New Subaru Impreza Owners - Give Us Your Report!

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
Congratulation on your new Impreza! This is the place to let us know what you love about it!
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Comments

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Deb and I just got back from a 950 mile round trip to Wrightsville, NC for Christmas to see our daughter. The car now has about 1900 miles on it. Comments:

    Good

    • The '06 facelift, and Limited package is a very nice upgrade.

    • Love the black leather interior. It's much classier looking inside than any previous Impreza.

    • Power! Oh, yeah! Most appreciated though is the power on the highway, especially at higher speeds. Once you get above 70, it's starting to get into the powerband in 5th gear. At 80 or so, it's even better. It's real easy to find yourself doing 90, if you're not careful. Thank god for cruise control. :)

    • Handles beautifully. I've had no complaints with the 215/45x17 RE92s. I know it's quite popular for Subie owners to knock the RE92s, but I've found them to be just fine.

    • The steering is QUICK! I love it!

    • Handling! Oh boy does it ever like to be thrown into corners! It's a hoot to drive on a back country road.

    Bad

    • It's noisy. Road noise. Tire noise. Moonroof noise (when open). It's not that easy to carry on a conversation with someone in the rear seat because of all that noise.

    This is an area I really hope Subaru addresses with the next generation Impreza—especially if they want to be considered a "premium" brand. That model is supposed to be built off a shortened Legacy platform, so hopefully they will keep the Legacy's better soundproofing.

    • The ride can be punishing on bad roads. I know it's a sports wagon, and maybe that's part of the price of admission. If the new Impreza gets the Legacy's multilink rear suspension, maybe that can be addressed?

    • I wish there were more power outlets. The Forester gets one in the center armrest, but the Impreza doesn't. I wish there were one (better still—two(!) there)

    • I think I would like to see a close-ratio 6-speed (rumored for '08 model). Actually the gearing of the 5-speed is not bad. Unlike other 5-speed I've had in the past, I find myself rarely getting into 5th gear until around 50 mph or more. City driving is mostly 3rd gear, with 4th being used on occasion.

    Bob
  • Bob -

    Just Curious - does the 2006 WRX feel like Subaru is understating the power numbers as some might think for the Forester XT?

    Thanks
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I don't think so. It's rated at 230 HP as is the '06 F-XT. Remember, those who were complaining about the F-XT numbers being understated were talking about '05 and earlier models which were rated at 210 HP. I think the current (230) rating is pretty accurate.

    Bob
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Bob,

    Nice write up. I didn't see this before I jumped on the chat the other day.

    I agree with you regarding the RE-92As. They're not as bad as some people make them out to be. My guess is that people are pre-baised from negative reviews of the older RE-92s. Why Bridgestone didn't rebrand these is a mystery to me.

    Subaru has always put in less soundproofing in the Impreza/Forester line up compared to their Legacy/OB models. I had the same tires as you on my GT wagon and road noise has never been a problem. My wife and I are able to carry a normal conversation even while crusing at 80+ mph. My dad who owns a TSX even noted that my GT wagon is noticeably quieter inside. Interestingly, there are other GT owners that wish for less soundproofing so they can better hear the turbo spool up! Go figure.

    As for the harsher ride, I'm not sure if a multi-link suspension would make too much of a difference in ride. The same pot-holed city streets are so much more jarring on my GT than they ever were with my Forester. I think the biggest contributor to the ride are the 45-series tires.

    Ken
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Thanks Ken. Let me clarify one thing about the noise: It's not terrible—I just wish it were a bit quieter. That's one of the things I noticed coming from my old Explorer.

    Again, as Subaru moves up market, I think this sort of thing will become a more important issue. FWIW, I read somewhere that the '06 Impreza is quiter than previous models, so they are moving in the right direction.

    I also realize the Legacy and Outback "should" be quieter than an Impreza, as they are more up-market models. Plus, at least in the WRX's case, it's really nothing more than a sports car dressed in either sedan or wagon clothing; whereas the Legacy GT is a "GT," and not a "sports car." Noise is almost expected to be part of the package.

