Turbocharged boxer engine with an exhaust note that makes V8s envious.
Service departments need improvements. Warranty denials for absurd reasons (I changed my tires therefore I must beat on my car which caused X problem). If Subaru would equip these vehicles with tires comparable to their performance level, tires wouldn't have needed to be changed).
I did a lot of research before purchasing this vehicle, and my favorite quote was ... no car which costs less than $10,000 more is even worth comparing. It's entirely true. A very compact four door sedan with a comfortable well appointed interior and fantastic performance; great engine sound and power, handling, a total package.
One of my friends got one a WRX in 03 and I've loved them ever since. I got an 04' in late 05' and absolutely love it. It was very reasonably priced and performed above what i expected. Slight turbo lag but that comes with about any turbo car, but once it kicks in its gone. Handles incredibly well and looks better than any of its direct competitors such as the SRT-4 or GTI. Very very good car all around, and the AWD is unreal. Went straight up a snow covered hill without so much as a slip.
Power, handling, gauges, smaller spoiler, seats, short throw shifter.
Cup holders, paint, sound system, make 17" wheels standard.
After 2 years I still enjoy driving this car and have no regrets about the purchase. Build quality is good; my only complaint is an annoying and difficult-to-pin-down buzzing/rattling from the vicinity of the glovebox. That being said, it's a great car. The gearbox is a little finicky and temperamental. Turbo lag is apparent but partially mitigated with a Cobb AP. I personally think it's part of the fun. There are little things that could be improved but -none- of them would prevent me from buying the car again! It's not the fastest car out there but very few can haul all your gear, get you to-and-from the mountains, make you grin on the on-ramps, and get 24-25 mpg mixed city/hwy.
-Fast (enough). -Safe. -Reasonably good gas mileage (21-22 pure city, 27-29 hwy, real life driving.) -Cargo space. -Looks. -Availability of aftermarket parts.
-Requires premium fuel -Momo steering wheel is solid but too big for the twisties -Smoother gearbox -Stereo sounds lackluster -Tuning dial design stinks! -Beefier brakes -More robust A/C -Front defroster ought not automatically turn on A/C compressor.
2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi AWD 4dr Sedan w/Gold-Painted Wheels (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I have had many so-called sports cars and this is by far and away the best car for the money. The price performance ratio is solidly in this car's favor as it is as fast as many cars that are twice the price. Peerless handling in all weather conditions inspires complete confidence. If you are a new driver, however, this is NOT the car for you. It would be for someone who is experienced enough to use it to it's full potential. I have had no problems with the car at all, and it is just a rocket sled. Don't look for big MPG numbers, especially if driven in anger. My only other advice: Buy one NOW!
Performance, looks, comfort, amenities, balance, handling, the list could go on and on.
Maybe a little more upscale interior wise, but nothing that is a deal breaker.