Ok so I couldn't resist and took a 15 minute test drive of an EVO at the local dealer.
So ok...the EVO just looks fabulous in person. I LOVE the silver one so much it hurts! Even the altezzas look pretty darn sweet in person. The front is really aggressive and definitely looks the part. I even liked seeing the wing in my rear-view when driving down the road.
The white EVO is the worst colour, in my opinion, since the curves and aggressive styling don't show up well at all.
Cheap, cheap, and cheap. The interior is SO cheap in fact that I was astonished. It felt like an early 90's cheapo-sedan. Really unimpressive. The dials are small and archaic, and the steering wheel is cheap, and the gear-shift is cheap. Heck, one of the doors started rattling whilst I was driving.
Very, very nice. Definitely a step-up from my stock WRX. Feels very graceful and doesn't surge like the stock turbo in the WRX does. However, you certainly feel where the acceleration comes from. 19.5lbs of boost. That's just....nuts. I wouldn't say it was light years quicker than a stock WRX, but quicker nevertheless.
This is an interesting part. I found the actual shifting to be slightly less involved than a WRX with the STi short-shift. It felt kind of....mushy. I also noticed a little clutch shudder when engaging first gear, which was odd. Changing gears at high RPMs was VERY aggressive and very fun though. I didn't like the lack of user-involvement though when shifting. Just...not as clear-cut as the WRX shifter. (with short-shift.)
Ok so here it is. The handling. Terrifying, in a word, but in a good way. The steering is incredibly responsive. You just touch the steering wheel to the left or right and the car nigh-on VEERS in that direction. Believe me, if you're highway driving and knock the steering wheel in any direction, you'll know about it in a hurry! Really really nice feedback. Handles really, really well. Definitely a step beyond the stock WRX handling. I went on a route that the dealer guy goes on with the EVO to show off the acceleration and handling, and later I did the same route in my WRX and the EVO just felt a little quicker, and certainly handled better.
HOWEVER, the ride suffers. My wife and I have to drive the WRX regularly, and I have to say I prefer the WRX for the everyday driver. The seats are just more comfortable in the WRX. The suspension is more comfortable. The handling is more comfortable. The ride quality is INFINITELY more comfortable in the WRX. I feel that the WRX is THE best AWD turbo sedan you can buy, if you want a combination of comfortable ride + performance and handling when needed.
The EVO really just is a street-legal rally car. There's no two ways about it. If you absolutely must have rally-like ability everyday, get one. Me, I need the all-rounder and I'm glad I got the WRX instead.