"The GSR version is fun, fast, and addictive to drive."4.0 starson by kunoh
Pros: Lots of torque in its stock form, great handling, tons of aftermarket parts to improve performance, 5-speed manual can accelerate to 60 in about 5 secs.
Cons: Automatic SST transmission is slow off the line; Manual transmission is notchy; a 6th gear for the manual transmission would have been nice; interior is bare bones.
Summary: This is really a track car that doubles as a standard sedan. It has plenty of room in the back seats so there's never a concern of being cramped. You can even put a child seat in the back and it will clamp into the seats as if it were a Honda Civic. The trunk is a bit limited in space, but there's enough room for a trip to the grocery store.
But let's face it. you buy this for its performance. The top-of-the-line MR trim is great as an everyday driver. It's fun, fast, and it boasts the SST Automatic transmission. I liked how fast the gears change with the paddle shifters - simply phenomenal. However, the base GSR with its 5-speed manual transmission can launch harder, accelerate faster, and is just more fun to drive - especially with the growl this engine makes as you shift through the gears. I love how the GSR's torque can push you back into the seat as you accelerate. What's more, the GSR costs $4-7k less than the MR. As for turbo lag.. there is a little of it in first gear. But once you past 25mph - turbo lag is pretty much never an issue in my experience.
The Evo X is not without flaws. The GSR's 5-speed manual can be taxing on long trips. That's because at 65mph, the engine noise is loud. It would have been nice to have a 6th gear for overdrive - to at least lessen the RPMs a bit (at freeway speed, the RPMs are about 3-3.5k). The GSR's manual is also a bit notchy - not silky smooth as say, a Honda Civic Si's transmission. The interiors of the Evo X in general is pretty plain with a cheap, plastic feel to most of the materials. The Rockford Fosgate Audio system is good, but you can get better speakers and head unit from your favorite car stereo retailer.
As an everyday driver, the Evo demands a lot. With the ability to accelerate so fast, at almost any speed, you really need to plan where you want to be - more so than with most other cars. As such, it's easy to get past the speed limit on most roads - another reason to watch it. In this sense, the MR might be a better option since its Automatic SST has several driving modes (normal vs sporty). The MR will undoubtedly be easier to deal with in traffic. But the GSR is still more fun, and more viceral. Choose your Evo X wisely.