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).