Predominantly bought my 06 WRX as a second car for dad (myself) to whiz to work and back ? Now a decade old and 120k on the clock the car has held up well. Its now reached its timing belt replacement.
My three growing kids can find it a bit of a squeeze but we still enjoy its open road performance and handling. Engine is still strong and have never needed to top up any fluids between services. Manual gearbox still shifts smoothly. Connectivity is a bit behind the newer model and interior plastics are a little on the cheap side. But it wasn’t a disincentive for buying a WRX. For the money you get great performance, handling and AWD safety of course with four door practicality.
Only real issue I had was an air pump failure. Pretty common fault. Servicing costs have been fair but more expensive compared to your non performance models. I have done some performance mods but nothing too extravagant and some new larger and wider ally wheels to change its ageing but still mildly aggressive look.
I would consider the current model but I’m still adjusting to its external styling. New models have lost their aggressive styling and have shifted from the basic foundation they are known for ? If anything I’d look at the new Levorg as I’m a bit of a wagon fan. Not sure if I’ll go more conservative and look towards a turbo diesel variant with performance and maybe a bit of economy.