Let's start with some positives, it looks great, from the front… in fact it looks stunning from the front, it's got a real muscle car image, looking beefy, masculine and exceptionally sporting. It's sexy from the side; flowing lines carry your eye from that huge front grille to the pinched and sloping rear. From the back…. well it looks sporty, especially with the massive overhanging rear spoiler on the roofline of the window.
In fact it's the styling of the car that is where my problem starts; it promises so very much and fails to deliver.
The 1.8L MIVEC engine is more than capable and performs well, but with 0-62mph taking 10.4secs its not quick by any stretch of the imagination. Fuel economy is also a huge pitfall with the Sportback, 35mpg from a small engined hatchback is more an a little disappointing, it's a total letdown. It also only has a 5sp gearbox, which wouldn't be a problem if the engine wasn't massively noise at 70mph in 5th gear, this car is crying out for mercy and a 6th gear! Not only would this quieten the engine noise down on the motorway but also probably improve fuel economy.
Handling wise it's outstanding, I'll give Mitsubishi that, they certainly know how to set up a cars handling to make it second to none.
This really is my overall problem with the Sportback, it looks like a sporty rally car, handles like one but the 1.8L is a noisy dismal letdown that just spoils the whole thing. It's like hiring a rent boy with nine inches then finding out he's impotent, all looks and no trousers isn't going to make you hire him again and it's the same for the Sportback.
Standard spec for the entry level GS2 model I tested is good, you get electric windows, a good sound system including AUX port for plugging in the pod, cruise control and alloys. However the interior is drab and dull, nothing feels particularly well screwed together and in fact the plastic trim around the air con controls was loose and needed popping back on. The seats are sporty, firm and supportive, giving you a comfortable ride regardless of how long the journey is.
It's a mixed bag and I'm really not sure if this is good motor or not to be honest, it fails to deliver the performance the looks and the handling suggest it will have. It's got plenty of spec but the interiors dark and uninspiring. All I hope is that the 2.0L turbo version and the Sportback Ralliart (evolution version of the Sportback) 2.0L turbo GSR super hot hatch are better and deliver what they promise. The 1.8L MIVEC Sportback GS2 costs £14,149 OTR, go test it and see if you agree.