I bought my white 2.5RS in March 2005. I love it. I drive it everyday. It is a practical car. I'm still breaking in my engine and shift up before 4k rpm. The engine sounds great even under 4k RPM, the ride is smooth, and the handling is responsive. However, the launch from zero of this car seems to be soft ( I guess it is due to AWD torque distribution), and the braking is soft too. The braking is acceptable but NO where near impressive. I may upgrade the brake in the future. You don't get WRX or STI from this one, but you got an Impreza, too. I'd proudly recommend this great car.
I bought this car in September of last year to use as a winter car instead of my Mustang GT. I bought it with 93,000km on it and I now have 104,000km. Obviously, the car is GREAT in the snow. With 4 snow tires, you can pretty much plow your street with your front bumper and still not get stuck. The car is comfortable, but I find the seats somewhat stiff (base RS seats) for longer trips. Fuel mileage is great for this engine and AWD. I've gotten a best of 32 MPG on the highway in the Winter, driving 120 km/hr. I imagine 35 MPG highway is attainable in the Summer. Features are alright. The radio is poor - changing the faceplate helps. Parts are expensive (import). I'd buy another one!
I was looking for a car for my 16 year old son - required ABS, Airbags and AWD (we live in CO). This car has enough power to make it thru the mountains and gets 30 mpg. It holds all his hockey gear and it is easy to find tires and parts.
This is a car for anybody who loves driving and wants some performance to go along with utility. At this price, I do not know of any other car that provides this kind of performance and handling with 4 doors and all-wheel drive. This car puts you in a special community too: other WRX drivers on the road ALWAYS smile and wave at me! How many other Japanese sedans have that kind of following?
I have 83,000 miles on the clock at this time. It's been very solid and reliable. It drives pretty well. I have found over the years that the suspension does not feel as solid and connected to the road as it used to. The interior noise can be bad when you have passengers. Overall it's been a very reliable and solid car.