So I just bought a 2011 WRX about a month and a half ago and I thought I would compare it to my 2007 Eclipse GT that I traded in for it. The reason I traded in my eclipse is that I wanted something that was 4 doors, sporty, fun, and with AWD for the winter time.
Torque: One of the things I miss about my Eclipse is that it had a lot more torque at lower rpms then the WRX. I could start my Eclipse out in 2nd gear as easily as I can start my WRX out in first. This is also apparent when on the highway. In my Eclipse I would cruise around at about 2300 to 2500 RPM and I still felt it had good pull and I could pass someone if I wanted to without having to down shift. In the WRX I have to get it up to around 3,000 rpm before I feel it start to pull a little bit.
Transmission: I thought that it would bother me that I was going from a 6 speed to a 5 speed transmission when on the highway, but the 5 speed is just about perfect for the WRX when you are cruising around at 75 mph in 5th gear. The power feels like it's right around where it should be. The transmission in the WRX isn't quite as smooth as in my Eclipse but it was fine once I got used to it. I do feel the shifter is a little too long and i will probably eventually get a short throw.
Handling: Stock there is a little more body roll in my WRX then in my Eclipse. I do feel though that the WRX handles a little better then my Eclipse did. This is based on some of my favorite section of roads and how much speed I was carrying through them in both cars. The body roll could also probably be fixed with a good set of swaybars.
Brakes: The stock WRX brakes do feel better then the stock breaks in my eclipse but, they still don't feel great to me. I put some vented rotors and good brake pads on my Eclipse and they made a world of difference. I will probably do the same to my WRX in the future.
Power: Once the turbo kicks in the Wrx feels fast. Unfortunately I don' have my Eclipse anymore to test against my Wrx but the Wrx feels a little bit faster from a roll and from a dig it would smoke my Eclipse.
Mpg: I do about half highway and half city driving and I get about 24 mpg so far in my WRX and I got about 23 in my Eclipse.
Stereo: I had the Rockford Fosgate sound system in my Eclipse which was awesome. The WRX sound is okay but, not near as good. I do like the head unit better in my WRX and I hear you can get some good speakers and it makes a world of difference.
Fun: Both are really fun cars but, I would have to say that I am definitely happy with my purchase. I have owned and driven a lot of cars and the Wrx is so far one of my favorites. For the money it's one of the best bangs for the buck out there.