This is the second Subaru I have owned and I love ’em. The AWD system is awesome and the handling is quite fun. The body does roll a bit around curves, but once you figure out the balance and how to shift the weight, it is smooth. I love the power and the performance as well as the practicality of a wagon. I like the new look of the 06's, however many other cars out there have a similar front end, and although there is a lot of space inside, it feels kind of cramped. The gears are a bit ruff at times and shifting into reverse is stiff.
The handling of an AWD car always surprises me. It can corner easily and takes some curves better than other front and rear drive cars I have driven. I also like the gauges and display layout.
Something to improve upon would be the interior. It has a lot of space but feels cramped. I’m a short person and not very big, but even I feel like everything wraps around me. Another thing to look at would be the manual transmission. It feels kind ‘a ruff getting it into gear sometimes.
2006 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
I enjoy driving this car. We travel between Canada and Texas twice a year so our driving entails two very long high speed trips and then mostly driving around town. Excellent car for both driving types. Smooth, good cornering, pretty quiet, good gas mileage. Seats could be more comfortable. Front spoiler scrapes easily. As mentioned previously, first gear acceleration is not adequate unless rpm is high prior to clutch engagement. Some sign of early interior wear. First gear jerky at low speed.
Driving fun at moderate cost. Does lots of things well.
Seats, first gear acceleration, paint chipping on front spoiler/bumper. For noisy roof rack, try installing spoilers opposite factory instructions/thin edge forward.
I just purchase this vehicle only 2 weeks ago. My first tank of fuel I drove 402 miles. I purchased this vehicle because my Nissan Pathfinder lease was up and I wanted a car with AWD and solid fuel economy for the Rocky Mts. It hauls up I-70 no problem. I was able to put all my Thule gear on top and still fit a my wife and two small children in the car with ease. The 5-speed is the only way to go with this ride due to the drag in the auto. I am surprised of all the complements I receive when I drive this car around. It is low on ego and fun to drive! It has the upgraded sound system which puts out plenty of bass and drowns out the noise of the roof rack.
I've waited a few months to review this car as I thought my initial enthusiasm might diminish. But, it hasn't! I still look forward to driving my car everyday. This vehicle has the perfect mix, with the practicality of a wagon but the performance of a rally car. AWD is a major safety and performance point (I'll have a hard time ever going back to 2WD, if I ever do). I put in the STi short throw shifter and would absolutely insist on it for any WRX owners out there. Subaru roof rack allows for bike rack and Rocket Box, while cargo area kennels a large dog easily. Roof rack whistle was a problem on past Subarus, but they seem to have fixed the problem as I haven't heard anything.
Performance, bucket seats, aftermarket Subaru subwoofer under my seat! STi short throw shifter, wagon space, six disc in dash stereo, great Bridgestone rubber! I really like that Subaru offers aftermarket performance parts. My next upgrade will probably be the sway bar kit.
Upgrade the stock shifter to the short throw kit. MP3 jack in the stereo. Offer the sunroof as an option instead of as a part of the Limited Package. Design the rear differential protector to be compatible with the cat back exhaust.
I have owned the car for a month and it has 1,200 miles on it. With more highway than city driving, I get between 28 and 31 mpg. I consider this excellent for an AWD vehicle and much better than what some of the other reviewers report. (This was a big unknown in my decision to purchase the Impreza). I test drove the Mazda 3 hatch twice and it felt 'heavy' compared to the Impreza (the Impreza is actually heavier). The 2.5i wagon has sharp handling and the ABS works well, I haven't had a chance to test the benefits of AWD in inclement weather. The cargo space is not huge but more than adequate, great with rear seats down. The sound of the boxer engine requires getting used to.
I like the sharp handling; the 2.5i base wagon has more than adequate power for my needs. The engine works well at high RPM; fun to drive. AWD, anti-lock brakes and side air bags for added security. I find the exterior styling attractive. The utility of a hatch is difficult to beat (small car).
As other reviewers have indicated: better stereo with MP3 player; better quality materials for the interior - plastic scratches very easily, better quality cloth for the doors. Subaru should include overhead map lamps as standard. Eliminate small rattles (one coming from the handles above doors).