The Saabaru is a great blend of sportiness, reliability, and practicality. It's sporty and powerful enough to stay entertaining for years. I really enjoy the on boost power, but there's not much low end torque. Handling is good enough for the street, but it's not really at home on the racetrack.
Mine is still completely stock, and has been incredibly reliable. I've got almost 180k miles on it, and have only had a few repairs in all that time.
I really like how practical it is. I frequently load lots of stuff in the back and tow a 5x8 utility trailer with it for household projects.
Wife bought the 05 9-2x Linear, with cold weather package (heated seats, windows, leather, etc.) at the end of 2004 to be used exclusively as her primary vehicle in her pharma sales job, which requires a LOT of driving. About 180,000(!) miles later, its Subaru quality is still shining through. In all this time, it's only required new tires and brakes at regular intervals. This is a car that is driven often in the back roads of central Virginia and the Appalachia area of West Virginia. It's always burned a bit of oil, and the fog lights have had to be replaced due to sand and rocks thrown from trucks during the winter. This is a quality car, fun to drive (5-spd). Highly recommend.
The interior is very plain and understated, very few bells or whistles. The seats are very tight fitting, almost like race seats. This is a good feature when cornering hard as you don't slide in the seat at all. For those who are somewhat ample in the posteror region they might be uncomfortable. The seat fabric is very very prone to coffee stains, Saab could have thought this out better. My guess is that the demographic who buys this car also drinks a lot of coffee. The car is fun to drive with ample horse power and great handling. The awd is awesome in snow.
I would have bought the Impreza wagon but, the seats were too narrow. However, the Saab Leather seats are slightly wider, much more comfortable. What astounds me about this car is the fuel mileage. I drive pretty quickly in town, and get 29-30. On the highway, I get up to 34 mpg. Wow.
I have a 2005 Saab 92x Linear Automatic. I bought it way back when they had the GM employee discount for everybody. So I bought it instead of the Subaru Impreza.the mileage is over 266,000 miles and she keeps on ticking. I makes sure she is dealer tuned every year and I change the oil every 5,000 miles. I've had the rear struts changed. Right as I type this i have her in the shop. I busted three Lug Studs on the left driver rear hub while driving. While i was checking the proper torque on the other lugs, I busted another stud on the front left hub. The dealer busted two studs about two months ago on the back right rear tire during service. The car has been good to me and my family.