Previously owned an 05 STI. This 08 is worlds above the old STI. It's more comfortable and waay more quiet. The power delivery is more linear, which makes it seem like it's not faster than previous version but speedometer says otherwise :-) The suspension offers no shock to the kidneys over bumps while retaining the ability to take corners at much higher speeds than the old versions. I love that the car looks more aggressive but does not grab the attention like the old versions with the big wing. Sleeper look.
The wide body look, fender flares look awesome. Hatchback utility. Smooth suspension. Interior materials are Major upgrades over previous STIs. 20 MPG avg. is pretty good for a 300HP, AWD car. Sound of boxer engine and exhaust seems more aggressive and sweeter sounding than my old 05 STI.
Get rid of those ugly clear taillights! Bring those Recaro seats! The SI Drive is pointless. I mode doesn't save me any more gas than S# mode.