Oh yes, this is much much better than the original Rally Cross. Like a smack in the chops, the gameplay is immediately improved. A big bonus is that this version is compatible with the Dual Shock controller, so rather than just watching your car bouncing around the tracks, you can actually feel it too. In addition to this, to stop your motor acting like a spacehopper on a trampoline, you have the chance to set up the car before you race. Adjust the suspension and brakes and so on, and you'll find that the handling is less wild and woolly than on the prequel.
But what really elevates Rally Cross 2 above and beyond the original is the wider selection of tracks and, oh joy, a track editor. Yes, you can create your own course, dips, double humps and table tops included. Even the weather is at your behest.
It looks and sounds better, goes faster, and has more options and scope for creativity than it's predecessor, therefore definitely worth checking out.