dont just look at subaru's there are actually alot of AWD cars out there that are just as good if not better than a subaru for the same cost.
ive driven a 2.5rs and it didnt impress me too much, it was decent, but it just seemed very dull and unresponsive, not much feel or communication, they can be modded into amazing cars, but stock or near stock, they are just too dull.
i do like the older legacy gt's from 97-04 or whatever, especially the wagons, again, nothing special to drive, but i love how the wagons look.
theres also the mazda 323 gtx, which doesnt look like much, but it is a badass little car.
the mitsubishi galant vr4, which is an awesome car, ive never driven one, but they are pretty damn fast, and from what ive heard handle great. plus you will be the only one on the street with one.
but if i were you id look at an e30 bmw 325ix. i think they were made from like 87 or 88 till 91. the e30's are known for being one of bmw's best cars, and the best generation of 3 series, as well as the most reliable, they are bomb proof. the 325 ix actually easily outperformed snow tests between it, subaru, and audi in the 90's. and it has way better feel than a subaru you could get for the same price, handles amazing, looks awesome, and just as fast if not faster. really your getting one of bmw's best cars ever for 5 grand. id easily take it over most 15,000 cars.