The $295 for this WRX's STI short-throw five-speed manual seems like money well-spent. This was the first thing I noticed when I wheeled the Impreza WRX out of our parking structure: the lovely gearshifter action and clutch-pedal take-up. A great manual transmission really can make your day.
Overall, this car feels so much more grown-up, and in a good way, than the ratty-tatty first-generation WRX. There's enough refinement here to satisfy someone who really wanted a BMW, but couldn't afford it - not that $33K for this Subaru is exactly cheap.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor