Handling the pod is best done with a gamepad, and for the most part, the controls are smooth and responsive, and each of the twenty or so different pods handles differently. As you win more races and complete more circuits, you can unlock more pods, culminating in Sebulba's pod, the fastest, best pod in the game and the only one with any sort of serious weaponry to attack other players with.
The tracks themselves are fairly varied, some long, some short, with hairpin turns, loops, open areas and narrow windows where you're forced to thread the loop. Visually they are much more diverse, showing off some truly fantastic locations like underwater cities and the dunes of Tatooine. The most annoying tracks are the ones with zero gravity areas, where you're sort of whisked along various tubular tunnels without a lot of control of your vehicle, and a bit too much patience and luck is required in avoiding the tumbling boulders. But overall, the tracks are pretty solid and not overly dependent on finding shortcuts.