When Mitsubishi shifted the battery and the washer bottle into the back of the rear seats it may have been great for things like weight distribution but it doesnít do much for the carís ability to shift the junk Iíve accumulated over three years.
Oh, and donít forget the sub woofer that has been built into whatís left of the boot space which may be good for speed garage, but less effective for the stuff that was heading for my parentís garage. The rear seats donít fold now obviously rendering the whole thing rather pointless for operations like this, which is a little bit of a shame considering at least part of the target audience must be drivers with families who want practicality and performance.
In Sportvan guise itís even better thanks to leather seats and steering wheel, chunky 18Ē alloy wheels and a bodykit and stripes that are so ridiculous you canít help but love them.
It has a 128bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, with 228lb ft of torque, that gives it more shove than a van has any right to, and an unexpectedly excellent gearchange and good steering that make you feel involved in driving even when you are moving a sofa. Iím serious when I say that if I had enough money for a fleet of cars Iíd definitely have one of these tucked away.
The ride is only an issue if you hit a particularly nasty pothole, the car occasionally not reacting quickly enough, but in general it is firm but not uncomfortable. But point the Mitsibushi down a suitable B road and it changes.
Itís almost like you can feel the entire car tightening around you, Transformer-like, changing its character completely. The speed that it carries is frankly ridiculous, and more than a little scary, as if the Evo is playing chicken with you until you back off way before it needs to.
Grip is phenomenal and at speed it feels utterly focused - sharper, tauter, stiffer than normal, and with ability to spare. Press the accelerator and the Evo pauses for a second before launching you down the road at warp speed.
The only niggle with the way the Evo goes is its seemingly thin power delivery. The impressive peak torque of 363lb ft happens at 3,500rpm but it never really feels that torquey, and you feel like you are constantly revving the hell out of it.
The problem with this is that the Evo really doesnít sound very nice at all. Bar a bit of turbo whistle it is just a flat four-cylinder noise, and while a Focus RS has less torque (324lb ft) it is on a plateau between 2,500rpm and 4,500rpm giving more accessible grunt, while the five cylinder is probably one of the best sounds around for the price.
On a car nearing £40K I could do without the wheel hubs going rusty though and the seats need more adjustment. But then you donít tend to notice these things when you are playing rally driver.