Paul (Lone Wolf 75),
Yeah I think the Tribeca HVAC may be a later option. The '08 Impreza so far is just the first-year car. More always comes, later.
I know very little about the plastic vs. aluminum intake argument, so I'll sit back for now, too.
My wife and I took a spin in two '07 cars, an Outback H-6 (which has a *lot* more grunt than her '01 version, wow!!!) and a Tribeca. She still likes the Outback better. Tribeca's interior was great, but she didn't like the handling or the appearance.
I agree that it's nice to have a car that looks great from the factory, but I've seen very few cars that satisfy that need, for me. I think if you want that, you've got to get in to BMW ///M or Audi S territory, that kind of thing. STI arguably, but a lot of people don't like the big wings and stuff.
Otherwise, you're talking about commuter cars, some of which have a performance advantage. Like the WRX. I mean, lots of people pine after the GC-series cars, still, for example. I still have my '00 RS, I love it to death...
But the classic Impreza, before the STi came out, was a pretty freakin' boring coupe/sedan/wagon. Add some big foglights, a new bumper, spoilers, a hood scoop.....
...and eventually you end up with the 22B.
I don't know... point being, judgment on this car's longevity and appeal simply cannot be made, based upon first-year production shots.