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!
Gavin Barrie, Midlothian, October 11th 2004