I had a '99 Impreza Outback Sport (OBS) prior to this car but as that car aged past 145k miles, I decided it was time for a new car. After looking & driving numerous cars (RSX-S, Civic Si, GTi, WRX) I...
I had a '99 Impreza Outback Sport (OBS) prior to this car but as that car aged past 145k miles, I decided it was time for a new car. After looking & driving numerous cars (RSX-S, Civic Si, GTi, WRX) I bought a brand new Special Edition 5-speed manual OBS. My loyalty to the OBS ultimately led to me buy this car over cars which were faster, flashier, and more expensive.
The car accelerates well but is not going to win you many drag races. The engine revs freely and responds amazingly well to a day of driving at 8/10s+ in the mountains. The car handles very well, especially for having the 'higher than many other cars it has out-cornered' look. It also has great potential as an enthusiast's choice as the amount of modifications continues to grow. All suspension, body, interior, brakes, & wheels are interchangeable w WRX/STi parts, and the amount of engine upgrades continues to grow as the popularity of the EJ25 grows. The wagon provides extreme utility and generous cargo space.
I have put 14k miles on the car in 7 months and am loving every moment of it! Fuel economy averages to 23.1mpg even w/ countless blasts thru the mountains and a commute full of the hills of PDX. The interior has held up well and the exterior is growing on me. The car has received high-perf M+S tires & 17" Prodrive wheels along w/ an adjustable rear sway bar and it handles great.
Body roll still hinders response & low-end power is still a little lacking for low-speed switchbacks but never-the-less the car is a blast to drive everywhere - the twisties, the mountains, the coast, the highway, the city, the suburbs - and I would (and have) recommend it to anyone.
The only reason this car does not receive all 5-stars from me is:
Comfort - The seats are too wide for my 160lb 6'3" frame and a little harsh.
Exterior Styling - The front end of the car still creates mixed messages in my head. Pros of the new frontend: Projector headlamps, better fog lamps, more sporty front bumper. Con is the new grille.
The car has been very reliable as, in my 14k miles with it, I have not paid a single penny towards unplanned maintenance. I have driven this car as a car is meant to be driven. I have taken it full throttle all the way to 4th gear redline & I have cornered till the tires squeal. I keep it clean but also get her dirty in some mud & snow when she wants it. A 1-of-a-kind all-arounder.