Review: Mitsubishi Evo X (2008 – 2014)


Same extraordinary performance in more civilised package, available with an SST twin clutch paddleshift 'automatic', improved ride and refinement.

SST can sometimes bog down pulling out of slow corners, manual is now a five-speed rather than a six-speed, doesn't feel as raw as the Evo IX.

Mitsubishi Evo X (2008 – 2014): At A Glance

What does a Mitsubishi Evo X (2008 – 2014) cost?

What's the Mitsubishi Evo X (2008 – 2014) like to drive?

This is a test of many cars. Before, in the UK, we got Australian built Lancers that were sensibly priced Focus size cars. And a series of Japanese built hotshot EVOs, all based on entirely different, but ageing Lancer saloons.

The EVOs had fairly explosive performance and culminated in something called the FQ 400 that was almost too quick for its own good. A 400bhp four-wheel drive 2.0-litre roadgoing saloon was taking evolution about as far as it could go.

But now the line between Lancers and EVOs is far less distinct. Like the old car, the new Lancer is a four-door saloon, but its a bit bigger and heavier and in the summer will be joined by a five-door sportback.

The range will start with a 1.5 litre five-door Sportback at £12,499. And immediately does start with a 1.8 litre four-door saloon, in three trim levels, and the option of a six selectable ratio CVT automatic. Biggest normal engine is a 2.0 litre 140PS pumpe duse diesel, bought in from VW and bolted to a 6-speed manual.

Then things start to get interesting. Because topping the normal Lancer range will be a 240PS four-wheel drive Ralliart Sportback loaded with a lot of EVO features including Active Yaw Control and an Active Centre diff. It will also have an aluminium bonnet with snouts, Recaro seats and Mitsubishis new twin-shaft twin-clutch SST transmission, which is pretty much the same thing as VAGs DSG and Ford/Getrags forthcoming Powershift. So there will be a warm four wheel drive Lancer automatic to start nipping at the rear skirts of Audi quattros.

Moving swiftly on to the EVO X, this comes with three power outputs: FQ300, FQ330 and FQ360. All have five-speed rather than six-speed manual gearboxes, and the FQ300 has the option of the same twin-cutch SST as the Ralliart.

I got to drive the diesel, the 1.8 manual, the 1.8CVT, the FQ330 manual and the FQ300 SST.

Lets start with the FQ330. Not masses to report because it and the 1.8 manual were all on skidpans to check out the effectiveness of the traction control systems. On the EVOs you have three levels: all on, half on, or all off. To get it half on you press the button twice. To get it off completely you have to press the button and hold it for five seconds. It reverts to all on whenever you switch off the ignition and re-start.

Basically all on comes down like a big wet comfort blanket and as soon as the car starts to slide it cuts power and applies brakes to try to sort things out for you. Half on, you get a lot more latitude, so its enough to have some fun before stepping in and saving your life at the last second. All off, the car will slide as nature and physics originally intended.

The front drive Lancer gets a simplified form of this. Either off or on, but with only front wheel drive its best left on.

Next, because the EVOs had yet to be Type Approved and we couldnt take them on the road, we got some track time in the FQ300 SST. As with the traction control, there are three settings, in this case Normal, Sport, and Supersport. You can shift to Sport on the fly, but to prevent you picking Supersport inadvertently, you have to stop and hold the switch for five seconds to select it. You also have steering wheel paddleshifts to select the six gears, or a forwards down, backward up conventional shifter.

In quick and moderate corners its simply best not to fiddle. The box will make good decisions and leave to get on with the business of steering and throttle control. But in slow corners, in Sport, it bogs down. In Supersport it doesnt, and hangs on to all the gears for longer, so for track day fun that is the only setting to use.

The last bit of track we got onto was one used for training rally drivers. A maze of adverse cambers, changing surfaces and very tight corners. All 2nd and 3rd gear, no more, and necessary to use the paddles. Except on this car, really pushing hard, it wouldnt always let you have 2nd when you needed it. Not for me. And not for the rally driver who took us round a lot quicker. Probably the electronics protecting the clutches and cogs from hard downshifts. But this was a very extreme type of driving that you wouldnt try on the road unless you were sure that nothing was coming and no one was looking. The main point of the SST is to offer an automatic EVO, the lack of which, in the past has kept customers out of Mitsubishi showrooms.

