This car can kick it! I have the AWD turbo and LOVE the performance! I live in the mountains and love to test it out as I'm never disappointed. ;) I was told when I bought it to take good care of it to avoid the previous years problems and have. I have not had ANY problems with this car yet. You have to replace the tires more often because they're performance, therefore softer, but you CAN get an all season that will last longer. It can also haul a totally full car load without difficulty. The A/C does detract slightly from performance, but not much.
Let me tell you a little story about the eagle talon.. first I "chased" an ambulance and because it was a sports car, got my license taken away. Then when i went up to my weekly trip to the air force academy, the tires blew faster than a strong wind in a hurricane. These so called "high performance" tires...not so much. by the way, the radio for some reason broke and the only station that would come on was radio disney. last time I checked, this wasn't the coolest station around the block for the youth of america. It's like an ex boyfriend...untrustworthy, unreliable, and breaks at the first sign of difficulty.
Being a previous owner of DSMs, this is by far the best one ever built. Not only is it a competent handling car in dry weather, it handles even better in inclement weather. It's a little loud at anything above 60mph, and there are a few rattles in the interior, but what do you expect for a 10 year old car. The turbo spools nice and quick, never leaving me itching for power. The ride is one of the best for a sport coupe of it's caliber. The fact that it can hang with cars costing thousands more, and still return excellent fuel economy, makes this a great car!
I bought it after one drive because of the stability of the AWD and the mid range power. I've gotten over 30mpg on the highway. It gets it's best mileage at about 80. With the leather and all the options it is an elegant car that is always fun to drive.