Last post on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:22 PM
You are in the Subaru Impreza
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Impreza, Subaru, Sedan, Wagon
#831 of 1605 Re: Why Impreza? [tyguy]
Mar 18, 2012 (7:18 pm)
Thanks for the response. I agree on the AWD part of course. I'll take your word for Subaru's reputation for durability, although other cars I'm considering esp. the Mazda3 also have a very good reputation. I also like the visibility in the Impreza.
Some of the cars I'm looking at (Mazda3 and Elantra) surpass the Impreza in FE. (A used Prius is another option, but will go that route only if gas is ~$5/gallon next year when I buy--not exactly fun to drive!) I think the Mazda3, Focus, and Golf handle at least as well if not better than the Impreza. The Impreza's back seat is quite roomy, more leg room than the Mazda3 and Focus (but not as much as Elantra or Prius). Price-wise, just based on truecar.com for now, the Focus SE hatch would be cheapest as a new car, with the Mazda3 and Golf (2-door) a little more. A used Prius would be about the same as a new Mazda3, maybe a little more. The Impreza would be over $2000 more than the Golf or Mazda3 because I'd need to get the Premium CVT trim to get a car I could live with, and the discounts on the Impreza, at least in my area, are pretty slim right now. That could change by next year, when I'll buy. I don't know the pricing on the Elantra GT yet, as it's not available until this summer. I've driven the Elantra sedan but not the hatch (obviously).
I am only looking at hatches, so I'm not seriously considering cars like the Cruze, Jetta, or Civic. If I were considering sedans, I doubt those would make my short list. Cruze's back seat is too cramped for my needs, Jetta is not as nice nor as versatile as the Golf, and I couldn't live with the dash on the Civic (plus I prefer the way the Impreza/Mazda3/Golf/Focus ride and drive compared to the Civic.
#832 of 1605 Re: Why Impreza? [backy]
Mar 18, 2012 (8:12 pm)
No problem. We were looking at high-level trims, and honestly, price just needed to be in the ball park given the features we were looking for (we went with a 5-door Limited). I gave detailed reviews in the Sales Frontlines forum while I was shopping, but in summary (my opinions are worth what I'm charging ):
1. Mazda 3: I've always liked the Mazda 3 and typically target it for my rental while traveling. However, when I learned the side impact scores in government tests the vehicle was immediately eliminated from my list. The Impreza was an unknown, granted, but I have yet to see a modern Subie test poorly and the 3 has a problem that needs addressing. Plus it was cramped inside and the interior felt low grade.
2. Cruze Eco: VERY nice. Fun motor, great manual transmission, and superb gas mileage. This one was close. The CR report rating it dead last in quality put the Subie ahead. I just wish Chevy would tone down the chrome rims.
3. Golf/Jetta (Sportwagen): The best interior and slightly better handling in the Golf with the upgraded suspension (but not the Sportwagen). We wanted the TDI. VW's quality issues with the fuel injection system and intercoolers eliminated both from contention. I really did like those two. The base 5 cylinder, in my opinion, is a terrible motor so I didn't consider it in the list. I rented a Golf for a couple of weeks, and the power versus MPG was pitiful during my time with it. My real-world Impreza city mileage equals what I got highway in the Golf.
4. Elantra (obviously not GT): drove like a Corolla. And that's pretty bad. Plus I think the design will grow old quickly, and based on a couple of experiences, I no longer trust the brand to back up its warranty. Anyone 6-foot or over won't like the back seat.
5. Civic: What a penalty box. Not even worth a test drive with such a low grade interior.
6. Focus: Also very nice. The cargo (5-door) was excellent, interior quality was top notch, and the handling very good. Like the 3, though, it was cramped, and unlike the 3, I didn't like either the manual or automatic transmissions. Plus with rental fleets they're a dime a dozen. I like the fact Subaru is a niche player and I have yet to see an identical vehicle out on the roads.
7. Prius: We actually did look at a Prius a while ago. Frankly, I like driving. Why do that to myself? If gas mileage is of the utmost concern then the Prius is hard to beat. But if handling means absolutely anything to you, then the Prius will be a major letdown, as would the case be with me.
And that's what makes competition great. Thank goodness for the free market economy we live in that allows so many variations to fit different personalities. I'm sure people will disagree with my observations, which is just great, and they'll prefer other rides. For me, the combination of strengths with the Impreza made it my choice.
Best of luck with the shopping, Backy. It's a fun process.
#833 of 1605 Re: Why Impreza? [tyguy]
Mar 18, 2012 (8:39 pm)
tyguy ... You have the Marine Blue 5 dr with rear seatback protector, correct?
I was looking at the install instructions online (was curious how they mounted) and saw that the last step is "Re-install headrests, with bungees around them". Is the seatback protector really held at the top with bungees? I sure hope not, because that would be pretty tacky IMO.
#834 of 1605 Re: Why Impreza? [tyguy]
Mar 19, 2012 (5:56 am)
Anyone 6-foot or over won't like the back seat.
And, they will be happy in any of these other compacts? If you mean head room, that's another reason I like the Elantra GT--roofline is higher in back than the sedan. But that's true with most hatches vs. sedan variants.
I don't think the Mazda3's interior is low-grade for the price-point I'm looking at, but then I'm looking at the lowest level trim on the Mazda3 hatch. It doesn't match the Golf's interior quality, nor the Elantra's for that matter. But it's fine for my needs. I actually think it's better than the Impreza Premium's interior. The HVAC knobs are just as cheap looking and feeling as on the Corolla--which is pretty bad. The plastic on the door panels looks cheap, especially on the ivory trim which I prefer. No rear seat center armrest (also a fault of the Focus SE). You have to pay extra for a leather wheel cover and shift knob, when those are standard on the Mazda3i Touring and (I think) Elantra GT. The Focus is a mixed bag--some interior bits are very nice, some are cheap looking. Maybe in the upper trim levels it's better.
