Despite Mitsubishi admitting it’s not a major player in either the fleet or retail car markets, the Lancer Sportback is aiming to appeal to both areas.

Stepping away from the monumental running costs of the iconic, rally-inspired Lancer Evolution is surely important, yet it would be a shame if Mitsubishi didn’t make the most of the Evo’s heritage.

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The Sportback is an aggressively attractive take on the hatchback styling, although the company is seemingly confused about the inspiration behind the front-end styling – both a jet fighter and a shark’s nose were mentioned. Call it what you will, it is striking.

At the rear, the Lancer is distinguished from similarly shaped vehicles – such as a previous-generation Seat Leon – by a large wing sitting at the top of the boot.

These hatchback looks mean the Sportback doesn’t appear huge, but step inside and there’s no shortage of space. There’s a large amount of rear legroom and the boot is plenty big enough at 344 litres.

Sitting behind the steering wheel brings mixed feelings. While a solid gearchange, responsive handling and a very competent engine mean the Lancer is good to drive, interior quality is poor.

Vast swathes of cheap and hard plastic dominate the dash and doors, and the panels could fit together more tightly. On the other hand, it’s not all bad, and some things like the optional leather-trimmed steering wheel feel good.

The VW-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine will be the most fleet-friendly version, and while it is a bit raucous, it’s not offensively loud.

RV experts haven’t yet driven the car, so there’s no indication of what the Lancer Sportback will be worth in three years. However, at this stage, there’d appear to not be many major sacrifices for the fleet driver looking for something different to the norm.