When we drove the new rally-bred Mitsubishi Evo X late last year we heaped praise upon most of the car but felt it was badly let down by the lurchy new SST automatic gearbox.

So Mitsubishi’s answer was to let us try the manual version.

It’s only a five-speed gearbox so motorway runs can get too noisy, and the lack of a sixth ratio also harms economy at higher speeds, but otherwise you’re getting a much better car and saving £2000 over not choosing the SST.

The big problem from a fleet point of view is running costs. CO2 emissions alone are almost prohibitive at 246g/km, and combined with the tiny fuel economy makes for a car unsuitable to medium- or high-mileage drivers. But the entry £27,499 GS model is pretty well equipped and a very cheap way to 300PS of performance.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X GS FQ-300
P11D price £26,914
Model price range £26,914-£37,191
Fuel consumption 27.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 246g/km/35%
BIK 20/40% per month £157/£314
Service interval 10,000mls
Insurance group 19
Warranty 3yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space 400litres
Engine size/power 1998cc/300PS
Top speed/0-62mph 155mph/4.7secs
On sale Summer 2008
Score 7/10
Verdict Manual gearbox is infinitely
preferable, though running
costs will be a problem