Snowstorms, road salt, floods, backroads, and highways my car has seen them all and is still going. She is especially great at dealing in the snow with excellent handling all around and is a nice compact size for parking in the city. I love her and when I buy again, am likely to buy another one.
So I bought this car new in November of 2003 I recently hit 282,000 miles. And I have had this thing in corn fields on 4 wheeler trails doing 140+mph and it just keeps going. Same engine same turbo(bigger exaust) same everything nearly. Hell the boots on the CV axles are the originals. At 260,000 miles I changed the timing belt for the 2nd time the rollers tensioner and water pump for the first time. Oh and shortly before that I put in my 2nd set of wheel bearings. And at 280,000 I dropped in my 2nd clutch. This car still gets 25-28mpg.
I bought this car brand new. It has been a rocket of a car despite the turbo lag at low rpms. Very responsive and nimble for a wagon. This was the 2nd gen WRX. Reliable except for some problems. There is strut knocking in the rear, disc/brakes problems (numerous brake replacements) not braking hard. Clutch smells when driving it hard. A bit cramped for tall people. No rear room for adults great space with seats folded down. Comparable to an SUV. Excessive wind noise and engine noise. Fogs up easy on the windows. Lots of fan noise when on high but not much output to help defog.
Great power, reliable, good handling with awd. Sharp looks, great visibility all around. Solid shifting gearbox.
Bigger brakes and clutch to handle the bigger (turbocharged) engine! I believe they are stock. I think it's corrected in later models. Better interior quality. Heated mirrors and seats standard. Reduce cabin noise from wind and engine. More options.
I never write reviews, but I love this car and feel I owe it to the brand. I am completely sold on Subarus from now on. Snow, dirt, and wet roads are afterthoughts in this thing. I have taken it everywhere from snowdrifts to Jeep trails, and never had to second guess it. My favorite feature about it is storage space. I considered the few other cars with the elusive combination of storage and fuel efficiency, but none can touch the Subaru's AWD drivetrain. I will never go back to owning a truck for recreational purposes. The wagon can carry multiple bikes, gear for all and still have room for my dog. I love this car.
This has got to be one of the most underrated cars out there, It's practicality is useful for almost situation a driver wants(except racing) unless turbo'd. It was my best friend in 20cm of snow and its AWD never let me down.