I looked at a lot of cars before buying this. I got a great deal at $17,750. $1000 instant rebate for end of year, and another $250 below dealer invoice - negotiated for one of the last '06s. Plenty of power, handles great, AWD is great in snow and on bumpy roads. I always look forward to driving it. Unless you do serious 4 wheeling or tow a boat, an SUV is not only a waste of gas, but MUCH, MUCH less fun to drive. I'm so glad to have a car that will do anything I need it to, plus it's a blast to drive. If you don't need AWD the Mazda 5 and Matrix are comparable, but for AWD nothing compare to a Subie at the price point. It drives like a $40,000 Audi or BMW, but is MORE reliable.
AWD. Fun to drive. Quality/reliability. Styling. Balance of mpg and power. Balance of handling and ride. I replaced the stock radio with a Panasonic with iPod input and upgraded speakers for under $300.
Needs a light in the hatch and map lights. The passenger space is limited. I'm 5'11" and like a lot of room. I have it, but then there's not enough room for an adult to sit behind me. If you move the front seats a few notches forward and don't recline a lot an adult can fit in the backseat.
2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 4dr Sedan AWD w/Gold-Painted Wheels (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I chose this over the EVO MR, because of the interior and the cruise control. I do have to admit that the EVO MR looked better from the outside; then again, I canít see the outside when I am driving. STi is definitely built for the fun/excitement factor, not for comfort. It took a few days for me get use to that much hp and turbo and control, but now, it puts a smile on my face every time I step into the car. This or the EVO probably are the best performance machines (ignoring the comfort) for a sub $40k purchase. Definitely a car to consider before having kids. Other cars I considered were G35, 330i, TL, IS350, GTO, Cobra, 350Z.
The control, acceleration, excellent breaking, 6sp, HID, DCCD (never took it out of auto), IC water spray (never used it), brought fun and excitement to daily commute.
Bigger gas tank (no problem on the gas mileage, but only 200 miles between each fill up is a bit tedious). Other than that, rest is expected from a high performance car: tires, gas, high maintenance cost, very high insurance, speeding tickets etc.
2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 4dr Sedan AWD w/Silver-Painted Wheels (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I am a 40 year old man who has brought several cars/trucks back from the dead to a better than stock finish. I have enjoyed the muscle cars of the late 60's mainly and several foreign cars & trucks. I can honestly say I have never driven a bone stock car or any of my creations or creations of my friends that just flat out amazed me. BUT THIS CAR DID. For the money I still can't believe how good this car goes and handles. I sometimes go back and look at the blacktop to verify I'm not picking it up off the ground. I love this car on back roads especially, we ave plenty of them in WV. I just wish they had some type of license here that if you passed the test you could drive as fast as you want.
Very reluctantly traded my 100% trusty 2002 Toyota for this vehicle. Soon wondered why I had bought the Toy in the first place. This is our third Subaru, the last making it 81,000 miles with no repairs. This Outback is solid, sturdy, and fun to drive. I love the versatility of the wagon; so handy. Construction is excellent; no squeaks or rattles. Have to be patient with it on mountain roads - I just leave it in fourth. Beats my Dad's BMW 330xi 4x4 in snow and steering hands down. Fit and finish excellent. Currently 2,642 miles. I drive a LOT on the highway, it is very adequate. Don't expect to pass unless it's flat - engine gets wound up and sounds like an over-revved sewing machine.
Fit and finish, dependability, gearbox VERY smooth, versatility, reliability, simpleness, interior controls, extreme stability in even 9" of snow, stereo is great (with upgraded sub), handling on the twisties is awesome - you feel in control and SAFE. Overall build quality.
Ride a little harsh at times; definitely a 4x4 with a purpose. Engine struggles a bit on mountain roads sometimes; use 4th gear.
2006 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
I really like this car. Third Subaru we've had. The other two were bulletproof. My daily driver is a Jaguar S-Type "R", and is wicked fast. But I'm finding lately I drive the Subie more, because it is so safe and stable (live in Colorado=SNOW). We traded a great Toyota that I loved for it and I don't regret it at all now. That little Subaru has a five star crash rating and that is important for my son. It tends to struggle a little on steep mountain passes (non-turbo model) but overall is quite adequate. Just don't be in a huge hurry to get up mountains. We love the car and are averaging 26 MPG (stick shift). I totally recommend it for safety, build quality and reliability.
Reliability, four wheel drive, looks, versatility, price, heater will run you out of it it's so good, and it's flat tough.
Suspension is a little firm for me, as well as the seats.