I live in the Lake Tahoe area of California. This car handles the turns and curves with grace and surefootedness like no other 4wd. I've owned 4Runners,Cherokee's etc. The manual shift option makes the transmission respond instantly to your input and I've noticed that after each oil change and then the differential & transmission fluid change the car has broken in beautifully and does not even resemble the car I drove off the lot. Was very tight when new and needed breaking in. Noticed it about 15k miles .The VDC eats the snow and I've passed so many suvs wiped out in the banks I can't even count 'em. The low center of gravity makes this pup tops.
Great smooth linear acceleration/outstanding transmission that is suitable for sporty or relaxed driving. Anybody that claims the transmission "jumps" between 4th &5th while climbing needs driving lessons. Anchoragell cars will exhibit this at a specific speed - switch to manual and take control in that case!
Standard center arm-rest please and auto-dimming mirror would be nice. Not much else; this car was built to excel in the rain & snow and the patent that Subaru has on its AWD transmission makes it the #1 choice for a 2-300k car that will keep you on the road, out of accidents and having fun!