I've owned about 8 cars from different manufacturers, and this is the best car I've ever owned. I've gotten as high as 33 mpg on the highway (with intake and exhaust). The seats are pretty comfy. Very adjustable. The wagon is a great touring car. I've done several cross-country trips with it, and they were great. The interior is very roomy. I've even put a full-size wooden-framed futon in the back before. We used to go camping all the time in this. Great to haul a lot of gear up and down mountains. Wagon handles great with 235mm summer tires. Performs awesome with snow tires. Built very nicely. No rattles or trim problems in the cabin. I look forward to owning more Subarus!
Turbo Wagon! The turbo really pulls nicely. I love the way the engine sounds. The awd just claws at everything. Handles great. Drives great in snow. Very reliable. Interchangeability if parts with Subarus. You can load it to the max and still climb mountains.
Extended arm rest. Put on intake and exhaust to help performance and mpg. I really can't think of how this car can be any better.
Reviewed this car back when it was 6 months old. Thought I'd add a long term review. Mechanically reliable. Suspension, steering and engine all as good as the day I bought it. Interior proved to be weak. Developed a rattle in the hatchback 1 year on that the dealer never was able to fix. Rear seat covers had to be replaced under warranty after 2 years due to fraying. Various interior dash rattles have appeared over the years. Basically all due to poor quality interior materials. Fender guards cracked after 3 years and were replaced under warranty. 4 years and the clear coat started to peel from the hood scoop. Given the long term interior wear and rattles. Not sure if I would buy another.
Good performance. Plenty of space. Mechanically and electrically reliable.
Better quality interior materials. Better quality paint prep and finishing.
This car is a great compromise. As such however there is no one thing that it does particularly well. For instance, acceleration is great, but the engine is prone to detonation with California 91 octane gas. Handling is decent, but the car feels a bit heavy. Noise levels are fairly low, but the stearing response is somewhat mushy due to soft bushings. If you are looking for a racer, this may not be the car for you. If you are looking for a practical car that is fun to drive then you should take a look at this car. One thing I will say is that I've beaten the crap out of this car by driving like mad most of the time and the care still runs great.
Acceleration (on a cold night), cargo room, handling (good for a wagon), reliability (no problems in 4 years).
Tighter and faster steering, more consistent brakes, reduce engine detonation with 91 octane gas. Minor squeaks and rattles are a bit annoying.
This car is fun to drive, if you keep the rpm up to maintain turbo boost. The cost is your gas mileage, which has ranged from 16 to 20 mpg for me. My biggest complaint is the lack of low end torque, unless you rev the crap out of the engine. I love the interior! The material covering the form-fitting seats is great. Dashboard layout is attractive. While this car is fast and handles fantastically, with my aftermarket wheels and tires, the lack of low end torque has left me wanting. I'll either have to install some mods or get a different car.
I bought it because I wanted something practical (wagon), safe (AWD), fun to drive (manual, turbo), reliable (made in Japan) and reasonably priced (slightly over $21K). I have owned the car for almost 3 years (33K miles). Overall it has been a pleasant experience. Fuel economy is decent (on average about 26 mpg). The car is kind of sluggish off the line tough (turbo lag), and even once the turbo kicks in it does not appear to deliver advertised acceleration. My major gripes pertain to the gear box and paint quality. First I got grinding while shifting into the 5th gear. Now I am getting occasional grind while shifting into the 1st. Paint is very week - millions of chips on the hood and fenders.
Very good handling and traction. Good interior design. Nice seats. Turbo.
Extremely crappy gear box - I am not abusing the car, yet have constant problems (grinding, difficulty with shifting). In addition, the shifts are very notchy. Low paint quality. Low grade speakers. Disappointing dealer service - refuse to acknowledge problems and perform warranty repairs.