I just traded in my beloved '08 red Mazdaspeed 3 GT for a 2010 blue WRX sedan. I loved everything about the MS3 except the FWD and the torque steer. I previously drove an '01 Audi S4, and I underestimated how much I would miss AWD. The cold and snowy Iowa winters also influenced my decision. I will be picking up my new WRX tomorrow.
I wanted to introduce myself here. I have already spent a long time reading here, and plan to spend much more. Be ready for my newbie questions .
In case anyone is interested about my test drive impressions vs the MS3, here it goes: The WRX had a somewhat softer ride. They were equally noisy inside (WRX has the SPT exhaust), but I liked the boxer sound better at high RPM's, and the WRX was less boomy at coasting. My "butt dyno" felt the MS3 as slightly faster though, but I had the MS3 intake which put me around 280 hp, plus more low end torque. But the difference was not that bad that I felt I was getting a car that was much slower. In fact, with the better traction, I expect better performance.
The WRX stereo is horrible. However, I am getting the subwoofer put in for free later. We'll see how that works. In any case, a stereo doesn't make or break the car for me.
The clutch seemed a little tricky for me, I even stalled once. But I guess that's true for all cars one is not accustomed to. As for the gearbox, it's less notchy and less weighed than the MS3. Neither one is better, just different. I prefer the WRX knob; the metallic MS3 knob gets too hot in summer and too cold in winter.
Finally, being tall, I was happy to find out that I fit as well in the WRX as in the MS3, though perhaps the person sitting behind me will have a tiny less leg room in the WRX.