This car replaced a beloved 2001 VW Golf GLS 1.8t. I was hoping to find something as fun and comfortable as the VW, but with AWD to get me up our steep Vermont hills in winter in the places where the VW failed to make progress.
The Outback Sport has turned out to be much more entertaining than I expected.
It doesn't have quite the zip of the VW turbo, but it's plenty fast.
The biggest surprise was the excellent steering and handling: quite an improvement over the somewhat squishy VW.
The next biggest surprise was the fuel economy; I'm getting 28 on average, and as high as 32 on some off-freeway road trips.
Excellent handling, fairly responsive engine, AWD, decent fuel economy, heated seats, good legroom for tall driver.
As others have noted, the passenger seat is a bit low.
I also miss the telescoping steering wheel and sunroof of my old VW.
The VW also had galvanized steel body panels, so I'm sure the Subaru will rust out sooner.
The external styling isn't quite as clean as the VW, but it's an improvement over the previous generation of Impreza.
However, all of this is nitpicking since this generation is due to be replaced in a few months.
For a WRX fan, the 08 is the one to stay away from. I am now at 41k miles and cannot hand this lease back in fast enough. The suspension is too soft with an intense amount of body roll, though the ride comfort is much improved (IMO leave that for the Impreza owners, not the WRX). The interior is clean but uninspiring with hard plastic everywhere. Throttle response is slow and the traction/abs systems are intrusive. Exterior styling speaks for itself. The sound system is close to the quality of a cell phone speaker in a tin can. Hatch boom is very prevalent. The AWD system in the snow is the only reason I gave FtD category an 8 but the OE RE050's leave a lot to be desired in all conditions.
Interior space is phenomenal! Subaru AWD is one of the best (with TCS off). Head room is surprising. Steering feedback is just right. 2.5L HO motors sound remarkable.
Sound quality. Ipod controls on stereo are clumsy. seat bolsters are a joke and provide no support. lots of hatch boom. suspension is too soft. Subaru paint at its finest and anti-corrosion warranty wont fix it (calls it surface rust). Typical notchy subaru gearbox. Ext. styling and int. materials.
I had a 2004 and had to replace it after I was hit and just not thinking got another hoping it was better as it changed---it didn't, it was NOT better. It gets just pathetic gas mileage to the point where I chatted with other owners that were sure that something was wrong as the mileage was so bad! Then the fantasy.ITs a car that you buy based on the fantasy that you will be 4 wheeling all over the place and plowing through 4 ft snow drifts and lake sized puddles. Reality= trip to grocery / gas station . Not much "fun' to drive . Its not quick and peppy as the 4wd has its drawbacks . Then at high speeds when passing it would lunge in 3rd to 4th and make aloud CLUCK* sound both years. let-down
Looks Good standing still. Handsome rims and restyle. easy to sell to another pigeon
Better Gas mileage, Needs more power - Subaru so embarrassed by 0-60 time its listed NOWHERE! Flat handling feedback and the 4wd doesn't seem to add to the ability to go thru the slalom , the 18 Mazda 3 smokes it in every category? Why it's only 2wd isn't 4wd better --well that's what they sell you!
I've had this car a couple years and plan to keep it for a long time. Handles great, comfortable, lots of features, solid, great visibility and performs! It may have "only" 170 Hp, but a very broad power band. This car flies up the Colorado mountain passes. I could easily do 20 over even the steepest grades here, while many cars struggle to hold the speed limit. AWD is extraordinary in the winter, in all but true off road and deep snow(say over a foot) this car does better than my truck. Its economy is rated at 19-22, but I've NEVER been close to that low. I consistently get just under 30 mpg combined driving. I've had it in the mid 30's on the highway.
Performance. Handling. Extremely roomy. Comfortable. Reliable. Well built. Does great in adverse conditions. Great MPG for AWD (I get close to 30mpg consistently, and as high as 37 on the highway).
Styling takes some getting used to. Road noise a little high. Front passenger sits really low, something short people might not like (the driver seat can be raised however).