Bottom line is that there are those that are unhappy that the mpg's aren't living up to expectations. I sincerely believe there must be something to it since this thread has 119 pages and how many posts at this point. Everyone knows there are variables, and I think that certainly some, if not most, are trying to take that into account. There are a lot of gear heads here. A friend of mine recently traded her old Forester for a 2013 Impreza Sport. She is unhappy as well with the fuel economy, but loves the car. So here I am, happy with mine making its numbers and hers not. When we have a chance for a head to head comparo it will be interesting to see what happens and I'll let everyone know. Her daily drive does differ from mine though, so we can't use that. As stated, I am happy with my return. Better than the WRX and cheaper fuel. the '13 gets as advertised. Right now in Jans case, she made a lateral move on the fuel board and only gained a new car. She was hoping for it to be better.
As I have pondered before, what is going on with the engine management on a PZEV vehicle that may be contributing to this? I can safely say that my '03 WRX was pretty consistent throughout the year except for the warm up time in winter.
It almost sounds like if the window sticker had said 23 city and 36 highway, this thread would not exsist.