So far this is the best "car" I've driven in a long time. It's certainly fast and hugs the road like a rally car should. I was happily surprised that I don't feel like I'm sitting too low to the ground while driving.
Bought new and now have currently about 28k miles. Overall great car, suspension is very forgiving but a little to soft for my opinion-that is my only gripe. MPG I average 28-30 on hwy and about 23-25 city. A lot of the wrx components can be switched to the 2.5i such as suspension or brakes. The 2.5i brakes compared to the wrx brakes are pretty stupid IMO; both have same caliper but different size rotors-I upgraded to wrx rotors using wrx caliper bracket and braking is much better now. Handles great in snow, the only thing that limits it is the crappy oem tires. Overall a great car for someone looking for a AWD vehicle at a great price. Do not overlook this car, you will not regret it!
My first Subie and I LOVE HER! I need AWD for NH winters, so considered RAV4, Suzuki SX4, Matrix, Outback, Forester, Impreza. Did tons of research; this OBS had what I needed: reliability, safety, wagon versatility, adorability, good price. I LOVE driving this car. Smooth, but can feel the road; easy shifting (but shifter feels a bit rubbery); comfy seats; perfect cargo space for 1 person; hugs the road; very responsive; good stereo; sits up high w/lift on driver's seat. I've owned a Tercel/Civic/Miata, so I'm used to great mpg. Have driven 170 miles on 30-60 mph country roads; meter says 31 mpg. But I can see my fuel meter wand move down as I drive. Yow. But I adore this car already.
What a neat car, fun to drive, fast and MUCH more comfortable than my Miata. I have had Mustang GT's and an older Camaro and a Ford ZX2 SR and nothing compares to the fun factor so far. The 2011 has a great stereo that allows blue tooth streaming as well as a USB jack for music on a memory stick. I have no complaints so far. Ok maybe one, I had to change to all season tires for the snow here as it comes with summer only tires. Make sure you get the short shifter option it makes a world of difference!
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.