I don't know where the EPA got their numbers from, I do mostly city driving and am averaging 28.5mpg on the first two tanks of gas, the motor isn't even broken in yet, I'm sure to get over 30mpg. It's a fun car to drive, definitely good for commuting, the only downside is the amount of wind and road noise along with some rattling of the hard plastic interior. I can't wait for some snow to see how the all wheel drive holds up though, if it's anything like my 92 suby was, it should be a lot of fun. I'd recommend this car to anyone, the 09 impreza has a noticeable amount of more interior space which is great! A+
Favorite feature is definitely the manual transmission. I couldn't imagine driving an automatic.
Improvements would definitely be some better insulation all the way around, floor, doors, trunk and ceiling. I may invest in a few rolls of dynomat and start going to town myself.