    You may also be correct about the ride. I'd be curious though, on bad roads, which would ride better? The Legacy GT or WRX? Maybe if you get a chance, you might test drive a new WRX, and check that out. I could do the same (in reverse).

    Still, it is very rewarding and a lot of fun to drive.

    Bob
  • I just picked up an 2006 Impreza Outback Sport Wagon for my wife last night. I drove it home and have to say, I love this car! The handling, power and build quality are IMO above average. I have a 2005 Corolla S and this blows it away!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 15,611
    hi bob, my explorer loves 80 mph, too. happy holidays. :)
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Yeah, but it doesn't love country roads (I know, I've had 2 Explorers) like the WRX. :)

    Bob
  • While I think the RE 92's handled better on dry roads (with pretty good feedback to the driver) than most people gave them credit for, I still think they sucked. I experienced terrible reliability and awful traction in rain and snow. Then there is the ridiculous replacement prices. There are a lot of better options, especially for a car with performance aspirations.
  • I had a 2001 Subaru Impreza RS. I really liked that car. It had its quirks, but driving it still brought pleasure. When the 2006 WRX came out, I found myself dreaming of a WRX, with the 2.5 liter engine. I also liked the look of the front, though others disparaged it. I think it looks really cool.

    Only one time I got to drive a WRX, and that was at an autocross. Someone let my try their 2002 WRX. Having never driven a turbo, it took a little bit to get the hang of how to drive the car. The turbo lag was quite noticeable. But once I got it to stay on boost, I found the thing was a blast to throw into corners. It was easier than the 2001 was.

    I ended up trading my 2001 because of issues with the rear differential. I don't know if it was defective, or if I was just too abusive, but since I was out of the warranty period, I decided to just trade for a new car.

    I tried out a Mazda RX-8. Oh man was that cool. I like the engine, but it's noticeably weak down low. I don't think I would've been disappointed to have that.

    I tried a Mazdaspeed Miata, and that was a fast car. But just too small for my taste. And my foot was getting hung up between the clutch and the side of the interior. It was a 2002, but it was in decent shape.

    I wanted to try some other vehicles just for the fun of it, but never did. I test drove the Subaru last, and I was decided at that point. I guess I'm just a Subie "fanboy". :P ;) LOL

    I like the responsive steering, the flat cornering (very little body roll, and that's with a wagon), and the automatic climate control. I also like the auto-dimming mirror. And once the boost starts rising the car really takes off, yet it still has decent pull down low. The car is just too fun. I enjoy driving it very much, and I think I'll be a happy Subie owner for a long time.

    Brian
  • k3lli3k3lli3 Posts: 4
    I've now had my 2006 Impreza 2.5i sport wagon for 6mths and I LOVE IT!!!
    Previously a Toyota girl and definately converted.

    Lovin' the AWD for the winter months (I live in Banff, Canada so snowy roads are a part of life) and she is so very fun to drive.

    Only complaint is that gas mileage isnt as great as I had hoped(thought?) .... but again, a small price to pay for the AWD.

    :D
  • dinterndintern Posts: 24
    Just bought an Impreza 2.5i wagon with a stick shift. Everything is fine except the idle vibration. It's minor vibration but it's there constantly when idle even if I leave the shift at neutral without stepping on the clutch pedal. The stick shift is trembling noticeably in that mode.

    It's my first Subaru so I don't know if it just takes time & some mileage for the engine to tune in or it is designed that way, or it signals a problem that I have to bring to the dealership. I only have 200 miles on it, so I'll wait for a while and see. But I do know I didn't have this issue on my old Honda Civic which was also a stick shift.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The Boxer engines will do that but unless I saw it I couldn't tell you if it was abnormally vibrating or not.

    -mike
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    2.5L is large for a 4-cylinder engine, so you can expect some vibration at idle. My '06 WRX vibrates a little at idle. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Bob
  • dinterndintern Posts: 24
    "paisan" and "rsholland", thanx for the quick comment.

