If you live in the snow belt (I'm in Alaska) it's hard to argue with this choice. Subaru's non-turbo models offer the best fuel economy currently available with AWD - I get 21 to 23 in the city (depending on time of year) and can get 30 on the highway (real numbers calculated at the pump). It would be nice if there were an AWD deactivation feature, but that might lessen safety and reliability. The cloth seats are great (leather is terrible in cold weather & bad for the environment/inhumane). You won't win drag races in this, but it's the only thing available that offers its blend of reliability, safety, AWD, a manual transmission, and good fuel economy in the same package.
Crash test scores, reliability, looks (now the only non-ugly Subaru), more back seat room than Impreza (in 2006), interior styling & upholstery, improved fit & finish over prior Subarus, fuel economy (good for an AWD). It's a wagon with a stick shift - awesome (they don't make em anymore).
Bring the diesel boxer engine over from Europe. Make heated seats & steering wheel standard.
My wife had a Subaru WRX but when we had a child, she needed something bigger. The WRX was fun to drive, safe, and reliable so naturally looked at another Subaru. We knew we wanted a wagon with a manual gearbox. We also wanted better fuel economy, lower insurance rates, and something that does not take premium fuel. The Legacy 2.5i wagon manual proved perfect. My wife misses the WRX but once the Legacy had about 2000 miles on it, the engine loosened up nicely and works well with the manual gearbox. Yes, a little more power would be nice but 25 mpg around town and 30+ mpg on the highway is fantastic.
All-wheel-drive, excellent safety record, Subaru reliability, exterior and interior styling, value for money, ride/handling characteristics, size, giant sunroof, uses regular fuel, good fuel economy, not an SUV.
Needs stability control. Subaru should make it standard on all their cars. Seats could be more comfortable, some wind noise (frameless windows are always suspect), rear seat headroom compromised by giant sunroof, LATCH location/rear seat design makes some child seats difficult to install.
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