One of the biggest issues with cars is that they are depreciating assets. Unless you have a rare or classic car that will fetch millions on the auction block, chances are that any other car that you’ll buy will drop in value. Except for one, or so it seems.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (EVO) has been heralded for well over a decade, not just for its appearance in multiple video games and the “Fast and Furious” franchise, but mainly due to its rally-bred history and high-performance attributes. And while the Lancer Evolution is discontinued, it’s pricing on the used-car market still holds strong.
Why was it so popular?
We’ll spare you most of the details of the car’s lengthy history, but just know that the Lancer Evolution was around for a total of 10 generations. When it came to the U.S. in 2003, it was on its eighth generation and ready to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Subaru Impreza WRX.
Since the U.S. market received the car later in its life cycle, Americans weren’t used to seeing the Lancer Evolution and it soon developed a cult-like following. The fact that it was in video games and popular movies helped, too.
Import car enthusiasts and journalists alike praised the car for it’s incredible handling prowess and superb power as it was rare to get that much performance at its given price point.
How much did it cost?
In 2003, the Lancer Evolution carried a sticker price of about $30,000. Naturally, as it evolved through the ninth and tenth generations, it increased in price.
In its final year, the Lancer Evolution was released with a “Final Edition” designation as special, last-model trim. That particular model sold with an MSRP of $37,995.
In today’s current market, there are plenty of Lancer Evolutions for sale, however, most of them are far from being stock. But you can find 2003 Lancer EVO’s selling from $15,000 to $25,000, depending on their condition and if they have modifications.
As for the later models – including the Final Edition – the same “modified” caveat applies, and they are selling for anywhere between $15,000 to $31,000, depending on their mileage and location.
Considering its original MSRP, you can see that just about any Lancer Evolution is still worth over 50 percent of its original value, even for those that over a decade old!
Why was it such a good performer?
When the Lancer Evolution debuted, it was powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that produced 271 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque that mated to a five-speed manual transmission. This combination equated to 0-60 times in the low 5-second range and quarter-mile times around 14 seconds.
In its final year, the Lancer EVO produced 303 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque out of the same 2.0-liter engine, thanks to some technological tweaks throughout the years. But it wasn’t about the power figures being impressive on paper, the car was a blast to drive.
According to Car and Driver, the EVO was “raw, brutal, and punishing in the best possible way.” It had a stiff, almost-kidney-busting ride, but the power surge when the boost came on was all worth it.
Is it worth it to buy one now?
If you’re currently interested in a Lancer Evolution, or just simply always wanted one, we would say that it’s technically worth it to get one now. We haven’t seen prices drop much, if at all, over the years.
It’s devout following and constant demand will most likely keep the prices elevated. And while it might not skyrocket in value, it will at least always remain the same, at least that’s what the car’s history tells us.