I bought the hatchback with a manual because I was looking for versatility with good mileage.
Functionality wise, I'm happy. I'm 6'2" and the car is comfortable on long road trips and you can fit a surprising amount of stuff in the back, especially with the seats down. Also, the car is amazing in the snow.
BUT- as others mentioned, the car has started burning oil at 30,000 miles! Almost 2 quarts between oil changes. Add to that the well known not-as-advertised MPG, and I am thinking about trading it in. I have logged every single tank on Fuelly. In the winter, 22 city, 27 highway. In the summer, 25 city 30 highway. It's rare to do better than 30 on the highway, but I drive 70-75.
Good heat, A/C, decent seats. Even the back seat is pretty roomy.
The bluetooth works well with my iphone. Heated seats, mirrors & windshield are a great thing in upstate NY.
The car "feels" solid. I occasionally drive my girlfriend's '08 Hyundai Accent and there is no comparison. The Accent feels cheap, light, and rides rough even on good tires. The Impreza feels like a Lexus in comparison.
I live in upstate NY and we get a ton of snow. You really can take snowy corners faster in a Subaru and not even feel like you're "pushing it". I have yet to get stuck, even with 12" in my driveway. I did buy Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires. The stock tires are a death wish in the winter.
The car should get better MPGs considering its relatively weak engine and the EPA ratings.
The oil burning is a major turn off.
My right rear wheel is out of alignment (camber) and it can't be adjusted! So I have to be super diligent about rotating the tires.
Loved the car when I first test drove it with the CVT tranny, but wanted the 5 speed manual. Very happy with the decision. I love the secure feel of AWD and the car is roomy inside. Stereo was OK when listening to the stations, but much better sounds from CDs and MP3. Exterior is beautiful and the rims are awesome. Engine is good, not a racy type of engine at all. Throttle response is slow, but still fun to drive, especially around curves. The Yokohama tires hold the dry pavement great, but will know soon about the wet and snow.