound and Spoiler Package, which adds xenon headlights, keyless ignition/entry, 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 and MR Touring come standard with the Rockford Fosgate audio system and can also be had with a hard-drive-based navigation system that also boasts 40GB of digital music storage.

2010 Highlights

After a one-year hiatus, the Lancer Evolution is back for 2010 with minor changes on top of its 2008 redesign. A new luxury-themed MR Touring trim level debuts, while all Evo versions benefit from a shorter radio antenna, more aggressive side sill extensions, a color multifunction display and a leather-wrapped parking brake handle.

Performance & mpg

All 2010 Evos are 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 and MR Touring are equipped with Mitsubishi's excellent six-speed automated-clutch manual transmission with paddle shifters. Power is sent to all four wheels through an advanced all-wheel-drive system.

Acceleration with any Evo is sizzling -- we've timed a GSR at just 4.9 seconds for the 0-60-mph dash and 13.6 seconds for a blast down the quarter-mile. EPA-estimated fuel economy estimates stand at 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined for the GSR and 17/22/19 for the MR versions.


Standard safety features on the 2010 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 the driver and four stars for the front passenger in frontal impact protection. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset and side-impact tests, the regular Lancer earned the top rating of "Good."


The 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a sports car in compact sedan clothing. The advanced all-wheel-drive system works behind the scenes to give the car very impressive handling and traction abilities. Spirited drivers will also appreciate the Evo's ultra-responsive steering and ample amount of road feedback.

For daily commutes, the Evo is less inspiring, mostly because the ride quality is rather stiff. That goes for the MR models, too, though their Bilstein dampers give them a touch more ride compliance. The excellent automated dual-clutch manual transmission makes the MR trims the clear choice for those who plan to commute in their Evos. Regardless of which model you choose, you'll have an immensely fun car with performance that's nearly impossible to beat for the price.


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. The Evo's utility is actually less than the regular Lancer's, as the rear seats don't fold down and the battery and washer fluid reservoir have been relocated to the trunk for better weight distribution. Total trunk space is just 7 cubic feet.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

LOVE IT! But don't buy it for the Build Quality.
I unequivocally LOVE this car. Squeaks rattles and endless, monotonous, cheap plastic and all. I knew going into this deal that build quality and interior materials weren't going to be top notch and I was right. HORRIBLE rattles everywhere! I have 5 separate rattles that happen at all different speeds and frequency's. I have a low speed rattle coming from the drivers side door panel, two acceleration rattles coming from the center console and the dash, and a cruising rattle coming from the passenger side dash. I've been to three separate dealers a total of 7 times to try and fix the rattles with no luck. But all I have to do is mash the throttle and I somehow forget about the rattl
2010 EVO GSR
The handling on this car is amazing. I was looking for the car that would be the most fun that could carry kids when necessary. I looked at the BMW1, Mustang, Cooper S, etc. This is by far the tightest car of them all by a country mile. I personally really like the look of the car both inside and out and do not feel the interior is any better or worse than other cars, but I don't have much interest in that either. I also do not think the car is much "harder" over bumps than other cars. The irony is that this car was only supposed to have kids in it as needed, but my wife and kids prefer it over the Toyota Highlander. They actually prefer the more inviting non-leather seats.
My Evo
Jeremy K,10/08/2010
I took home my 2010 Evo MR in rally red after driving all the way to Costa Mesa, CA from Billings, MT. Mine came equipped with the Aero kit, Sport interior, and chrome packages. So far I have loved the car immensely and there is no part of me that expects to get bored with it at all. The SST transmission is amazing and the overall performance is always engaging. My only complaints are poor fuel economy due to the rich factory tune and the slight top-end power drop off due to boost taper (also from factory tune) I am preparing to tune the car which will fix both of these issues and will only make the car better. If you want an exclusive car which definitely makes you feel alive, this is it.
Most fun you will have on 4 wheels
I have owned Range Rovers (traded it in for the Evo) BMW's, [non-permissible content removed], have driven Porsche's, Lexus, and Mercedes. The Evo by far is the most fun I have ever had in a car. It just feels so raw. Like a car built for one purpose, to go fast in the turns. If you are particular about the interior you are missing the point of this car. BTW, the interior isn't that bad, at least not on the 2012 I have. Mine is only a month old. I get a rattle every once in awhile but to me that adds to the feel of the car. The vibration caused by the motor and tight suspension causing a rattle just makes it feel all the more "serious".

Features & Specs

16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
291 hp @ 6500 rpm
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
291 hp @ 6500 rpm
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
291 hp @ 6500 rpm
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
291 hp @ 6500 rpm
See all Used 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution features & specs
More about the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

Used 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Overview

The Used 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is offered in the following submodels: Lancer Evolution Sedan. Available styles include GSR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M), SE 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), MR 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), and MR Touring 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM).

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Which used 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mitsubishi lease specials
Check out Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution lease specials