I just read the article today. I think it's a pretty fair judgement.
According to their test result, RS' performance figures are rather bad compared to others. Longest braking, slowest lap time, average acceleration...etc. It does however have good quality, awd, comfort...etc. So I think 2nd place is fair.
But, if I am not a fan of Impreza, I'd probably think SE-R and MP3 are more suited for the first two places.
Think this way, SE-R and MP3 are already factory tuned performers, RS is not, just a econo 4wd sedan, with a little mods, it'll kick their butts no problem.