Most bang for buck
By KC on
Vehicle2005 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
ReviewI'm writing this review because I just finished my 45-mile commute in the snow and it was actually a pleasant ride. The car is stable and comfortable in any situation: high speed, low speed, rain, snow, dirt or mud, etc. It's not perfect: I am seriously upgrading to a Legacy GT Wagon or an A4 Avant, but for $21k, it's the most practical, fun, and reliable car out there. Just don't expect luxury. 40,000 miles in 1.5 years and no problems except for a few rattles, which is something you'll hear a lot with Subarus. I drive 80mph to work in dry weather (all highway), and I get only 21 mpg, so lack of a 6th speed is disappointing.
Best FeaturesAWD, AWD, and AWD. I love the manual transmission and have had no problems with it. Nice turbocharged engine with good growl. Interior is surprisingly nice with good-looking and supportive cloth seats. Lots of airbags, brakes are great -- even in snow. Cargo space with seats folded. Perfect suspension.
Worst Features2005 not available with leather or sunroof (both are available now). Subarus are known for being reliable (engine, transmission, etc.), but also with slightly lower build quality than Toyota or Honda, and my car is no exception due to several small rattles. Turbo lag < 2600 rpm. No 6 speed manual.
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