Incorrect. The 2.0 engine on most of the 2013 models is affected also. I have also heard that some 2014's are also affected. It seems like Subaru put low tension rings in the engine's without testing them.
As for the Impreza, the 2.0 seemed OK to me for a compact car, except that it took a while to get the revs up when you floored the gas from a standing start. I didn't try using the paddle shifters for an acceleration run, but that might have helped.
You should try an FB20 w/ 5spd manual. You're so frustrated by 3rd gear, you want to jump out. LOL.. it's not that bad. Comparing different vehicles, but my 2012 Legacy EJ25 w/ CVT was no power house either. I never expected it to be.
... and the above comment about Imprezas having plasticy interiors? Ummm. It is an AWD vehicle for $18K. Huge shock there.
My Crosstrek gets most of it's use on my 80mi work commute. Plenty powerful at ~70mph, plus the gearing is low enough, you rarely have to throw it back in 4th. The rest of the time, I'm shuttling my kids. The 5spd BLOWS for that.
AWD, hatchback, 5 speed manual.
I don't care what the interior is made of. I want one.
I drove a new Forester for almost a week before test driving an Outback. Just my opinion, but I thought the Outback was simply a nicer driving car. I am not sure if the difference is due to the wheelbase, etc, but you should at least test drive both of them before you make your decision.
The 2.5 FB is adequate to get the job done, but if you ever drive an Outback with a 3.6 the 2.5 suddenly feels like a dog.
I got a 2015 Legacy 3.6R two weeks ago and it is a rocket compared to our 2014 Outback with the 2.5.