Once again I have been drawn back to Subaru. My latest and probably my last vehicle of any kind is also the best I have owned IMHO.
My first Subaru was a UK supplied Legacy estate. I liked it so much I bought a JDM Legacy GT-B twin turbo estate to replace it and later swapped that for a JDM B4 RSK.
But I really fell in love with Subarus when I changed the B4RSK for a Forester s/tb. The most fun car I have ever owned (including 911s, a Chrysler 300C 6.1 SRT8 and a short wheelbase Audi Sport Quattro). I liked it so much I bought my wife a UK Forester Turbo S - how nice was that?
I did take a JDM Impreza WRX for a test drive but realised that I would likely kill myself if I bought one. The temptation to drive it fast all the time was one I recognised I might be unable to resist. To my mind it was like driving a roller skate on crystal meth!
After my s/tb I had a succession of cars from other manufacturers, the nicest being the SRT8. But looking back at all the cars I have ever had, the s/tb stood out as the one I enjoyed the most, so I bought the manual version of the Cross Sports but didn't like how it drove; very different from the s/tb and not at all happy in slow moving traffic, especially on hills, so I swapped it (and took the unfortunate bath that that entailed) for the automatic version.
So smooth to drive, incredibly sure-footed and with lots of power - standard 220 PS (and more to come after I have had it remapped by Bob Rawle in a couple of weeks time) and equally happy driving in everyday traffic as it is when driven with a size 12 lead boot and manic smile on an open road.
It's a 2007 model and spent the first ten years of its life in Japan, so it has no rust whatsoever (no salt on Japanese roads). I have had it on a ramp and had confirmed that the existing underseal is flawless. Everything about the vehicle is immaculate. It has the EJ20 2.0 litre turbo engine and there is a manual override via the gear shift or buttons on the steering wheel, but the auto gearbox is perfect for most occasions.
The only modifications I have made are to fit a 2.5" Hayward and Scott backbox, for a restrained but recognisable flat 4 burble which didn't exist at all with the stock exhaust, rear parking sensors and a Cat 1 alarm and immobiliser. I haven't even changed the audio equipment because the unit plays mp3 cds which is all I need and a nice Japanese lady greets me every time I switch on the unit, which is a bigger deal than you might think when you live alone with a Siamese cat!
I have had my driving licence for 45 years, so I am less enamoured of flat out racing machines that are set up for track days as I perhaps once was. It is my only car, so it has to compromise between normal driving and the occasional "recreational" drive. It does that in spades. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The only downside so far is that there is apparently no generic mapping software available for this model so it has to be the more expensive EcuTek map.
Apologies for the long, drawn out introduction, but I am soooo happy with my Cross Sports I might just take it out for a drive right now!