I have a 2015 with Hotchkis sway bars, Toyota TRD lowering springs and stock struts and shocks. Handling is much improved. It's still not a sports car but canyons and back roads are now extremely fun. I mention the fun I am having to explain why I don't want to go back to stock.
As for ride harshness, the front is great. The rear shocks are my issue, I feel it in my back, not terrible but an afternoon of mountain and canyon driving do get exhausting. Slow speed driving is where it is really noticeable. At highway and freeway speeds the ride is unbelievably smooth. I've been playing with shorter (because the TRD springs drop the rear by 1.5 inches) and softer bumpstops, it helps a little but I am still not happy.
I know Bilstein does not offer shocks for the Gen2 officially. Has anyone found a Bilstein shock that will fit? I do know someone that revalves Bilsteins and gas quite a lot of experience changing the rebound/compression/gas pressure to adjust for desired performance. I know in stock form Bilsteins will be too harsh, had them on a Jetta.
I look forward to hearing other's comments regarding the rear shocks.