Bought a used 2008 with high miles to replace an aging Mazda B truck. I also compared a few 2006-2007 models, but no WRX's in the same price range. The 06-07's were much more fun to drive- more connected to the road. The 08 is much quieter and smoother like a "grown-up" car as my wife put it ( she drives an Outback, which we LOVE) I'm a sporty driver with a heavy foot, and the gas mileage is OK- about 23 for urban- suburban commuting, quite often in bumper to bumper. If you want a gas sipper, look elsewhere. If you want AWD security, your're in the right place. 35 MPG is useless if you can't get out of the driveway.
375 miles, and so far, the car has been great! I commute over a 9,500 ft twisty mountain pass every day, this car handles the road great and even without the turbo has plenty of power. I, a die hard manual trans fan, purchased the automatic, VERY happy with the tiptronic auto-stick. First tank of gas averaged 25.7 mpg. Looking to be much better for second tank. Can't wait for the snow to fly so I can test the AWD system :)
This car is very quiet, nothing like the rattle box my wife's Focus is. Engine is very quiet, that my wife can't hear it well, and try to restart it twice. I don't like the abs at times as it kick in prematurely, but most time it is quiet. The interesting "safety" feature about the car is that if you forget to tighten your gas cap well, or if any glitches occur in the engine or drive train - the Cruise control light flashes, check engine light goes on, and the traction control light goes on. This scared the jeepers out of me at first - but it is an important safety feature to protect the engine. You can buy a code reader for $20 or take to action auto for the code to be read.
I bought my 2008 brand new when I graduated college.
I'd been in a few older ones and knew how fun they were, but the 2008+ model years really add a touch of comfort and practicality whereas the previous models just felt slightly cheap.
It is a blast to drive and anyone who I've let behind the wheel has fallen in love with it.
The AWD has exceeded my expectations in the our tough Utah winters.
My only complaints are the interior could be a bit more exciting (esp dash), but I think they did address that in later models.
Stock wheels are a joke (mine BENT the first year on small potholes) but just replaced them w/better looking one.
Overall, a great car with far more pep than you'd think
We got the 2008 hatchback and have 1700 miles on it. Handling and comfort are excellent, it's really fun to drive. Performance getting better every day as the engine gets broken in. Used it in some deep snow, traction is great, it climbs steep snow covered roads with ease. So far the mileage is the only gripe. Getting about 20 around town and 26 - 27 on the highway. Hope it gets better when it fully broken in and the weather warms up. Excellent car, we had 2 Legacys before but the new Impreza is roomier than the old model. I'd buy another.