I have had this car since it was brand new and I must say that it was a no- nonsense vehicle. There were some quibbles about the wheel bearings giving out quickly, but there is a TSB for fixing it, which to this day after 37,000 miles haven't needed to be replaced again. The clutch is a weak link in the drivetrain, so when it goes out, I HIGHLY suggest getting an aftermarket one. Other than that, the engine itself has been a jewel with only simple maintenance needed (i.e., oil change, coolant change, etc.) The car is a blast to drive, especially in the rain. Overall, a very good car with above average reliability that'll get you to where you want to go and have fun while driving it.
I picked mine up used with 60k miles on the clock, haven't had any problems with it. It's been so much fun to drive, especially on road trips. Twisties are always fun to go through on highways in the rain, passing everyone left and right with the AWD.
Avoid all Imprezas and buy a Legacy if you are going to buy a Subaru - the build quality is substantially better. I have had this car for 5 years and babied it, yet it still continues to fall apart. The rear wheel bearings have been replaced 3 times, the power window regulator died, the steering column coupler fell apart, the struts and alternator died at 70K, the engine was replaced at 100K after a bad rod knock developed (after fixing a head gasket leak), the CV joints have torn repeatedly, etc. What a lemon! This car only has 100K on it, but is constantly breaking down. The AWD system and overall pep of the engine are great, but avoid Imprezas due to their poor build quality.
This is a wonderful car for around town as well as extended trips. The gas mileage is terrific and it has very good storge for a compact because of the foldable back seats. There is not much people room but that was never a problem for me (5'9") . I think the looks are great although I have a thing for wagons. Many accessories are availible and the factory roof rack is very funcinal, tested often with kayaks, unlike other vehicles. The AWD works wonderful in the snow and ice and will get you where you need to be. overall a very good car for the price. the only short comming I've seen is the brakes which are noisy but seem to work fine.