We took delivery of the '08 2.5i LTD today and folks, we're stoked. It's a really nice car.
The interior is midsized for us coming out of a Grand Caravan (which we're keeping as a schlepper) but it's well put together and very pleasing to the eye and the touch, and everything works. It's more upscale than the price.
I took the car for a drive this afternoon and leaned on it a little on some wet roads, and I was very impressed with the stability. The low-end torque isn't bad at all, and once you get moving, it really feels planted at all four corners as only someone who has driven 4WD sedans in the past knows. Some of my previous cars were 1st and 2nd Generation Audi Quattros and the Subaru gives me the same feeling: Planted. Unflappable. More grip than it has power, which is what you want in a family car. The steering isn't as direct in terms of feel as an early Audi Quattro but it is precise, and the engine isn't overstressed in the 2.5i configuration. It won't blow your skirt up but neither will it leave your pants down, so to speak
. The turbos have to be a lot of fun!
The outward visibility through the rear 3/4ths is great compared to a lot of other cars and of course you know that I'm beaming because I just bought it but...even tamping down my expectations, I just really like it.
It feels solid, really connected to the ground and I'm glad I drove it first on a wet, curvy road, because it was "totally no drama" even at speeds well above the posted limits. It telegraphs its limits well, and they're pretty high in less than optimal conditions: it's a wagon but you can clip apexes with it and power out of them in the wet with no doubts at all. You can tell the instant you drive it in wet weather that it's going to be a great snow car. I was impressed with the wet-road handling -- and I wasn't babying it.
The verdict was that it's a fun, safe car with the emphasis on safe but with enough fun mixed in there that it's not bland. You can feel that in its bones. The first question I ask when driving a car and putting some strain on it is: "Does it feel faster or slower than you're actually going?" and this car is definitely the latter. That's what you want.
We're very satisfied so far. Our dealer (Holmgren Subaru in CT) went the extra mile to really do the prep work on it (it was also dealer-maintained) and I think that speaks for a lot of the satisfaction. I'm glad we decided to buy a dealer car, even though we had other choices. With 78k miles on it, what we received is as close to a new car as I've ever seen. It is/was immaculate inside and out and everything works perfectly, and Holmgren gets a big thumbs up from us.
Was I a little worried? Oh yeah. First Subaru, 78k miles, sure I was a little worried, and we paid *in full*. I dickered a little on the offer price but once we settled on it we paid the full balance immediately. My recommendation is to find a good dealer, negotiate a good price and go with it.
IMHO this car is worth at least as much as its resale value + 10%.
Lots of fun and very happy so far, like one of those rides you'd recommend to anyone.