FYI I meet but do not exceed the EPA numbers with my Impreza, though this winter with snow tires I am seeing about 26 mpg, which is 2mpg lower than average combined (28 mpg).
My previous 2008 5 speed hyundai elantra exceeded its EPA numbers by about 2 mpg on the same exact commute. However it was undriveable where I live in the winter if there was snow (with brand new Nokian WRG2 tires, which are very good in the snow, however it lacked traction control).
In my opinion (and my wife, who has a more important opinion than I do most of the time) the Subaru Impreza is much more solid, and feels safer, and especially with snow tires is a beast in the winter. I would not trade back (I drove the newly designed Elantra, and it felt the same as my 2008 -- the only advantage I could see in trading for a new Elantra was the traction control -- but the Impreza has that covered in spades).
I have no idea what car the other person would like better, whatever it is can be found easily and the Impreza will be easy to trade.
I think it is useful to note the type of driving conditions where others report poorer than expected MPG's, so prospective buyers know what to expect if they drive it the same way.
It is also important to note that many owners are meeting and exceeding the EPA numbers with both the CVT and 5 speed, so you don't blame the car for the results of the particular driver or driving style.