I've never played since now another title from the series so I don't have a comparison therms. Yes i liked it, because it's an relistic interpretation of rally races and not only. It's that type of game that even you finished the single player, it gives you something else in other ways.
The game is divided in 4 seasons, each one containing 4 different types of races. Sounds easy but it isn't. You can race all around the world on tracks from Kenya, Monaco, Aspen and more. So, there are 4 mods: Gymkhana, Trail blazer, Landrush and Head to head.
The inside camera is very good, especially when you play the game with a steerin wheel. The copilot gave me some headake intead.
When you are in a race and made a mistake, you can always use a "flashback". This flashabcks turn back time and gives you the opportunity to repair your mistake. Every time you use a flashback the total rep gained from the race decreases. So watch out!
The textures, dinamyc of the cars , atmospheric conditions, light, smoke are well done.
In multiplayer you can also have a lot of fun with your friends (max.8 players) without much LAG.
That's all folks! Hope you could read this, I know, my english sucks!