With a larger engine, an upgraded suspension meant for twisties, and a slick-shifting 5-speed, these Ralliarts are drivers’ cars on a budget.

Browsing Facebook marketplace in my area and I came across a 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart sedan with just 140,800 miles for a not-to-shabby price of $4,000.

The Ralliart was the unloved stepchild, one rung below Mitsubishi’s rally-bred Lancer Evolution. With a larger but non-turbocharged engine, most people knew they’d be kicking themselves in the behind if they didn’t pony up the extra $10-15K for the Evo VIII.

Anyway, here’s a gallery of photos of said Lancer Ralliart below.

Sold for two years between 2004-2006, at $18,570 MSRP, these upgraded factory Lancers commanded a $3,500 premium over a base.

But, for that much more, you got a lot including

  • The larger 2.4L MIVEC 4G69 with 162 HP and 162 lb-ft
  • 5-speed manual standard
  • Ralliart aero all around
  • a factory-tuned sport suspension (with stiffer and firmer springs and shocks, a stiffer front anti-rollbar, a front strut tower brace, and a more responsive power steering setup)
  • Slightly lower ride height
  • Exclusive 16-inch wheels
  • Rear discs
  • a short shifter from the Lancer Evolution VIII
  • UK Evo VII seats (note the orange flecks)
  • and smoked headlights/ Alteeza style tails/ fog lights

When Car and Driver put it through its paces, they described the Lancer Ralliart as,

“…lively and willing on a meandering back road as any of the small factory hot rods: crisp, decisive, and competent, with no discernible penalty in ride quality.

As testament to C&D, watch The Smoking Tire’s one take featuring a Ralliart below.

TST concluded if you need a fun beater that’s easy to wrench on with a solid chassis and is a blast on a canyon road, the Lancer Ralliart is hard to beat.

Back to our particular example, this one’s missing those 16 inch alloy wheels and has what looks like value-spec tires on steel wheels.That’s probably what you’ll upgrade first.

Other than that, simply based on photos, this Ralliart looks like a real gem. There are no major dings, dents or damage, it looks fairly well kept, and the mileage is not too high.

If, after a comprehensive look over and test drive, everything seems OK, for $4,000, in this highly competitive used car market, this Lancer Ralliart is hard to beat.

And since this is FB Marketplace, knocking off a couple hundred when negotiating is par for the course.

What do you think? For that much, would you pull the trigger on this fun little 5-speed?

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