My first bit of advise will be for you to test drive all the vehicles that you are considering. That helped me to rule out a few right off the bat.
The pros of the WRX is that it was relatively cheap compared to the other vehicles I was looking at, relatively quick for the price, it had AWD, and rode well on these crappy Louisiana roads. I also liked the lack of any fancy gizmos and gadgets, although others complain about the non power seats, lack of digital this, no memory that, etc. I just see all that fancy stuff as something that can and will go wrong if I choose to keep the car for a long duration.
The major con to me was the cheap interior, but that is expected in a vehicle at this price range. After all it is an econobox with an attitude, kind of like the EVO. Another con was the MPG compared to a GTI or a Speed3, but I didn't buy it for fuel economy. If I wanted more fuel economy, I would have purchased another Civic or possibly kept my 97 Civic coupe instead of selling it, lol. The next major con is the factory stereo, but that is easy enough to change.
I find the visibility to be quite well, especially compared to my 2006 Mustang GT. The AC is what it is, but I am old. IMHO, the old R12 systems just got colder faster than these R134a systems, and that was my first complaint in 1996 with my first owned R134a vehicle. Now with that said, it is no worse than any other R134a vehicle that I have owned. I'm 5' 11" and there is plenty of headroom, unlike my wife's 2011 Genesis Coupe where my head is nearly planted in the roof. One small bump, and I hit the roof.