I have to say that I feel exactly the opposite of Rusty - the exhaust note doesn't do that much for me but I like the short-throw shifter. This is tempered by the fact that my time with the WRX was limited to around-town runs to the grocery store and the golf course, plus a couple of thirty-mile stints on the freeway. In that type of driving, a racy exhaust note wasn't exactly high on the desirability list.
I'm a big fan of hatchbacks, and in the WRX the rear seats are a cinch to fold down - the seatbacks themselves are superlight and can be lowered and raised with one hand. I've heard some grumbling about the styling of the WRX, but it has a very attractive side profile and looks nice in white, as in this example.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor