Tight, nimble, reliable and smooth little car. The wagon's appeal is the just-sporty-enough looks, cargo and comfort capabilities. I love the AWD since I live in Alaska's interior and need a reliable car to get me up hills and through our roads safely. I also chose the manual transmission for fun and fuel economy. The standard 2.5 engine is sweet and quiet but don't expect a power pull from this engine. With over 11K miles on my car since I bought it new, I climbed from 21 mpg new and now average 24 in the city. I've had 30 mpg on the highway if I keep it at 60 mph. 70-80 mph (summer driving) and I still get 27-28 mpg.
AWD is my favorite feature that never leaves me guessing if I can get to the ski hills or through the hilly terrain where I live. I feel safe because it handles so well. The car and transmission is very smooth and very easy to drive. Superb value considering the low take home cost.
The naturally aspirated engine produces some power but is better served with a better air intake filter. I opted for a K&N and the engine seems to enjoy a bit more air now. The all-season tires are a bit cheap so I replaced them with better ones and my car responds to them like hand in glove.