Is It Worth it to Buy a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX?

If you’re looking for a small high-horsepower car with an all-wheel drivetrain, then it’s hard to beat a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (EVO). The Lancer Evolution was the high-strung, rally-bred counterpart to the more pedestrian Mitsubishi Lancer. There were 10 different generations and the Lancer EVO IX was one of the most popular. But is it worth it to buy one in 2022?

Buying a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX in today’s market

A yellow 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.
A yellow 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. | YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images)

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Considering the elevated prices of used cars in today’s market, it’s a good idea to buy a Mitsubishi EVO IX if you want to buy into the novelty of having one. The truth of the matter is that the car retailed for around $30,000 to $35,000 when it was new 16 years ago. In the current market, you can find well-used examples for around $30,000 and up to $45,000 for clean ones according to a nationwide search on CarGurus.

That being said, if you have always wanted an EVO IX, it’s now or never if you want to buy one because it doesn’t look like prices will get any lower. However, on the other side of the coin, it might not be a good idea to purchase an EVO IX from an overall value standpoint. The car costs as much, if not more than it was when it was new. So technically, you’re at a loss.

Again, at this point, any Lancer Evolution generation is a novelty car – a classic, of sorts – so it could be better to see it as such.

What’s so great about the Lancer EVO IX?

The Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX is fast, has four doors, and is relatively reliable. We say “relatively” because if you’re buying one today, its reliability will depend a lot on the modifications that may have been done to it and how it was driven previously. Regardless, it’s still a fun car.

The Lancer Evolution IX was produced from 2006 to 2007. It was powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that churned out an impressive 286 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque and could be mated to a five or six-speed manual transmission. That might not sound like much by today’s standards, but Edmunds posted that the EVO IX could get to 60 mph from a standstill in the mid-5-second range, which is partly thanks to the car’s all-wheel drive system.

According to Edmunds, “few cars can match the EVO’s bang for the buck. The learning curve is as short as they come given that the car reacts with quick, predictable movements with every turn.” Needless to say, the EVO IX is a joy to drive if you like tearing up some backroads with tight turns or if you like spending time on the track.

That superior handling prowess comes from a well-tuned – albeit stiff – suspension, Brembo brakes, and an active center differential. When it comes to sporty driving that can fit four adults in comfort, there’s not much better than the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Buy one now or you may regret it

The FIA World Rally Championship version of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX
The FIA World Rally Championship version of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX | Getty Images

If you have always wanted to own an EVO IX, then buy one. Considering the prices for the Mitsubishi Evolution IX have held steady for years and are slowly rising, it’s a good time to buy one now. If not, you could be regretting it later if that price threshold goes above the $50,000 mark. At that point, it might definitely not be worth it to buy in, but for now, it’s right at the cusp.

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