It's unfortunate that Mitsubishi is discontinuing the Evolution; it's a racing icon, but I guess all good things must come to an end. I had my MR for about a year. I opted for the MR because I didn't want the "hey cops, look at me!" spoiler, and I wanted the faster shifts from the TC-SST transmission. It was a fun car to drive while I had it. It did consume fuel at a prodigious rate, even if I drove "nicely." However, you don't buy an Evo to get great mileage. You want great mileage? Get a Mirage. You want a car that will grab you by the scruff of the neck and not let go until you beg for mercy, get an Evo. It would do whatever I asked of it without much complaint, except really MOVE off the line. MR or GSR, didn't really matter, off the line you have to deal with the turbo, unless you use launch control. Who has time to muck about with launch control on the street? Once the RPMs climbed over 3K, the boost kicked in, and then you needed to hold on for the ride and hope your eyeballs didn't pop. Until then, a 1972 VW Beetle would be faster.
Even though the interior styling was dated, the amenities were nice. Power windows w/ Driver side auto up/down, power sun roof, heated seats, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, etc., etc., etc. No, it wasn't posh luxury, but it was surprisingly well appointed. I fit 4 adults (3 average and my 6' 4" 240 lb. large frame) in the car relatively comfortably. The trunk was on the small side, but that's because the battery, differential fluid and windshield washer fluid reservoirs hung out back there. So no folding down of the rear seats for extra cargo space, which would sometimes be annoying.
Ride quality ... my grandfather would have called it a "mechanized buckboard." You would feel every little wrinkle in the pavement. Often in your kidneys. Sometimes in your teeth for larger bumps/rocks, or holes more than 1/2 inch deep. However, if you want a car that will devour most of it's contemporaries in the twisties, you'll have to put up with a harsh ride. Let's face it, you don't buy a car like an Evo MR and expect to have it ride like a Rolls Royce. It just doesn't happen.
Let's talk about the tires ... the stock Yokohama Advans were pretty good tires. Once they got broken in (took about 1000 miles for that), and once they warmed up. Took about 4 or 5 spirited miles on Texas roads in the summer to warm up. In the winter ... well. They're summer tires, so it wasn't surprising that they were kinda like hockey pucks in the winter. Also, after about a year and 14K miles, they needed replacing. They still had some functional tread on them, but were REALLY close to the end of their useful life.
PROs: Wickedly fast once the boost comes on; it's glued to the road with unbelievable handling; the Recaro seats make sure you stay put; great visibility; almost telepathic handling; nice amenities in the MR; blindingly fast shifts with the TC-SST transmission; looks better than the STi (honestly, the STi is looking rather dull these days).
CONs: Thirsty, thirsty, thirsty (forewarned is forearmed); stock tires take a while to warm up, but until they do, they're hockey pucks; Recaro seats are rough on hips, even for slender people; convoluted process to engage launch control on the MR.
Overall, if you're looking for a car that is fun to drive, holds onto the road almost like it's using Velcro, but aren't looking for street drag racing, or you're not particularly concerned with MPG, see if you can get your hands on an Evo. Just bear in mind, after 2015 you'll only be able to get used models, and odds are, they were driven hard. You don't get one of these to putter around in it; you get one to DRIVE it. Just keep that in mind.
So, why did I have the car for only a year? Because my brother traded his Fiesta ST (a fun, fast hot hatch!!!) for a Mustang GT ... which would do 0-60 in 4.5 seconds ... without the need for launch control. So, I got a Mustang, too ... yeah ... had to.
I brought Evo last winter after looking for a number of $40k range cars. What a great choice! Before, I relax by playing video games. Now, whenever I have downtime, I crave to drive the Evo.
Evo is a wicked fun car. I can say that only the 90-05 NSX, certain 911s and a few Italian supercars can give you more exciting experience. Even the GT-R feels less crispy and exhilarating for daily driving.
I have also learned a few tricked from the forum. When tailgated, take a ramp with cruise control on and watch the tailgater understeers like hell. Get winter tires, and a snow day is the best time to hoon around town and party while others are struck. What's not to love about owning an Evo?
Mitsubishi has improved a number of things for the 2014 models. I'm surprised to find that the Omron relays that are prone to fail are now replaced by black Panasonic relays. Also, the fuel pressure regulator hose is very tight. Clutch master cylinder is now the post-recall version, constructed with reinforced plastic. Thus, this may be the most mechanically reliable Evo by far.
The Recaro leather seats (SR option) are of very high quality. The 4th gen. navigation unit (navi option) is actually even more friendly to use than a Kenwood unit, although its routing algorithm is just as retarded as Garmin. As last, the Rockford Fosgate audio (SS option) sounds nothing short of a music hall.
1) Steering wheel doesn't telescope. With it this far and pedals this close, the seating position ergonomics is perfect for monkeys.
2) Road noise is monstrous even with SR option's additional insulation.
3) Even the HID, headlights and fog lights are too dim at night.
4) You need ETACS to configure user options, like disabling the TPMS. This is torturous.
5) Paint is anorexically thin and all you get is stone chips.
6) Tranny and shifter has gear grinding and shifting precision issues.
7) Strut springs are not progressive. With KYB shock "absorbers," it's so stiff on the street but slow at corners
8) Stock brake pads are so dusty that they drive you crazy.