Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Blown Engine @ 5,000 Miles
Pros: Handling & brakes are superb
Cons: Engine blew 2 pistons at 5k , required a complete rebuild not covered by warranty because I changed the muffler.Love the car , love the handling - BUT - its not really a $35K car - its a $45K car after you have replaced the engine. Anyone thinking of buying an Sti needs to search Google before and key in 'ringland failure'. A massive disapointment overall after many years of supporting Suabru.
Pros: sport wagan style
Cons: gas mileageVery dependable and safe car. Only wish the AWD could be switched off to get better gas mileage
Pros: leather, moon roof
Cons: gas mileageLoved the car. Terrible gas mileage.
Forester SE excellent general use vehicle
Pros: Handling and performace with reasonable economy, 'real' glove compartment, durability
Cons: Fog lamps and privacy glass not standard across the line and idiot lights verses real gages for temp, pressure, voltage.Recently purchased Forester SE is proving to be a good choice. Elbow room aplenty. Averaging much better than advertized economy, all modes (without lead-foot). Good power, adequate for medium (300 mi) and hilly trips. I bought the SE trim to get real tires and wheels (16x65 vs 17x55) and to avoid the 'hole in the roof' (a small popup would have been acceptable). The 'push' from the rear wheels in lock-to-lock turns is a different experience, care on slippery surfaces in really tight turns may be advised (not tried yet). My biggest criticisms of the total lineup:  idiot lights, no temp, pressure or voltage gages (all trims).  Only high-end trims offer privacy glass, power seat(s) fog lamps (I installed post-delivery) and compass  only 3 exterior colors offered to get dark upholstery and carpet (which I got ...pastel gets dingy quickly... general complaint about all vehicles).  the assist handles should be 'A' pillar-mounted instead of roof-mounted (this may be a head-strike issue though).  Riccaro seats would be better (not available on everything out there unless you buy a premium gas-diet German or Swede).
Cons: Blown engine at 5,000 milesOne of the reasons anyone buys a car like this is for performance - 305bhp never looked so good! The car has 4 doors , a decent trunk and 'its a Subaru' - which I thought meant reliable. 1000 miles to run it in , so take it easy. Then service and oil change - after this 4,000 miles of brilliant driving. The problem is - thats all you get. After just over 5K the pistons (#2 & #4) blow. The cost - $5,000+. Subaru is in denial , and the press have not picked up the story. The internet is littered with owners that have had to deal with this - almost exactly as above. Should be / could be a great car. But $5K more on list makes a BMW 335i very attractive!
Pros: Sits up higher than my previous auto (sedan)
Cons: Refer to review comments.I hear a 'clunking' type sound whenever I start my forward acceleration. It sounds like it is coming from the rear of the vehicle but the dealer service manager says it is the ABS computer under the hood and that it is common to this vehicle. I frankly do not believe that. It is proving to be very annoying, leading me to be completely dissatisfied with the car. I would not own another one.
Pros: gas mileage
Cons: rOomGOod. VEhicle