I played Mafia II again last week - and the option to chose between arcade and realistic driving is very nice. It´s a great way to please both sorts of players.
I wish Rockstar could include this into GTA V - because now it feels like the fantastic map is uninteresting to explore. This may sound strange to some, but in order to appreciate the surroundings I have to "believe" in the car I drive. As it is now, it feels like I am participating in a cartoon.
Talking about Mafia II - that engine sound!!!!! Wow.....
2K Czech did alot of things right with Mafia II in relation to the driving, I agree with you, the sound is good and the option to cater to two different groups of players is something that I appriciate alot, it shows not only that they care but it shows the importance of cars and driving in the game. Cars are characters themselves in games like this and R* has ignored that to some part in GTA V.
In Mafia II you can also clearly feel the weight of the cars (ok sometimes it is a bit easy to "fly" over small hills) and it adds tons to the experience when driving.
I had high hopes for the driving in GTA V but from the little I have played I am disapointed.
Now I am waiting for a announcement of Mafia III, hopefully.
I got to be honest and say that it amazes me in games like this that the developers do not use their chances to include more realism in driving when they spend so much time to create a realistic environment, to me it makes no sense to have the arcady feel in such a game.