Now they can come and buy their ideal dual-purpose car. A lazy, reasonably refined, well-equipped cruiser when they want it to be. And a hooligan when they dont. Audi quattro Tiptronics and DSGs at last have a serious competitor.

Enthusiasts can stop reading here. Because at the end of the day I took the Lancer diesel and the 1.8CVT on a 15 mile road route.

The old VAG 2.0 litre TDI 140 is its usual clattery self at first. But theyve altered the mapping slightly to give it a bit more low down torque and Im pleased to say that this now available from around 1,500rpm in 6th, which is geared more like 33-34mph per 1,000rpm rather than the usual 35-36. It actually handles very well indeed for an ordinary front-drive diesel saloon, pitching itself up as a competitor to the likes of the Mazda 3 2.0 diesel Sport and the VW Jetta TDI 140, which has the same engine. The boot isnt quite as cavernous as the Jettas though.

The CVT whirrs like a foodmixer left to its own devices. But it can be manually controlled and curiously by a lever that, unlike the EVO SSTs, works back to front. However, you arent going to be developing the same physical forces on your body in the rather sedate CVT, so that doesnt matter too much. It is much better controlled manually and, like the diesel, is a decent handling standard saloon car with a very well tried and tested CVT transmission that has sold by the hundreds of thousands in the Far East.

None of the cars have reach adjustable steering wheels, which seems a strange omission these days. The boot is a bit slot-like and nothing like as big as a Jettas. And as soon as you go to big wheels you get an inflator and a bottle of glop rather than a spare wheel.

But by Summer the Lancer will have grown into such a big range of cars it will offer something for almost everyone looking for a mid-size car.

From a 110PS vicarage spec 1.5 at £12,499 to a fire-breathing boy (or girl) racers 359PS EVO at more than three times the price.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
EVO X FQ-300 27 mpg 4.7 s 246 g/km
EVO X FQ-300 SST 26 mpg 4.7 s 256 g/km
EVO X FQ-330 25 mpg 4.4 s 257 g/km
EVO X FQ-330 SST - 4.4 s 256 g/km
EVO X FQ-360 20 mpg 4.1 s 328 g/km
EVO X FQ-400 - 3.8 s 328 g/km

Real MPG average for a Mitsubishi Evo X (2008 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

16–28 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mitsubishi Evo X (2008 – 2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Refused warranty claim on Evo X

Mitsubishi has refused a warranty claim on my Evo X. The car was registered in 2011 and is still within warranty. The engine suffered catastrophically failure four weeks ago and the engine was inspected and stripped by my local dealer. Mitsubishi UK have rejected my claim based on warranty were conditions not met, specifically related to an independent garage service. The car has had three services, first was main dealer at 1000 miles, second was independent garage at 7000 miles and third was main dealer at 12,000. Engine failure occurred at approx 16,000 miles. The cost of damage also includes gearbox and is valued at over £10,000 worth of damage. The specific reason for rejection is that the independent service invoice states "genuine Mitsubishi parts used", but doesn't itemise individual parts and part numbers. I have pleaded my case with the dealer, then Mitsubishi customer services and most recently the Managing Director. All of them are sticking to the excuse of that invoice not detailing parts used as the reason for not authorising my claim. I am unable to acquire further details from the independent garage on parts used. Can you help out a desperate and highly stressed man?
That was a completely mad thing to do. What were you thinking of? This is a highly stressed, high performance car engine developing considerably more than 100PS a litre and correct maintenance is critical. To trust it to just anybody was crazy. So unless he can prove that he did the job properly using the correct parts you are stuffed. Though you might be able to press him him for causing the problem and that might incentive him to find the invoices for the parts he used, if he did actually use the correct parts and lubricants in the first place.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions