I have a base model 5 speed Impreza sedan with over 2500 miles on it, the only options being the all weather mats (which are nice) and a jack for an ipod or something. This is my first Subaru, which I purchased as it's the first Subaru that appears to get decent fuel economy. I've only been in snow a few times, the most being about 5 to 6 inches which presented no problems in spite of the poorly rated tires. Average mileage for mainly stop and go with short highway driving has been 27 mpg to 28 mpg, which seems as rated.
I drove sport bikes for over twenty years and don't expect cars that I'm willing to pay for to provide the performance levels that I was accustomed to, so for me cars are just comfortable transportation and the Impreza is fine. The Impreza hp is about the same as a Ford OHV Taurus, the torque about 20 lbs/ft less, we.ve done many road trips in a Taurus with a family of five so I expect the Impreza can do the same.
I like the 'computer' set to display instantaneous mileage as I can see what it is for different driving conditions. The controls are laid out nicely, and I like being able to provide warm air to the windshield without running the A/C defrost. I find the seating to be very comfortable, visibility, braking and suspension very good, it is decently quiet on the road (see below) and the turning radius excellent. Headlights are the interior lighting are very good. The trunk is spacious for the size of car, and the fold down seats make it even more versatile. I'll appreciate the top mounted oil filter when I start doing my own maintenance, which I usually do after warranty.
As an experiment I changed the 0w20 oil to the Subaru 5w30 synthetic at the dealer. After two tanks of gas the mileage is the same but the car drives better. It is quieter, has less slap when warming up, quieter at idle and when on the road. Strangely it also shifts easier. When starting off it use to be kind of finicky, almost like the clutch release point moved around, a problem that even some reviewers commented on. Now it acts like it has more torque or something and is easier to get started, and it is consistent. It also use to be finicky when shifting thru some of the lower gears, as if the revs floated at too high of an rpm for too long and one needed to wait a bit before shifting. Now it shifts easily thru the gears. The car has acted like it was developed for the 5w30 as it drives better, and that the 0w20 was used as an afterthought. The 0w20 will be better for cold winter conditions, so a 0w30 might be the best all around solution.