    Yeah I guess that's part of the boxer engine / AWD. It isn't big vibration. I was in a sensitive mode because one of my old cars broke down because of CV-JOINT failure and the problem started out as constant vibration.

    Anyhow, happy driving everyone.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Just turned 3000 miles on my 07' 2.5i wagon (stick) and I really, really like this car. It's got plenty of power, it is comfy on a highway cruise (70-80mph cruising) and at the moment my gas mileage has been around 28mpg which is commendable for an AWD car.

    Only beefs I have with it?

    - The gearbox and the clutch hate each other. Smooth shifting takes a bit of finesse and is ever more difficult after a good highway jaunt. Load it up with a couple of passengers and the car becomes painfully slow. But I have gotten used to it.

    - Engine braking in 3rd and 4th gear emits this terrible buzzing noise from under the hood, I don't know if it is a clutch buzz, a loose manifold or what but it is most noticable at above 2500RPM in those gears. The buzzing has no frequency to it, just "bzzz zzz z zz bzzzzzzz z zzzz" or some sort.

    - There is also a dash buzz when you rev the engine above 4,000RPM's. It is somewhere in the center of the dashboard and every single Impreza I test drove had it.

    - Power steering pump is noisy, one car I tested before I bought this one had a really aweful "wehhhh - wehhh" when taking slow speed turns. This one is noisy but acceptable.

    Other than that, it is one helluva car and I am enjoying it more and more each day. Top notch safety, impressive mileage, gutsy engine, bang for the buck price all make this a solid choice. There is nothing, and I mean nothing that can touch this car in features for the dollar! If the reliability holds up as good as folks say, this won't be my last Subie.

    Love it, I am a Subaru fan because of it. :D
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Try to use less engine braking!

    This is a tempting car to buy for myself. I want a specB but this would be far cheaper! Man I hate being on the fence!

    -mike
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    I usually downshift into 4th when exiting the highway and that's when it becomes most notable. But I am usually only at about 3500RPM's then (about 40 -50mph...)
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    One other little nit-pick:

    - I have nicknamed her "Little Wanderer" because even the slightest crosswind cause the car to veer into opposing lanes on the highway. It feels kind of unsettling at times, and corrective action must be subtle or you end up swerving into the opposite lane trying to correct for the initial swerve.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Little Wanderer, hee hee.
  • fawiekfawiek Posts: 1
    Hey guys. Just got my hands on the 07 Impreza 2.5i. I have done a lot of research on Subaru's AWD system compared to other systems and its safe to say Subaru produces one of the best, period.(of course this has been said for years but i need my 2 cents in the pot as well)
    I've been driving Honda's, Gm's and Chrysler's for years now and let me tell you nothing quite handles like a Subie.
    The Subie meets perfection during acceleration, braking and not to mention cornering. Even though it's a 4cyl engine(non turbo), the acceleration is smooth and comes up in a hurry during normal driving conditions. One MUST pay attention to the speed, otherwise you would not realize you're doing 140kms/hr until the flashing lights are behind you.(yes im situated in the T.O)
    This is all around the best car I've ever driven and I can't wait to get my hands on the higher models. (WRX, Legacy GT)
    I'm sold as a Subie guy...theres nothing out there until uve actually sat in the seat urself...
    Oh btw, get the upgraded SE package, the seating upgrade alone is worth the extra $$$.
    Well, this review wouldnt be completed without some sorta flaw...so here they are:
    (1) Backseats arnt very spacious but screw it, my friends can walk if they rather that option.
    (2) The turning radius pulling into a parking lot isnt the best.(civics got this down easily)
    (3) I have the automatic version and well 4 gears dont cut it anymore. Even the new Civics with auto come with 5 gears.
    (4) Can't concentrate on anything else anymore because I'm now finding excuses to hit the road ;)

    Nicely done guys...nicely done!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats. The SE package is a steal, a must-have, really.

