Overall the car is a excellent buy. I have no problems with the car. It has outstanding handeling in all weather and traffic conditions that are present in the Houston area. This is not a young person's car, it requires concentration and skill, when you make demands from the car it responds instantly. It takes some getting use to at first, then traffic or open road driving is no problem. I am considering buying my wife a Evo 10 as soon as they hit the dealers.
This is the ultimate car. It is VERY fast, and handles like you're bolted to the road. The seats hold you tight when taking the corners, and the Infinity stereo in it is phenominal for a factory system (optional Sun, Sound and Leather package - highly recommended). However, it also has mounting brackets for my son's car seat, and the trunk is big enough so I can easily fit a few sets of golf clubs. We have nasty winters, but with the AWD and a set of Blizzaks, this is the best winter car I've ever had (better than my wife's 4WD SUV). Considering the performance the gas milage is outstanding. I was looking for a daily driver that had everything, and this is it.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution RS model is for those strong enough to handle it. Ok, that might be a little dramatic, but when you're behind the wheel of this beast you feel as though nothing else can compare. Your freeway cockiness sky-rockets as you start to toy with Mustang GT's, GTO's, Camaro's, or any others who "claim" to have power. Timid youths soon become aggresive bullies of the road. And then, then you add your air intake, downpipe, turbo manifold, exhaust, boost controller, and fuel injectors. Now, this is when modesty sets in. Modesty because you no longer feel like anything else compares, you now know that nothing else compares. With $2,000 you'll be eating Cobra's and Corvette's for breakfast.
I've had my Evo VIII for 3 years now, and it's an awesome car. Great power, handling, and braking. The Recaro seats are awesome; plenty of room/trunk space. The AWD is wonderful - especially for winter driving (but you need snow tires). Downside is, everything about this car is expensive. Premium gas only, and unless you drive like an old man, you'll rarely get more than maybe 20- 21 mpg. Takes only synthetic motor oil. OEM Brembo brake pads cost over $300 per side, and keep up with pads because replacing rotors will cost you over a grand per side. OEM tires last about 10K miles, and cost over $300 per tire. That's just the wearables - replacing components costs more.
I am the same "Tim" who wrote a review on 3/15/2006, and I just sold the car. It was a great car to have for 5 years, and it certainly is fast and fun, but the quality and reliability of the car was definitely lacking. I had the AWD pump die 3 times, random sensors blew, and the car developed rattles all the time that needed to be fixed. Not to mention, the car was kept clean and waxed every few months, but the paint developed rust in 5 areas after 4 years. My wife's SUV is 8 years old, gets waxed probably once a year, and has no rust. Also, very expensive to maintain so know that going in or you're going to have significant sticker shock when you bring it in for service.