Overall a good car. Bought it used and so far have not had any major problems with it. Parts and labor are a little expensive. Not too much visibility from the driver's seat when backing up. Seats not very comfortable.
Good a/c, design, reliability, handling, awd.
Seats more comfortable, better rear view from driver's seat, fuel economy, softer shock absorbers.
What initially interested me in Subaru was the reputation for handling and safety. My first test drive sold me and now I dont want to drive anything else. The flat 4 engine and the all wheel drive make it a unique vehicle. I especially appreciate how it handles in the rain. I have not experienced any problems. All I have done is regular maintenance. I plan to keep this car. I may buy a second Subaru, but Im keeping this one.
The handling, the flat 4 engine and the cargo mat.
The stock tires, not impressed. They were replaced/upgraded around 24,000 miles.
It is a generally a well made car. I performed most of the fluid/filter change maintenance myself. The stock battery is too tiny, with the tiny alternator so got to watch out if you don't drive the car often or has a low mileage local commute. Cold start clutch shuddering is a well known "feature", and a hard to get in reverse gear. I have been stuck in city street trying to make u-turn because could not get in reverse. At 34k miles now the car desperately need the brake fluid change and a tune up. The really bad thing is the resale value comparably low but the car is a really good car, very reliable. Paint chips very easily. 3k miles synthetic oil change can be very troublesome and expensive, but is a must.
Reliability, mod-friendly, safe.
Back in 02 only a handful of mechanics know how to work on these cars, very easy to ruin if not properly modded. 5k instead of 3k miles change, fix the turbo lag, better brake feel. Smaller steering wheel, better turning ratio. Consider wide body on the wagon model. And better trade in value.
I've liked Subarus (all of them) since I worked at a Subaru dealership. I bought mine after I left the dealership because none of my other vehicles could meet the performance. They handle better than any other car I've been in, and although the ATi and Evo are faster, for the price and ease of the mods it is a good deal. Reliability is that of a Toyota and the performance of a sports car.
Symmetrical AWD, 6CD in dash stereo, underseat subwoofer, ease and cost of modding, roomy enough to where I don't need to sit all the way back; I have to be a couple clicks up in the seat - I'm 300lbs 6'.
I've had my WRX for coming on 4 years now. My buddy had one of the old style ones back in Britain, before they were available in the US. As soon as they came out here I got one and I've loved it ever since. You just can't get more performance, handling and fun for your money.