For years all I wanted was a WRX. When I finally got mine it didn't disappoint. Stock the car is amazing, but if you start upgrading, there's nothing better. My 18 month old loves the car, when he sees it, he goes, vroom vroom.
If you want an awd performance car for year-round use in snowy climates--one that is affordable--this is one of few out there. Just returned from a 1000 mile trip: close to 30 mpg, with no particular gas-saving driving. Always power easily available; handling is quite quick and good. Premium package an attractive choice: can't beat a sunroof, and the short-throw shifter seems desirable. WR blue is a great color. Spoiler gets in the way sometimes as far as backing up, but it looks better than STI version. One negative: exhaust noise/rumble. (I had 2007 Forester turbo, which had a more-pleasant sound.) 20 somethings love this car: Fast and Furious influence. Hill holder good. Good purchase!
Update at 30,000 miles: Still have the same car, and have an extended warranty. Car has had two nasty rattles: one in A pillar, driver's side, and one in engine compartment. The second was an engine/mounting bolt, diagnosed at dealer (good mechanic, Mike) and fixed. The first (pillar) appears in owners' forums. Again, diagnosed and fixed by Mike. I've always heard that Subaru spends its money on drive train, not comfort, looks, or electronics, and I agree. Radio is kind of tinny, and lots of plastic inside. But, the engine is solid and powerful, with quick acceleration available at any rpm. Shifter works fine, and winter driving (with proper tires) is safe. AWD is unobtrusive. Mileage on last trip was about 27 on premium. WR blue is a great color, and looks fine when car is shined up, which is often. Drove a new STI recently, and its ride is 25% firmer. Also, its brakes seemed noticeable: firmer, surer, and from what I understand, much more expensive to replace. My next car could be the same level of WRX, an XT Forester (only available in automatic), or I might make the jump to an STI. Up North, it's easy to see why this make of car is popular. It is great to be able to manually shift gears. Two quick gripes: No "bra" available from Subaru for this model, and car only comes with summer tires (odd). Lastly, I've had no oil use problem. I'm happy to jump in this car and go anywhere.
This is a very practical, fun, AWD performance car with outstanding value for the money. A 0-60 time of 4.7 and ability to surpass 60 easily in second gear gives lots of confidence merging into traffic. The whine of the turbo is intoxicating combined with the rumble of the flat four boxer engine. It is super practical with the hatchback and can accommodate large items easily (seats fold down); big screen TV's, large boxes, mountain bike, etc. The hatch also works as excellent rain protection when you are loading (unexpected surprise). The AWD is incredible for inclement weather, but be sure to get at least all season tires so you can stop and turn in easier in snow (had stock summer tires).
The Subaru AWD's gripping power is just amazing and there is no torque steer, like the FWD's will give you.
I have enjoyed Subaru's options like the rear cargo mat, adjustable arm rest, STI short shifter and rear bumper cover (protects against scratches). I dig all the functional vents and air intakes on this car.
The car looks muscular, ripped, like an MMA fighter, but is not over compensating. Beautiful sounds coming from up front and behind. Mean looking quad exhaust! Huge aftermarket for this car.
Sell this car with high performance Z-rated all season tires.
Raise the front at least 1 inch to protect against road rash.
The base radio is subpar for the performance of this car.
The interior has nice touches and is functional, but needs some improvement and less cheap plastic.
The MPG is a bit on the low end.
Usually 21-22 mpg in mixed driving.
Would like to see a close ratio 6sp that is geared identical to the 5sp in 1-5, but with the extra 6th gear for better freeway mileage only.
I like the protection of the underside engine cover, but removal of it for an oil change is a pain. Modify it?
Continue making the hatchback!
