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Quality, Interior, Reliability are all top reasons for the IS-F. I was strongly considering the Evo also, but Mitsubishi barely offers any kind of warranty on it and recommends a crazy service schedule. With any kind of mods it seems like it wouldn't be a reliable daily driver, especially if I ended up putting some miles on it. The other issue was the Evo looks like a toy, the IS-F always looks sharp no matter if you are taking people out to lunch/dinner or commuting. The Mark Levinson audio system in the IS-F was by far the best out of the M3 and C63, the EVO didn't have a stereo worth turning on.

About the C63... I'd look at the CTS-V too. They are both clunky monsters that try to win you over on HP numbers and bling bling styling. Best to take these on a short lease and try not to get burned on repairs. They just don't age well.

For power adding performance parts your budget is about right. Headers, intake, and exhaust will give you 60 to 80 whp. If you still have money left over there are some good suspension/chassis upgrades and you can try squeezing on wider rubber.
 
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