Yeah, this is the #1 gotcha in this game and leads to much new player fustration.
Marc's (game producer) concept of "balance" in this game is for some T1 cars to be able to compete with many of the T3 cars. To most of us, this makes no sense and so players complain constantly about the need for re-balancing the cars.
Before the over powered boost cars got released, you could use the T1 Nissan s15 up to at least level 25 and then get the lotus elise beating most T2 cars along the way. Now, you could buy the T1 Nissan c10 or VW MK1 and beat many boost T3 cars. On the other hand, the T2 Porche Cayman with "high" stats generally comes in last even against most T1 cars.
Of course, regardless of car, you still need to know the tracks, how to corner, when to use powerups, etc.
Regarding the Evo IX, most AWD cars in this game suffer from handling and performance issues in general. If you really like the car IRL, then keep it and try to put the correct parts on it to make it a little better. Keep in mind though that parts do not "fix" bad performing cars. Try here
for part recommendations.
Please refer to the forums in general and these threads before choosing a car...
Rankings of all cars in NFSW with Pictures and Videos
Cars Prices, Performances & Unlock Levels