I live in Colorado and do a lot of mountain driving in the snow. There was nowhere I couldn't get to in the Impreza wagon. Even with all season radials, I had better handling in snow and ice than many vehicles with snow tires. The ride is smooth and acceleration is adequate most of the time. The 4 speed auto lacks power when climbing steeper mountain hills and downshifts too frequently to maintain speed. Flat land driving is excellent. The handling in all conditions exceeds any car I've driven before (86 Sentra, 90 Accord, 93 Infiniti G, 96 Infiniti G and 03 Altima). Overall this car offers a good mix of performance and mpg. If you're looking for true sport handling, get the WRX.
The all wheel drive is awesome. It takes away a couple mpg, but it's well worth the trade-off. The MP3 jack is nice in the Outback Sport. Reliability is second to none. 22k miles and no more than the regular scheduled maintenance.
About 25 more horse power to be more effective for mountain driving would be the best improvement. Beyond that, it's just some minor things: only has auto down window for drivers side (needs up and down for passenger and driver). The upgraded stereo is not close the level of most manufacturers.
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