Fine car, starting with styling. Has functional hood scoop and side vents for cooling turbo and brakes. 360 tour takes you by four doors and nice spoiler plus four exhaust tips. Subarus tend to be durable (I've had five). AWD and hill-holder on manual shift are great features. Secure-feeling, nicely-handling car, even when you are not putting your foot into the throttle. When you do that, hang on! Great power for a 2.5 liter. Update: Still a headturner. Good power at any rpm. Odd rattles. WR blue ages well. Door gasket keeps fraying. Gas filler door hard to open. Puzzling deficiencies like these, but still love the car. (22k mi.) Update #2: 40k miles/5 years old. Car still looks good and is a head-turner, especially to those who have watched the "Fast and Furious" franchise. Car remains mechanically very good. Appearance is excellent. I use Klasse AIO "wax," and keep car garaged and covered much of the time. I've had two sets of A-pillar rattles fixed at dealer, and passenger-side window motor is very weak, and soon to be replaced. Airbag issue affects this car. With snows, the car is fine in the winter, but it remains a little low to ride over drifting snow. Replaced battery at 32k. Due to my inattention, I curbed a factory wheel. Had it fixed, but it cost me $250. I would buy this car again--maybe at 50k miles on my current one--but Subaru is making strange noises about dropping a manual shift, which would dissuade me from getting another. Since I live in Michigan, I'm going to inspect car for underbody corrosion soon. There is no visible exterior rust. Car is a blast on trips: Somehow, I never worry about passing on a two-lane road, as the 2.5 turbo blows you right past anyone. I like the WR blue, and my current plan is to buy the same car, same color, and not the STI (too much $ for not that much of an upgrade). Here is an October, 2018 review update: I only have 33k miles (after 5 and 1/2 years) on the car presently (apparently I made an erroneous mileage estimate last review); I have no mods on the car. But I do have regular maintenance: every 3500 miles new synthetic oil, and went through the expensive dealer-suggested maintenance at 30k. (Why do I need oil and gas cleaner/additive from dealer at this maintenance if I use Shell premium and Amsoil oil at 3750 mile changes? I think I know.) Car runs great and looks excellent. The World Rally Blue has lasted quite well, and is an attention-getter. I would buy the same color again. One complaint is that the exhaust (cat back, factory) has corroded noticeably. No holes, but it looks bad. (I have a 2012 Equinox, driven at same place, same conditions, etc., whose exhaust system still looks new.) I was not intending to get an aftermarket exhaust, but if I keep the car, I will, just for the appearance factor. I have sprayed the backs of the two mufflers (visible under bumper) with high-temp Rustoleum, and that improved looks from the back dramatically. I have had the passenger-side window motor replaced, and several door gaskets. (They have worn by regular use.) Mechanically, car is great. Car's interior is a bit tight when the driver is wearing down jacket. Car's lights are great. I miss having Sirius radio, and a six-speed would be nice instead of my five-speed. I'm starting to get "buy" requests from people, largely because of appearance of car (new) and that I have not made any performance mods to it. If I do sell it, I would get another, or possibly a left-over Forester XT. I suppose I have one nagging question at this point: Why did Subaru turn out an exhaust that won't tolerate northern Michigan winters without corroding badly? Shouldn't they test an AWD car in extreme northern conditions, including road salt? Wouldn't using an exhaust with appearance longevity be showing "Love" for their customers? I really like my Subaru dealership mechanic (Mike) who knows WRX's inside and out, primarily because he drives one.
2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
The Subaru WRX Sti limited was about what I expected. I bought the care to be my daily driver. It is very fun to drive and more comfortable than I would have expected. Paying the extra money for the limited package was well worth it. Heated seats adds some extra comfort in the winter time, and the sunroof will be nice in the summer. I'm not impressed with the stereo system, but I can easily be remedied with some aftermarket additions.
Having purchased the care in the middle of winter, I have enjoyed the heated seats the most.
However, I also certianly enjoy the amount of power the car has, as well as the all-wheel drive and superb handling characteristics.
It gets better than advertised fuel mileage.
I'm experiencing 20-21 city & 24-25 highway with plenty of spirited driving included.
The one thing I would like to improve upon would be the stereo system.
I ordered the car t with the powered subwoofer in the trunk, which causes the trunk to rattle a bit, and the overall sound quality in the car isn't very good.
I didn't buy the car expecting a lot of luxury, but it could use some improvements in that area if Subaru wanted to appeal to a different crowd.