Obviously, many of our readers will
want to know who came out on top in our performance numbers.
Sorry, I'm going to make you wait so we can tackle some other
differences first. First we’ll tackle some creature comfort
comparisons for those of you who actually want to drive a car
on the street (who would've thought!) and lead into our
Street Raise your hand if you like to drive a race
car every day. Okay, while some of these cars are the basis
for race cars (or namely rally cars), they aren't quite like
driving a full out race car on the street. But they can be
almost as much fun. But where do you draw the line where
comfort ends and your fun begins?
For most of us, the
drive starts by getting in the car and sitting down. None of
these cars provide a problem with that. All three cars can
seat 4 people, albeit the R32 would be a bit cramped and I
personally wouldn't suggest letting anyone other than kids or
small adults go in the back of that R32. This is actually the
greatest blessing the R32 has: 2 doors. Let your friends take
their own car for a change.
When sitting in any of
these cars, size can make a great difference in comfort. I
myself am not small, weighing in near 230lbs and being around
6'1". I found each of the cars to be very supportive in
seating and preventing me from sliding around. However, the
R32’s Konig seats provide extreme side bolstering which proved
to be somewhat uncomfortable when being pushed around. The
EVO’s Recaros provided the perfect blend of snugness and
comfort, whereas the STi seats seemed to be the least
restrictive but still supportive and comfortable. Smaller
drivers would most likely be most at home in the R32 and EVO's
seats whereas the STi seats seem to be made for big people
After sitting down, adjusting most of the
seats proved easy and quick. Both the STi and R32 had simple
and quick adjustments to get into a comfortable driving
position. However, I found the Evo's seat adjustment
cumbersome, actually having to exit the car to adjust the
seat’s lean angle. Obviously, this isn't a big issue if you
are the only driver of the car, but it is still cumbersome to
say the least.
What about your friends getting in the back?
The folks at Mitsubishi put a little more consideration in for
rear seat passengers by providing both an arm rest and cup
holders. The designers at Subaru left out this minor detail,
for better or worse. In my humble opinion, a four door car, no
matter how sporty (unless race prepped) a car is, should cater
to the number of passengers it's intended to be able to carry.
While Subaru left out the rear armreset, the Evo had not only
a fold down armrest but with integrated cup holders as well.
Mitsubishi however left the backs of the front Recaro’s to be
bare black plastic, remaining unsightly and uncomfortable for
any back seat passengers.
After getting situated in
the cars, it's time to hit the road. The first and most
obvious pluses and minuses with each of the cars laid in their
dash layouts. The most lacking in design thought was the Evo.
While the engineers at Mitsubishi may claim to have designed a
high-contrast and easy to read gauge cluster, in actuality it
suffers from poor contrast due to poor color choice that makes
visibility and readability poor and difficult. Size is also a
bit small and the overall feel of the dash is simply cheap.
Both the R32 and STi faired better. The R32 had a clean and
easy to read dash with a layout that was comfortable and eye
pleasing. In fact, the entire dash and interior shined of a
quality not seen in the manufacturing process of both the
Subaru and Mitsubishi. This is of course, where the luxury of
the R32 stands out. If you want plush performance, this is
where it's at. Looking at the STi gauge cluster the first time
put me in shock. The backlit gauges provided unmatched
visibility during the day and night. The gauge cluster is
definitely what makes the Subaru stand out while the rest of
the dash remains very similar to a standard WRX with
occasional bits of red stitching which remains nice and simple