    Even the 08 WRX will carry on with a 4EAT, so you didn't miss anything by not waiting.

    Congrats again.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Happy to report that a trip to NYC from MA and back, at a cruising speed of 75 - 80, netted an overal mpg of 28. That is a very, very respectable for an AWD car. :D

    BTW, I would love to step up to the new WRX sedan, they did an excellent job on the update. The hatch? Eh, not so much...
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    Having taken delivery of a new Impreza this week and only driven a little more than 100mi., I offer my first impressions (note that in deference to "break-in" requirements, all driving has been "relaxed", under 4k rpm and limits have not been explored):

    It seems to be the reasonably comfortable and competent transportation that I expected and should satisfy my selection objectives, i.e. a competent daily driver with utility capability including modest towing. Kudos to Subaru for legible white-on-black instruments thankfully free of brightwork (I wish they had applied that to the center stack as well). Kudos too for a reasonable range of instrument illumination intensity and for keeping illumination levels reasonably uniform accross the dashboard. Some recent vehicles have overbright instruments that cannot be adequately dimmed as well as variations in intensity and color, the Subaru avoids those sins nicely.

    Steering is responsive, if a bit overboosted and uncommunicative, and handling in relaxed driving is good. A constant radius exit ramp through which my Miata cruises liesurely @ 60+mph felt less secure in the Impreza at 50+, but the Impreza felt better than does my Acura TL at that speed. The clutch "take-up" characteristics and low speed throttle response conspire to make smooth, repeatable launches difficult but I hope that will improve when I can use throttle more aggressively (break-in). There is also excessive drive-line lash which exacerbates the launch issue and makes poking along in first gear (as in a parking lot) somewhat awkward.

    I purchased the "STI Short Shift" option but must wait 'til tomorrow for the dealer to install it (and the trailer hitch). The standard shifter is OK but first, third and particularly fifth are at or beyond the limit of comfortable reach and I hope that the new shifter will improve that as well as facilitate crisper shifts.

    These comments may seem negative but they should be considered in context: the Impreza Wagon is a compromise vehicle serving many functions at modest cost. I am coming from a more focused vehicle (Miata) which involves few compromises to its purpose as a "driver's car", other than concessions to cost. The Impreza is no Miata - it does not possess the immediate response, relatively high dynamic limits, lash free driveline and ideal control placement of the Miata. But the Miata cannot tow my boat, swallow object of more than very modest size or carry more than two people. I miss the open sky but also appreciate the filtered cabin air of the Impreza, especially during this heavy pollen season. There is seldom need for AWD in this climate, but when it occurs, I'm sure that I will appreciate that aspect of the Impreza as well and in normal conditions, at least half the power is delivered to the proper wheels, unlike a FWD car.

    I think that the "Sport" in the name applies more to activities that the Impreza facilitates than to its driving characteristics, and that's OK, since its dynamics are at least competent, if not exhilarating. As I said, the Impreza is a compromise vehicle, and there is no "free lunch".

    I look forward to accumulating more miles and will report again after I have better adjusted to the new car.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also consider that the RE92 tires are probably some of the worst for "performance" driving out there. The handling will get crisper when/if you upgrade the tires to something that is less of a compromise than the OEMs.

    -mike
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Excellent review. I agree with everything you said! BTW, my 2.5i wagon is about to turn 5k miles. The clutch hasn't gotten any better... :cry: but the engine is breaking in very nicely. I'm probably going to replace the clutch prematurely just to smooth up the driving experience.

    The engine revs really nicely above 4 grand in 2nd and 3rd gears, it actually reminds me of my S2000 as the revs climb. That is a gutsy little mill under there.

    Do you happen to have the dash buzz that occurs around 4k? I drove two different cars before buying mine and both of them had it. Take care.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Thanks for the feedback on the tires. Any idea what the Saab 9-2 Aero uses for tires? I was thinking about putting snows on the stock rims and getting a set of those Aero wheels and tires for the other nine months... They should fit and they look pretty slick on the Saabaru...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Impreza 2.5i made the list in Car & Driver magazine.

