I've had my 04 Impreza TS wagon for about a year and it has been awesome. I live in Illinois and bought the car in New Jersey, my parents picked up the car and drove it the next day a 1000 miles to me with no trouble. I then drove the car to NJ and back (2000 miles) a month again with no trouble. For a non-tubo model it still has a kick to it from a stop and no trouble passing at highway speeds. My car has 160,000 + miles and runs like new. The cargo area is big enough for what I need, although narrows at the top. All in all I love this car and would highly recomend it. I will definitely buy another Subaru.
My favorite feature has to be that AWD. We've had a lot of snow and ice this year and my Subaru has been amazing! I never had a problem with it getting stuck or it even slowing down. At one time I was on the hightway doing about 30 MPH when a mini van infront of me spun out of control (did a 540 and kept doing) and I was able to drive right around them with no issues. I also think the interior is comfortable and changing the radio to an aftermarket one was simple and fast (replaced b/c a CD got stuck in it and there was no AUX/USB).
There are only a few things that I would improve/change. The center console is low, but I have an aftermarket extender.
The e-brake is on the passenger side of the center area, which makes is difficult to get to with the passengers leg in the way, although this is on the driver side in the newer models. The pedals are alittle close for me (I'm 6') but the steering wheel is at a comfortable distance. I wish there were rear cup holders, is an option but I don't have them and I think it should be standard. There are other options I wish I had but can live without, like fog lights, manual transmision, and all weather package. But I very happy with my Impreza.
I've had my Outback Sport for nearly 5 years and was thinking of replacing it (vanity reasons)...but the cost to own this has been so low. I easily get 28mpg highway, brakes and tires are cheap (unlike BMW, audi and VW which are 10K more from the start), and the car is solid (unlike the Toyotas and Mazdas at the time which are comparable price wise). I have seriously abused this car and it runs fantastic.
28mpg highway, good styling, nice roof racks, great hatch opens tight and high (good if you use the tow hitch or are tall)
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.