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).
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.
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.