Owned almost mine for almost 2 years, covered 18000 and has been almost everything I wanted. Very reliable - headlamp fell apart and was replaced instantly by the local dealer under warranty (Cross Roads Subaru at Teddington are EXCELLENT and I would recommend them to anyone).
Only two faults I have against the car. 1 Minor, the other, just nit picking.:
1/ Design. Never quite came to terms with the lack of design integrity - lacks visual engagement to go with the performance. It appears to have been designed in the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. The interior is a throwback to an early 90's Nissan or Toyota - granted it's very well bolted together - and looks so dull.
2/ Handling. Yes this car drives fantastically well, BUT it's a bit numb as a driving experience - the phenominal grip (great in the wet), means having to go VERY quickly to play about with it. Maybe I need a rally stage or a go in an STi with the diff bias switch?
Is it ugly? Yes. Does it handle? Yes. Costly to run? Not stupidly, but insurance can get rather silly though.
Would I buy another? Yes, but not until the new model comes along in a year or so. The mechanicals are fantastic - just needs a Pininfarina or Bertone body on it.
If you can live with it's looks buy it - especially if it is an STi with the diff bias switch..
Just what would a 40 year old be wanting with such a car??? Very good question! I was about to purchase a luxury car and made the mistake of taking a test drive in a Subaru Impreza WRX - and that was it - love at first sight!!
OK, so I've given the car a perfect overall score of 5 out of 5. True the car is a little more expensive to maintain and fuel than the average, and the cabin is getting a little dated though its still very alluring in a functional way.
However this is a drivers car and most who buy it will do so for the driving experience which is simply awesome.
I have had mine for 3 weeks now and every time I turn the key I get a rush! This car just loves to be driven - its flexible and docile - buts its also capable of legendary pace and handling! It really is soooooooooooo good you'll soon forget little things like expensive insurance and low fuel consumption. Buy one now - you'll not regret it!
Phenomenal acceleration, great handling and great presence. Cabin is functional without taking your breath away, will look to upgrade the cd/radio system, not the best quality or sound. Good boot size. Cat 1 alarm is a pain as you have to get in close the doors, put your belt on before starting the engine or it will activate,even bigger pain with a passenger also. I'm sure it sounds straight forward, but when you've been starting the engine before putting your belt on for the last 15 yrs it is frustrating.
Beware, insurance companies won't touch you unless you have a tracker fitted. I got a good deal at £265 for a tracker system incl installation, but, there is also the suscription fee of around £120pa for 3 yrs.
I bought an import brand new and saved £5500 on the price at the dealership, only lost out on headlamp washers and side airbags.Be warned, however,dealerships can be a bit petulant when going there for services etc as it's an import.
In short, if you are looking for a great driving experience, you have deepish pockets and you are not looking for lots of toys in the cabin, then this is the car for you.
A great driving machine, good response from the turbo motor lower down in the rev. range, fantastic road handling.
Front seats seem to lack thigh support, and only adjust for height, not tilt.
Instrument dash illumination cannot be dimmed for night time driving.
Lots of tyre noise at cruising speed.
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