We use this hatchback as a delivery vehicle, in just the past 500 miles it's needed new ball joints, new brakes, new struts, A.C. system completely redone, and wheel bearings. The only good thing this car has going for it is the awd system, it rattles, it clunks, the back hatch rattles relentlessly, the seats are okay I guess, the radio is downright terrible and the speakers are weak. The gas mileage is not too good for a compact awd only averaging 21 mpg combined. It stores parts well but it isn't good at much else. If it didn't require so many repairs I'd consider it a good choice but it's just constantly more in the shop than we have it on the road. Beware it can get expensive to maintain. Oh and it's already had three transmissions and it holds at 130,852 miles. Head gasket is original still, so that's a plus I guess but that's only a matter of time I'm sure.
Regularly get 31+ mpg on road trips. Love heated seats. Never been stuck in snow storms. Bluetooth sucks. Definitely a compact car but you would be surprised how much you can stuff in it with the seats down. Wish rear seats had more leg room. Overall love this car.
I really like my car! it has been reliable and fun. The major drawback is the size. But I blame myself for this. I bought my car brand new the first year into my marriage. Now, 6 years later, we have a four year old and a one year old... Fitting 2 carseats in the backseat is comical, and the hatchback is nearly full once you add a diaper bag, and a foldable stroller. I also wish that there were more rear seat features for my children. In the summer they are hot, and in the winter they are cold for shorter trips due to there being no vents back there. The cup-holders in the door are positioned at the bottom, so my 4 year old can't reach drinks or toys stashed in there. Besides the fact that I have clearly "outgrown" the compact size, it's a great little car! In the bad weather it really shines. I have passed many full sized SUVs and trucks stranded in snowy ditches!
One of the better cars ive owned. I bought the car from a friend at 10k. I drive alot everyday and have around 75k on the car. Besides changing the tires and putting new brakes i haven't spent any money on repairs. The car runs very well and i bring it up to 90-100 miles sometimes with no issues at all. I also live in a area hit hard during winter and have never gotten stuck and i have all seasons on the car. Interior is sorta cheap with hard plastic and a boring design and the stock audio system is horrible. I spend $850 on an aftermarket speakers, amp and deck and it's made the car so much better. Overall great car that's cheap to maintain, drives great.
Update at around 36.8K: Car continues to perform as it did on day 1. Car has never refused to start, has never died while driving, nothing has gone awry except for the minor issues noted below. I have a feeling I'll drive this car another 10 years.
Update at around 33.5K. Had to get the front driver's side turn signal bulb replaced, prompted by the left turn signal malfunctioning. Otherwise, besides a broken clip on the driver sun visor, there have been absolutely no problems with this car that weren't caused externally. It starts reliably, has never broken down, or done anything strange. I did drive a Toyota RAV4 rental recently and noticed that it had a much better turning radius - the Impreza really isn't a highly maneuverable car. Oh well, it still has better visibility, and isn't sluggish like my husband's Forester.
Update at the 30,000 mileage maintenance - no serious problems, mechanic did the inspection of various parts, but only replaced what was required at that milemarker. Had Blizzak snow tires put on this winter, car had nary a fishtail in the snow and ice (although we had a milder winter this year). I can't tell you how much I love this car for its reliability. I have never had a problem with it starting, or any weird serious issues, it just goes. I plan to drive this for at least another 5 years.
This is a good smallish car that will get you from point A to point B. Not so small that you can't put a fairly large dog or a couple of adults in the back, or put the seats down and haul some stuff. It's not a luxury car but it has been very good to/for me. After suffering through a used luxury car (that a friend sold me) with massive repair bills, I bought this new. 4 years and 29K miles later it's doing fine.
I get regular oil changes and other routine maintenance, and keep it in a garage at night. This car has had some wear and tear but no major issues that weren't externally caused. (rear-ended, rocks kicked up on highway). It's never broken down randomly or behaved oddly in a severe way, which is more than I can say for the European monster I used to own. Minor issues with the Subie so far: a plastic piece fell off the driver sun visor, but visor still works; one occasion where turn signals started acting oddly then the problem resolved itself.
This past winter I had some problems with sliding on ice, so I am planning on getting winter tires this year. I live in an area where road conditions can be awful and only the major roads are plowed, if you're lucky.
The sound system is decent. Not as good as my previous car but I'm told pre-2011 sound systems in Imprezas were awful. Visibility is pretty good.
In comparison to other cars: The Forester is sluggish compared to this car in terms of pickup and maneuverability, but the Forester has better visibility because it sits higher. I have driven Nissans, and the Impreza is less responsive and maneuverable than a Nissan sedan, but more responsive and maneuverable than American cars I've driven. Compared to the Euromonster this has more road noise and a less gentle suspension, but not bad. I test-drove an Impreza sedan and the sedan grips the road better than the hatchback. I chose the hatchback because I prefer that style and it has more legroom.