Okay so am playing with the assists on but it is better than I expected, and the car control in terms of controlling sliding works very well even with the stick control. Don't recall having so much control and it feeling more like a real car to control.
The throttle controls are nicer than the 360 in terms of being able to feed in the power as you go through a corner.
Downside - seems to be another pay to play game, i.e. you get a good chunk of stuff but is even more in your face about buying upgrades than I would like for the price.
Now to wait on Grid Defense 2 which is due later in the year apparently.