I've wanted to make the jump to a Impreza WRX hatchback for awhile, but I can't justify the insane insurance cost. I went to Carmax looking for a smaller hatchback, but this one had arrived on the lot the day before, and the price was right (the option of extended warranty through 150k miles was a nice touch).
I'm loving most everything about this car, and what I don't love, I do like.
Interior layout is excellent. Everything is in a place that makes sense and is easy to get to. Telescoping tilt steering wheel, leather wrapped, leather seats with lumbar support for driver and passenger (plus heated and electric control for both) is great. Dual zone climate control helps keep peace with your significant other. The 3 drive mode options (I, S, S#) are great. I'm on I 90% of the time, but S# is a lot of fun. Plenty of cargo room (saw a complaint about not enough? Weird) Great stereo (no rattles here?) and the auto dimming rearview is just plain cool. Full time AWD feels sturdy and handles tight. The 2.5L Turbo... I'll get to in a second :) Remote Start and keyless entry.
For being the XT Limited model, I expected a little more from the performance side. It has some zip for sure, but the turbo has a little more lag than I had hoped (I know that's the nature or a turbo, but some do it better than others) and I echo the sentiments of the 3, 4, and 5 gear ratios. There is a lot of jump from 5 to 3 which seems like could have been avoided.
The handling more than makes up for it, as you'll feel like you're driving a car half the size.
I'm not looking forward to any potential out of warranty repairs on the Boxer engine, as I've heard they're expensive and tedious, but if it's like my family's old outback, it'll run forever (300k and counting on that one, a 94!)