I love the new S40. It's very handsome and sporty, but not as fast and rally-derived as the Evo and STi. Both the Subaru and the Mitsubishi are more directed towards enthusiasts, who don't care as much about amenities and luxuries. The Evo and STi are both bare-bones compared to the Volvo, which focuses on safety and luxury, and has modest performance compared to the other too. Personally, I'd go for the S40, just because it is a sporty, luxurious package that seems to be a blast to drive. But if you like the pure joy of racing, then you should either drive away in the hardcore Evo, or slightly more refined STi. Good Luck with your decision.