I bought this car to replace a 4WD and a very fuel economic Japanese car. It does both well, but obviously compromises come from both. Good fuel economy in the Impreza, but the AWD and 2.2 hinder it a bit. I'd rather have AWD and extra power than 2 extra miles per gallon. I average 24-28 or so. On regular gas, the 28 was highway miles at about 75mph avg and the tires aired up to about 34psi (fully loaded with gear mind you). The 24-26 mpg is combined city/highway driving with the tires at a bit more "cushy" 30psi. I've owned this car for 12,000 miles and have had it 8 months. The first week I did a 2500 mile road trip, the car was a blessing.
I'm too tall to sleep in the back with the seats down so this car, like my last (1991 Sentra), is very sleepable with the passenger seat laid all the way back. I also like the auto headlights that turn off when the ignition is turned off. Finally I love the ease of working under the hood (tons of room!).
I wish the back seats folded flat; that the car was available with a sunroof, and the factory roof rack didn't seem like an afterthought. The factory racks on Legacy Outbacks are much easier to add aftermarket components to. Standard limited slip differentials would be nice, as would a full size spare tire.