Recently purchased my WRX from a friend who owned it since 25K. Car now has 91K. Previous owner only did regular service with no other issues. This is the type of vehicle that you have to know what you are buying. It doesn't do anything spectacular but does do everything well. Power is adequate, interior is decent, looks are unique, MPG is good for a performance-based car, parts/service is reasonable, and resale is pretty good if you purchase used. I bought this car mainly for MPG as my other vehicle is an F150. And for $7000 I do not think I could get more car for the money. The car had already been upgraded to 17" wheels so it looks even better. Otherwise the car is completely stock.
AWD, shifter feels good, good MPG, looks different from all the other Accords, Camrys, Altimas, etc. that are everywhere, good trunk space, nice performance seats and steering wheel (is it really that hard for other companies to find a decent steering wheel?), reasonable power, excellent reliability
Better paint. If you are going to have cupholders make them better, less turbo lag, should come with more than 16" wheels, car is easily dented, shifting into first almost requires a complete stop which is bad in a turbo, fold-down rear seats, cars appears to sit too high, doors feel like tin.
I purchased this car because I wanted AWD and a decent amount of carrying capacity while still being small enough to parallel park easily. The TS wagon fit the bill perfectly. As a CA native unaccustomed to the unique demands of winter driving in upstate NY, my Subaru has done a fantastic job of hugging the iciest roads. Curiously, my friends' SUVs often get irretrievably snowed into their parking spots, but my wagon can always get past the snowiest mounds. Reliability is excellent even on long roadtrips - I've driven her from NY to CA and back to MA. I have had no expenses beyond regular maintenance in my 7 years of ownership. After this car, I am absolutely sold on Subarus.
Fantastic handling - especially in adverse weather. Great carrying capacity and seat adjustability for maximum carrying space. Attractive exterior design and extremely stain-resistant upholstery.
Gas mileage is not wonderful (comes with the AWD though). Paint has begun chipping a bit after 7 years (5 in harsh northeast winters). Wish the hatchback opening was a little wider to allow larger objects.
I bought my '02 WRX wagon exactly 2 years ago with 60,000 miles on it, just out of warranty. I now have 102,000 miles on it and have only replaced the brakes and done regular maintenance, mobile 1 synthetic only. While it may need more maintenance than I've given it, it still has given me no problems whatsoever. This car is super fast for a wagon. Nobody expects to see a subaru wagon to pull off the line as quick as the WRX wagon. I can get to 60mph, with a passenger, in 6 seconds which is impressive for a 2.0L 4cyl. Also, the AWD performs better in 6in or less snow than my Jeep Cherokee.
6 years, 82k miles and not a dime in it other than gas, oil and tires. Still gets over 30 mpg freeway, around town is a little low due to the AWD, upper teens/low 20's depending on how you drive. Getting 25 on the average tank. Reliable, punchy, AWD is amazing on the snow.
Pre-purchased WRX in April 01 site unseen, before they were first imported. Extremely happy with the car, fuel efficiency, power, and build quality. Over the last year, it has developed a couple of small rattles and the driver's window regulator needs replacing (has nearly 100k miles). Value is still over $10k 6 years later. Very satisfied with the car, the brand, and the type of vehicle.
Turbo. AWD. MOMO steering wheel. MPG
Cupholders, AC system a little weak, quite a bit of road noise in the interior. Sunroof (later models received this upgrade). Make boost gauge standard.