The Mitsubishi Evo and Subaru Impreza have been battling it out for the hearts and minds of motorsports fans since the early 1990s. Both are remarkably fun to drive, thanks to handling and acceleration that rival some of the world’s fastest production cars. And both offer the sporty looks of serious performance machines.
So how does a car lover in the market for a used sports car confidently choose between the two? Rally fanatics who worship Colin McCrae or Tommi Makinen will find the decision easy. And motorsports fans whose friends would disown them for driving the competition will probably join the crowd. But those who have miraculously avoided taking sides in the ultimate car war may find making a decision challenging because both vehicles are inspiring and there are so many passionately biased opinions floating around.
While making up your mind, here are some factors worth considering:
Both the Evo and Impreza offer powerful turbocharged engines, advanced four-wheel-drive systems, outstanding handling and all-around race-ready performance. Most fans of both cars agree the stock Evo outperforms the stock Impreza, but the Impreza is less expensive and offers similar performance when modified.
The Evo’s handling is more responsive and its renowned Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system delivers unbelievable traction that helps amateurs perform like pros when really pushing the car in almost any road conditions. On the other hand, the Impreza combines outstanding handling with a more comfortable ride that you’ll appreciate on a daily basis. Its cool boxer engine lowers the center of gravity and contributes to better weight distribution for great road-hugging stability. The boxer also generates a distinctive rumble that racing aficionados love, while the Evo produces a smoother, unimpressive sound less likely to wake the neighbors.
The Evo interior is more sparse than the comfortable Impreza’s, but its standard racing seats provide more body-hugging support around sharp turns. The Impreza’s trunk is also larger than the Evo’s and more practical for everyday shopping. Many Impreza fans will tell you that these comfort and storage advantages make the Impreza a more practical car. Do you want a higher level of comfort for everyday driving or the sense of driving a classic sports car?
Both cars loudly proclaim their rally heritage with sporty, aggressive styling. Almost everyone will recognize these are high-performance machines. Since their styling changed pretty dramatically over the years, it is somewhat difficult to generalize the differences, but leading points of contention have included the spoiler, bonnet scoop and wheel colors. Choosing one car over the other in the styling department is really a matter of personal preference. Which one feels right for you?
In short, there are no losers when choosing one of these coveted Japanese sports cars. You could flip a coin to choose and still be sure of total satisfaction. Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, the Evo and Impreza give you incredible bang for the buck. Other Japanese turbo cars worth considering are the Supra TT, Celica GT-Four, MR2 Turbo, Soarer Turbo, Skyline GT-R and GT-S.
We recommend reading reviews with a grain of salt, deciding what factors are most important to you, taking a look at what’s available on the market both locally and internationally, then following your instincts and never looking back. It really comes down to what moves you and suits your needs.
At JCD, we export reasonably priced Japanese performance cars from used car auctions, specialist dealers and private sellers in Japan to car aficionados around the world. Discover the unrivaled conditions and prices of vehicles available in Japan. Our dedicated team is ready to make your driving dreams a reality.
Raw rally-bred excitement! The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI.
Hardcore taken to extremes! The Impreza WRX STi Spec C Type RA.
Allows bidding on one vehicle at a time up to 1 million yen.