My thoughts on the WRX after my first few days of ownership:
I'd heard about the lack of quality in the Subaru's interior, and during a test drive you don't become familiar enough with the car to really notice many of the details that you become acquainted with over time. People often comment on the overly-plastic dash and touch points, the crinkle finish never hiding it's intent of pure functionality. I'm already noticing a rattle in the driver's side door when the radio goes over 30, the shifter has an indirect, sloppy feel, and the seats are stylish but have much worse bolsters than my Matrix did.
Like any relationship, you begin to notice these details over time. Yet again like a relationship, it's those idiosyncrasies that also make you truly appreciate the car for what it is or the person for who they really are. For every annoyance, there's a pleasant surprise. The cup holders are in the way of the shifter, yet there is a soft pad for your elbow in the door. The seats have very little support, yet there's a very direct feel through the suspension. The interior feels like it was clipped from 1/32 scale polystyrene, yet the paint is absolutely gorgeous. It's these bits that reveal where Subaru was going with the WRX: They skimped on the interior and instead put the WRX's value into the bodywork and drivetrain. It's a financially-justifiable, functional, fun and commutable sports sedan with no other direct competitor at it's price point. Coming from a FWD background the car feels incredibly neutral through turns, there's no need to over-correct understeer with a huge rear sway bar and high rear spring rates. Power is on tap at any RPM, and the torque... oh the torque! I've read Calvinball's journal and, as he experienced coming from an RSX, I now understand the wondrous joy of torque.
My impression may change over time, but I'm going to enjoy the honeymoon and hope that I continue to appreciate both the flaws and strengths that "make a Subaru a Subaru."
CN: The things you love always seem to overshadow the things you don't.