I had a 2004 Outback Sport (which I loved dearly) and was nervous about the new model given the bad press on the internet over looks & worse handling. I drove the WRX, came back to the dealer smiling, and lost all doubts -- it's a great car. Like most Subarus it's neither hideous or gorgeous -- a few years behind the competition in styling and execution -- but it is solid, versatile, hopefully as trouble-free as my '04 was. Yes, it is more softly sprung than my old car but honestly I don't miss the go-kart ride. This car does however have a bit more 'float' in fast turns than my old car due to the softer springs - don't like that. Still sticks great, not a dealbreaker! Give the car a look.
Improvements from my '04 OBS: normal back seat, wider, but shorter, with longer wheelbase. Tons of power, handles well in most situations. Subaru AWD is amazing -- haven't been in snow yet, but my '04 was amazing in snow and mud - never slid, never out of control. Comfy (but lower) drivers seat.
Very cheap sounding stereo, hard plastic everywhere (my '04 at least had cloth on the doors), softened springs give better ride but a bit more roll, although the car still sticks in turns. Gas mileage low for such a small car. Looks are - controversial!! Neither pretty nor ugly - just - Subaru-ish!!
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