    It ranked 10th, but when you look at 1/4 mile times it did a lot better, around 4th place IIRC.

    Not bad considering they managed to package AWD in that price/performance envelope. :shades:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Not sure what the 9-2 aero uses, but I'd suggest the Yokohama ES100s or Faulken Azenis Sports for summer tires, very grippy and very in-expensive (around $115 or less per tire)

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Impreza 2.5i made the list in Car & Driver magazine.

    It ranked 10th, but when you look at 1/4 mile times it did a lot better, around 4th place IIRC.

    Not bad considering they managed to package AWD in that price/performance envelope. :shades:
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Sounds reasonable. Thanks!
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    I'm not surprised. Just another reason the Impreza is the absolute bargain of it's class. :shades:
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    I've not encountered the 4krpm buzz that you mention, but since I'm using 4k as an upper limit as recommended for break-in, I my not have found it yet. Re tires, I've no doubt that the RE-92s are a limiting factor. I've had good results (for an all-season tire) with the RE-950s that I now have on the Miata and will seriously consider the RE-960 Pole Position when time to replace the Impreza tires.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,713
    The clutch "take-up" characteristics and low speed throttle response conspire to make smooth, repeatable launches difficult but I hope that will improve when I can use throttle more aggressively (break-in). There is also excessive drive-line lash which exacerbates the launch issue and makes poking along in first gear (as in a parking lot) somewhat awkward.

    I agree completely with this assessment. While the clutch does not improve with age, it will become far less awkward as you adjust to it. I agree that repeatability is difficult with it but, once going a few MPH, shifting through the gears between 4K and 5K RPM is like butter and propels the car quite enthusiastically. I only lament cutting it short at 60 in 3rd. :(
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If you think 1st gear is bad on subarus now, try a first gen RS or Legacy. For these 1st gear is only used from a dead start, you can't use them if moving at all.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,713
    That sounds like 1st on my '69 Chevy. That thing is a 3-speed unless I want to crawl and I am pulling a seriously heavy load (like your boat!) up a steep grade. There is a reason it is called "granny gear."

    I can actually start that truck, in gear (1st or 2nd), without engaging the clutch. After 2-3 cranks it fires up and takes off. Yes, I did do this once by accident. Almost ran myself over, too. It only took 1 crank that time, though. It was quite a shocker.... :blush:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Amazingly the Ramada pulls it out of the ramp w/o issue. We don't really mess around and put it in 4-low to pull it up the ramp so as not to slip the trans too much.

    -mike
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Back when I had my 22' Ski Centurion and my '97 Z71, I always used 4-low to pull the boat out of the water. Much easier to control, especially on some of the steep launches here in SE Wisconsin lakes. It really made it effortless to launch the boat.

    -Brian
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I always dreamed of a Ski Nautique 2001 Never did get one though, jumpt right up to the performance boats. :)

    I hear the lakes out in MN and WI are nice!

    -mike
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    The more that I drive it, I find that the clutch is less bothersome than the driveline lash which may be due, at least in part, to the AWD (the additional center differential perhaps?). Looking at the spindly solid half-shafts, I also wonder about additional torsional flex as opposed to tubular axles.

    Last Friday, my Impreza returened to the dealer to install the "short-shift" and trailer hitch. The shifter is a definite improvement and I'm puzzled that it is not the standard item. I can't imagine that anyone would prefer the original shifter - is it part of a conspiracy to discourage the purchase of manual transmissions? ;) I wonder how many buyers even notice that the option is available? I'm VERY glad that I did!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I have no complaints about the standard shifter on my '06 WRX.

    Bob
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    But have you driven one with the short-shifter?

    With the standard shifter, fifth gear was a finger reach, now it is not beyond my palm. Still much further away than the Miata, but much better.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    No, but I have driven other cars with short gear throws (Miata, S2000). They were fine, but not fine enough for me to cough up the extra bucks to get it in my car.

