I have had the car for about three months now, and am overall quite pleased with it. I wanted something that handled well, got decent mileage, and could haul stuff in a pinch. I narrowed down my search to two vehicles with the other being the Mazda3. The Mazda had less cargo space and will not take a trailer hitch, and lacks roof rails, although it is slightly less expensive and reportedly gets better mileage. I recently subjected it to a 2,500 mile road trip and consistently got just above 31 mpg on the highway (and much of this was through the mountains of North Carolina with the AC on); in the city I got around 25.
The wagon handles well, especially on wet pavement and on dirt roads, and the ride is smooth for a compact car.
I have to agree with most of the other reviews regarding rear leg room and the sub par stereo. I would also add that the air conditioning could be more powerful. I gets the job done but does not cool the car down as quickly as I would like.
2006 Subaru Impreza Wagon Outback Sport Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 4A)
So far car has been nice. But its not as comfortable with 5 people in it even with 3 being kids. But for me it is only a second car and used mainly to get back and forth from work. This car has been a nice surprise, going from my Jeep Grand Cherokee. That I loved (just not the many trips to the gas stations) but going to this has not been too bad. I miss some toys but this car has a lot more sporty of a ride. So far so good.
All wheel drive. I live in upstate N.Y. it helps a lot in the snow.
Softer seats or less firm. More power you can feel. Had a V8 with 240 hp which felt a lot different off the line. Would like to be put into the back of my seat without losing gas mileage.
2006 Subaru Impreza Wagon Outback Sport Special Edition 4dr Wagon AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
I traded in a Land Rover and I am ecstatic about my new Subie! The gas mileage alone makes me want to drive more. I customized it with my Yakima rack system and a few stickers and it is now ready for the trek across the country. I can't wait for the drive.
This car is a kick in the pants to drive. I've had it for 3 months, and it's been nothing but pleasurable. Performance wise, the car has a lot of power, and is very nimble; cornering is fun, as is taking it on a windy road. The build quality is good, but I've noticed a few rattles. The clear plastics that cover the gauges and stereo scratch a little too easily, so be careful. Minor annoyances aside, it's a great car at a great price point. I wouldn't hesitate recommending this car to anyone.
Performance wise, I couldn't ask for more. And the 6-CD changer is great. I also love the heated leather seats, and the sunroof. I got the cargo bin for the back, and that is really nice too. It keeps all my junk from rolling around when I'm doing some "spirited" driving.
Clear plastics shouldn't scratch so easily. iPod/MP3 minijack input. Some of the interior plastics seem to scuff up easy too, which I noticed around the seatbelt mount on the drivers left shoulder. I guess it must be from where I grab the seatbelt.
I have barely had the WRX Wagon long enough to break it in. The mix of strong performance, great handling, full time all wheel drive, large brakes, lots of front seat head room, adequate back seat room for two, a wagon tail end (with no sacrifice to handling or speed) is very attractive for a car priced in the low to mid-twenties. The new 2.5L motor gives better around town drivability than the previous motor and gives great 'get out of my way' acceleration. ;-)
Ample head room in front. Great seats that catch me where I need it. Great acceleration, handling, and braking.
Fuel economy is not great. The power curve is strong, but a little lumpy as RPMs climb. This may smooth out as the car wears in a little.