"I bought this car from the original owner about 9 months ago, and I will never look back. Over the past several years I have owned a handful of cars, including a track ready muscle car, a "sleeper" Honda Civic with 260whp, and a 1995 Mustang GT. I would take this Subaru WRX over any of those cars, no hesitation at all. It really is a great car. Let's do a breakdown of the ratings I gave:
Value: Less than 10k for an AWD turbocharged pocket rocket? Nothing wrong with that. There's a lot of bang for your buck here, but it is still a lot of money for a car 7 years (or so) old.
Reliability: I've only had the car for less than 7 months, but my wife has owned a Subaru Tribeca for almost 3 years with no problems, and my brother's STi has been flawless since 2005. I can only imagine that this car will follow in step. No problems so far, and Subaru has a reputation for reliability.
Quality: 4 stars here, only because of the hard-touch plastics all over the place. The car has good fit and finish overall, body panels line up straight, door handles have a good feel to them, nothing really feels too cheap. The doors close with a little bit of a shudder, but with frameless windows you have to expect a little of that.
Performance: Have to go with 4 stars here. Subaru designed this car to be 9/10 as good as it could be. The factory shifter is a little rubbery, although only when compared to the oh-so-smooth shifter that Honda puts in their Si model. Brakes are a little softer than I would like, but I work the left pedal harder than most. Very little fade, which makes braking predictable. Throttle response is fantastic, although the car does suffer from some turbo lag in 3-5 gears. Steering feel is excellent, no complaints there. Handling is interesting: there is a little more body roll than some tightly-sprung cars out there, but it is entirely predictable and controllable. Put it this way: the car seems perfectly at ease taking a 45mph interchange at 85mph. All of the issues mentioned in ther Performance section are easily fixed if you want to venture into aftermarket parts.
Styling: I LOVE how the car looks. Small spoiler out back, bug eye headlights, big fog lights, it all works for me. Some people don't like it, some do. For me, the exterior is perfect. If there is a flaw, its the common "saggy butt" issue, where the rear suspension sags a little (1/2" or so). Doesn't affect handling at all, just looks... interesting. Inside, there is a lot of hard plastic, the headliner feels a little cheap, and the colors are a little boring. Everything is black.
Comfort: The front seats really are comfortable. They will hold you in place nicely during hard driving, yet your butt and back still feel OK after a 3 hour drive. The backseat is pretty small, fine for small adults or children. But who cares, you're sitting in the driver seat! The suspension isn't too stiff, but you will feel potholes and rough pavement more than in most cars.
Overall, if you're an enthusiast on a budget, give this car a good hard look. Buy one that has been taken care of, not abused, and you will be very happy with your purchase."
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