    If the WRX had a clunky shifter I would certainly consder it, but that's not the case.

    Bob
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,713
    I agree there. Also, prior to my Outback, the only MT vehicles I had driven on a regular basis were Pre-1980 and were either trucks or jeeps. So, in comparison to the amount of movement in those, the Outback did have a short-throw! 5th does feel like quite a reach, though. Not uncomfortably so, but noticeably.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have found that the Group N motor mounts, and tranny mounts coupled with stiffer bushings for the shifter actually give it a better feel than what the short-throw shifter gives.

    -mike
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    As with most things , it depends on your frame of reference. My point was that if the "short-shift" were standard, I doubt that buyers would be wishing for longer throws, rather, they would find the short-shift an improvement. And, although Subaru charges an exhorbitant price for the short-shif option, it's hard to believe that they sell enough of them to contribute more to the bottom line than it would to make all of their cars more satisfying to drive. No, the standard shifter is not "clunky", and if there were no option , I could have lived with it. But having experienced better, I'm glad that I have it, cost notwithstanding. This week's commutes have been noticeably more satisfying than last week's.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Compared to my old 4 Runner, I found the manual to be perfectly acceptable. No, it's not a BMW or a Honda manual, but it's not bad, either. You should try 5th gear in my 4 Runner... Now that's an elbow in your passenger's lap reach. I honestly have to lean forward as I go into 5th and am pushed back a bit - an odd sensation under full throttle. :P

    I'm looking at this car lately because of the silly low lease deal. It's nice, but still I wish they would fix the small and obvious things that always keep coming up.

    Optimally, they would make the car available a-la-carte like the Mini, so you could order any option you wanted. That would be #1 on my to-do list.
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    After a week and a half with the "short-shift", the long reach to fifth is a distant memory and I've found no disadvantages. Why do they even make a "long-shift"??????
  • dinterndintern Posts: 24
    Impressions so far after 1k miles on my base model manual wagon:
    1) Upon reaching 70MPH, the car feels a little floating. Giving its reputation on handling and low gravity boxer engine, it surprises me to sense this floating effect. Perhaps it has sth to do with air pressure in the new tires, not sure tho.

    2) MPG in mixed driving is about 21 while I hope 24 at least.

    3) Visibility is not top rate. Passenger seat blocks my view of the right blind spot. Have to push it up front to get it out of the way. I ride alone so I can do whatever to the passenger seat but still it's an issue.

    4) 5th gear on a moderate slope can't push the car much. Looks like 173HP/166TQ is still a tad short for a 3000lb. Should have gone with the WRX model, but then again its high insurance would screw me up. Just gives and takes, like always.

    5) Turning radius is a little too wide for a compact car, would like it to be tighter, but no big deal.
  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    After 723 miles of predominantly 35-55 mph suburban driving (less than 15% 70+ mph highway), I have averaged 25.9 mpg over 3 fills (25.1, 26.1, 26.8) showing an encouraging trend. Not bad for a 3100lbm AWD vehicle with a "green" engine, but not stellar either, my heavier and faster '89 Acura Legend did better (28 mpg) in similar driving. Note that it IS consistent with its EPA rating.

    My first impressions still stand, although I'd elevate driveline lash to the top of my gripe list. Visibility is definitely better with the rear headrests stowed but the fronts are unnecessarily large and reduce visibility as well. The handling is good although the overboosted steering leaves you feeling a bit disconnected and combined with the "ready-to-wander" high speed characteristics suggest that it could use a bit more caster angle. It does bother me somewhat to have to slow more for cornering than I'd become accustomed in the Miata, but is IS a much heavier wagon, after all. It almost makes me wish that the RE-92s will not last long :D

    Utility is good - it swallowed all of our purchases during our Mothers' day trip to the nursery for annuals (I had expected to need two trips).

    We plan a 600+ mile trip in a couple of weeks after which I can update re highway mileage/performance.
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