2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl 5M)
I recently traded in my '07 VW GTI on a used (17,000 miles)-'08 Impreza 2.5i. So I lose 30 hp, gain awd, lose handling, but gain a more grown up, and comfortable car. I wanted something I would be somewhat happy with along with reliability. With the reliability of Subaru, I had my choice. If you want something that will be a 6-7 on the fun scale, that looks good, will drive through anything, and that will be as reliable as a rock... buy one of these.
AWD, boxer sound, highway MPGs, interior design, dials, stereo, dual exhaust, heats up very quickly in cold weather, 5 speed manual, steering wheel controls on premium, leather steering wheel/shifter/parking brake, and it's a SUBARU, it will be as reliable as the sun.
Stronger anti-roll bars, stock exhaust tips (although the bare 2" pipes allow you to put on any tips you like), little nicer cloth interior, otherwise if you keep in mind what car you're buying, there is not much to complain about.