One month into ownership of my STI, and what a pleasure to drive. Driven hard in the S# mode it is quite the quick sports car, but move into the I mode and it is pleasantly sedate. Owned an E36 M3, 535xi, RX-7, Prelude over the years. This car the best combination of performance and practicality by far. Never considered the brand before, but glad I did. Love the ability to haul people and golf clubs, and the AWD will be important in the winter. While expensive for a Subaru, a great value. Never had so many people look twice before..the scarcity of the car keeps many wondering what it is.
Just a huge disappointment. It's slow (watch as a BMW 3-series can almost out-run you, and a 135i actually can), it has more body roll than an average taxi (watch as everyone almost falls out of their seat when you go around a freeway on-ramp), it has more road noise than an eighteen wheeler, and there's more rattles than you'll find in an average day care center. Buy a WRX and save 10k. I completely regret buying my STI.
This car is pretty awesome and gets a lot of stares. It drives smoothly and sounds great, especially the turbo. The price is okay, but I wasn't impressed. The tires are summer performance, I would have liked all- season. The interior is laid out nicely and is built with quality. Some of the carpet seems cheap and doesn't connect nicely with other parts of the interior, the steering wheel has a nice feel as well as other control surfaces. The exterior looks aggressive and confident. People try to race me all the time. The SI-Drive is pretty cool, I keep it in (I) most of the time for fuel efficiency. If you drive nicely it can get good gas mileage, but can also burn fuel quickly with turbo.
I bought last fall, drove through VT winter, amazing little beast. "Blam" passing people. MPG 22 this depends on where you live, stop & go traffic, driving habits, just try and keep ur foot out of it. Visibility good, except knowing curb local for parking, rolling into carwashes, (rims). Amazing space (5 dr hatch) you can fit a bike in there, or a Boxer and pug.
I needed a car that had enough room for two small children (occasionally), AWD for the snow (no snow plows or salt trucks here in the Pacific NW), and I wanted a car that would have great performance (but economical enough for daily commute). I've had this car for 3 months, and I couldn't be more pleased. It meets all my needs (though not tried in snow yet). I keep it in the "Sport" setting, and average 21mpg in mixed driving conditions. Not a single problem with the car. A few additional costs: insurance went up $200/yr and car requires 92 octane fuel, but it's money well spent. Nicely balanced suspension (not too stiff, not too soft). The STI is a very high quality vehicle in and out.