I've had my Evo for 2 years, and it's still going strong. I've kept up with the oil changes and other maintenance check-ups with no problems.
The Evo's acceleration is very nice - it will kick you into your seat once the RPMs hit 4k (and you can pretty much keep your engine at 4k if you wanted to).
Turbo lag exists, but I only notice it before 10mph - after that, it more than makes up for any time lost. Turning a corner is one of the best things to do in an Evo - it loves corners. When other cars slow down in a corner, the Evo seems to want to do the opposite. It's fancy rally-bred suspension and differential make cornering extremely easy. Simply put, this car is a blast to drive.
You can effectively pass other cars on the freeway WITHOUT downshifting most of the time. If you do downshift, the car roars forward even faster, but usually this is never needed.
The handling is also great. You can take roundabouts at a much higher speed than most any other car out there. (Please be careful.) And when you get to a twisty road - the fun begins.
The two front seats are Recaro seats meant for holding you in place at high speed turns - I love them.
In the back, my young son can sit comfortably in his booster seat with no problems. This is a performance car that can do the normal family sedan tasks with ease.
Most sport-sedans aren't very fuel-efficient, but getting it above 20mpg would be nice.
The interior is pretty much econo-car quality. The plastics and trim are barely acceptable for a car that costs 32k. It would be nice for Mitsubishi to make a better interior for that kind of money.
A 6th gear for the GSR version:
The GSR version is a 5speed manual. At freeway speed, the 5th top gear makes the engine run at 3.2k - which is noisy.
Better sound insulation would help this.
The trunk space is minimal at best. But I have managed to go to Costco and fill it without problems. Still, making more trunk space would be nice.
I have owned Range Rovers (traded it in for the Evo) BMW's, [non-permissible content removed], have driven Porsche's, Lexus, and Mercedes. The Evo by far is the most fun I have ever had in a car. It just feels so raw. Like a car built for one purpose, to go fast in the turns. If you are particular about the interior you are missing the point of this car. BTW, the interior isn't that bad, at least not on the 2012 I have. Mine is only a month old. I get a rattle every once in awhile but to me that adds to the feel of the car. The vibration caused by the motor and tight suspension causing a rattle just makes it feel all the more "serious".
The seats, the sound of the motor, the looks and by far the handling. I have taken on/off ramps at speeds that brought tears to my eyes. Speeds that once I was out of the turn I had to pinch myself to make sure I was awake because there is no way I should have made a turn at that speed and not have put myself into a wall. The AWD and active YAW control literally seem to change the laws of physics and let you do things in the car that should not be able to be done. It's a supercar at an affordable price. A bonus is the look on the BMW M3 and Porsche drivers face when they can't seem to shake the 40k$ Japanese car in the turns. A few mods and they won't pull away in the straights.
I would prefer a little more power off the showroom floor, although it has plenty of power for the average person. But I don't think the average person buys a car like this. The great thing about the Evo is it comes WAY under tuned and has a lot of power waiting to be released with a few bolt on mods and a tune. Ran out of room in the Fav Features but another is they are not a DIME A DOZEN like BMW's. At least not here in Irvine, CA. I have seen one on the street in the month I have had mine. And the BIG wing and rear diffuser isn't for looks, it does serve a purpose. DOWNFORCE.
I went from a 2008 STi to the 2010 EVO X. STi had a much more pleasant interior, however the seats in the X are amazing. SSS package is a must, and is well worth it. The biggest complaint is overall build quality compared to the STi and the lack of space. Buttons feel cheaper, seating position is not great, even though the seats are amazing. You cant go wrong with either car, but if you want the closest thing to the X you would need to buy a 2011 STi, as 08-2010 don't compare. Paint quality seems to be better then the Subaru, along with less turbo lag (even though its .5 L smaller motor). Probably the biggest difference is fuel economy. The 5 spd is to short and gets 8mpg less the STi got.
Handling out of the box, engine response, seats, and aggressive looks. This car is a blast to drive, always in power, and phenomenal brakes. The SSS package is a must, and the 2K more is well worth it.
Better overall fit and finish. I got the car brand new and it had small rattles pulling off the dealer lot. Also after 600miles the MAF sensor failed, which is a common problem and got replaced with a upgraded unit by the dealer with no questions. Cheap feeling buttons, and very poor fuel economy.
The handling on this car is amazing. I was looking for the car that would be the most fun that could carry kids when necessary. I looked at the BMW1, Mustang, Cooper S, etc. This is by far the tightest car of them all by a country mile. I personally really like the look of the car both inside and out and do not feel the interior is any better or worse than other cars, but I don't have much interest in that either. I also do not think the car is much "harder" over bumps than other cars. The irony is that this car was only supposed to have kids in it as needed, but my wife and kids prefer it over the Toyota Highlander. They actually prefer the more inviting non-leather seats.
The handling - i can take turn or enter the highway without slowing down, it is amazing! The speed is phenomenal too, both off the line and on the highway. I didn't get a single option and can not think of anything else I want in a car.