I'm very pleased with this car, which replaced a much-loved 5-cylinder Audi.
It is very well built, comfortable, has excellent road grip and safe, predictable handling. The all-wheel drive system - like Audi's quattro - was a real selling point for me.
It also has an excellent stereo system, and I like the growl of the flat-4 engine when it's working hard, yet it's quiet at speed.
I have only two real criticisms, firstly that the main beam headlights are inadequate for country driving - I had driving lamps fitted; the second is the lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel - I'm 6ft 2 and find my arms a little too straight when I have the seat right back.
My car is an automatic and it's not the smoothest box around but it's rarely caught in the wrong gear when in "sport" setting and since a lot of my driving is in the city I still prefer it to a manual.
It's not especially economical on fuel however, although it's slightly better with premium petrol.
Servicing is expensive and dealers not very common.
I should add that I live in Australia and a Subaru 2.5 RX costs roughtly 2/3rds the price of a BMW 318 or Audi A4 so value for money is outstanding here!
Drive a few miles and you can not help but be impressed by the compliant ride and the confidence-inspiring grip. The engine pulls freely from all revs and is impressivley smooth in delivery, accompanied by a very pleasant soundtrack as the revs rise.
You need to look hard for faults and the only ones I can make are instruments can be hard to read in sun light. The other is the electric windows only work with the ignition on. Working from the car like I do this can be annoying when you want to open the window while working parked.
The car is superb and I have brightened mine with a few minor mods to give a more agressive appearance, maybe Subaru have been a little subdued with the styling. However it is a good looker.
In three weeks I've happily clocked 1,800 miles of very pleasureable driving, including a long motorway trip to London, a jaunt up to Glencoe and lots of urban driving.
The All Wheel Drive works exactly as claimed, with stupendous road holding.
At high speed the car feels supremely stable and predictable. Point the wheel, it goes where it's told, unperturbed by poor road surfaces or wet conditions. You'd swear it was a cat with claws, spiked to the tarmac.
Engine noise when pushed is throaty and exciting, motorway speeds are quiet and refined. Wind and road noise is minimal, but not quite as quiet as a top-end BMW.
The gears are nicely balanced with so much torque on tap, you'll be changing them far less often. Corner in 4th, with the speed down at 20mph and the car doesn't even blink at other end.
The fuel economy is good, on a long motorway trip I averaged 37.8mpg. Yes, I was being light on the accelerator, but cruising speed was still between 70-80mph. Drive gently, it'll sip fuel. It's not as economical as a diesel, but beat what I was expecting.
The fit and finish is good, much better than previous Subaru's I've seen. There's not the same cubby holes as an MPV but the boot is spacious with a low sill.
Cabin space is generous. Tall passengers have plenty of leg, head and shoulder room. It's right up there with the best BMWs, but other road drivers won't hate you and you'll still get let out at junctions. Can't say fairer than that!
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