The Mazda3 is a 2012 IIHS Top Pick. It's interesting to me you took a car with unknown crash test scores vs. a good if not great choice. As you said, Subaru's history is good there so probably low risk.
I have experience with the 2.5L I5 in a 2007 Rabbit (6AT) and also took a 2012 Golf 5MT on a long test drive. I don't share your concerns over that enigne. It's smoother, quieter, and more powerful than the mill in the Impreza. The FE I got on both cars is significantly above the EPA ratings, e.g. mid-to-upper 30s on the highway, about 30 in the kind of city/suburban driving I do. So while I'd prefer a more economical car, it's not a deal-breaker for me.
Since I've owned 3 Hyundais in the past 12 years and still own two, I have a lot of experience with their reliability and service, and have no concerns there. Also I have to disagree that the Elantra (sedan) drives like a Corolla. The Corolla is so bad I've had Hertz add "No Toyotas!" to my account (they won't add specific models). And the GT has adjustable steering feel and a sport-tuned suspension, so I expect it will handle better than the sedan. I won't know until I drive it.
The Civic is a downer, except in FE and rear-seat room. I like the previous generation better. I owned two Civics in the '80s when I think they were the best subcompacts on the road. Times have changed!
The Focus is competent and as I said will likely have the lowest price. But for that price, it will have plastic wheel covers, the tightest rear seat of the cars I'm focused on, and a dash style I'm not crazy about. It's not that it's a bad car, but that I like the Mazda3 and Golf much better even though they will cost a little more. I also have a feeling I'll like the Elantra GT better than the Focus. I already like what I've seen in photos; e.g. I think it has the nicest interior design in its class.
I've driven the current Prius so I know it's an... isolating driving experience. That's the nice way of putting it. Great FE though, and a roomy back seat with fold-flat seat back. So it has its plusses. Just not very many of them.
Yep, lots of choices. Much different from 20 years ago when there were few really good choices in this group--Civic, Corolla, Protege, and then a big drop-off.
#835 of 1605 Re: Why Impreza? [dcm61]
Mar 19, 2012 (6:00 am)
Correct, and I agree. Fortunately with my black interior the black cords are difficult to notice with just a small portion exposed behind the headrests. There's got to be a better mounting method, but for now it's the only option, and with a golden retriever riding back there the protectors have made cleanup significantly easier.
#836 of 1605 If not Impreza?
Mar 19, 2012 (6:41 am)
First commute into work with the new car and loving it. In lines with the Why Impreza thread, what would have been your number two choice? I'm only going to be driving the Impreza during my winter commute, so i'm looking to trade my wifes CUV for my daily drive. I test drove the Elantra and Focus, but with a redesigned Civic coming up, the 2012's may be a good deal. I was also considering the Hyundai Accent hatch.
#837 of 1605 Re: Why Impreza? [tyguy]
Mar 19, 2012 (6:45 am)
I only test drove the Focus and Mazda3 in addition to the Impreza. I would have loved to drive the Civic (as much as people are down on it), but I couldn't get past the 2-tier driver's console.
In my estimation, the Mazda3 was the best value BUT it drove the sportiest and the interior and styling had a very youth oriented feel. I didn't want a car for a 25 year old. Some of the interior design choices were just un-thoughtful. Also, I'm a little nervous about Mazda's financial stability in the US and also the skyactiv powertrain is so new (and so advanced) its longevity worried me too.
The Focus definitely felt more premium than the Impreza. But I didn't like how for the combination of features I wanted I had to get the SEL, which forced me into getting featured I didn't want. Like another poster noted, the interior design was a huge turn off. I'd go as far as to say that my impression of the Focus was like when I bought my Jetta 12 years ago - it had a substantial feel a definite notch above the competition, it was near-near-luxury where the other contenders were not as plush.
I ended up with the Impreza for a few reasons:
-AWD because I'm a safety freak. We had a very low snow winter, but my goodness did it perform well in 3" of slush!
-Reliability - this is our second subaru (from 2 VWs to 2 Subarus). Regular normally aspirated, non DI engine. I was a little nervous about the CVT, but with as many miles as they have on the Outback and Legacy, I had a feeling it has been "tested"
-I liked the bland interior.
Biggest surprise: definitely has the feel of a driver's car, not super powerful, but it handles wonderfully.
Biggest disappointment: gas mileage. I knew this going into buying the car. If I didn't live in a region with snow/slush/ice/lots of rain, the AWD wouldn't have provided the value against MPG. Otherwise I would have ended up with the Focus (or the 3 if I was a little more cash strapped).
#838 of 1605 Re: If not Impreza? [techdude]
Mar 19, 2012 (7:11 am)
The Civic was just redesigned for 2012 so it won't be redesigned again any time soon. There are some tweaks rumored for as early as next year, but those will be just that... tweaks, maybe to the dash, not a redesign of the car. We have to live with it for the next 5 years or so.
#839 of 1605 Re: Leather Seats [debbadoo2]
Mar 19, 2012 (8:26 am)
love mine...very comfortable...would compare to my leather in my 09 Caddy CTS......
#840 of 1605 Update
Mar 19, 2012 (8:31 am)
I have had my limited 5DR CVT PZEV three months to the day this past Sat....in for its second oil change at 7500....it rolled over 7700 coming to work today......my commute is 103 miles each day wiht 70/30 hwy.city......my last tank averaged over almost 32 MPG.....could be happier with the car.......my main reason for purchase was the AWD for the fall and winter here in MD...otherwise the hatch and the MPG fall in 2nd and 3rd respectively.....for my needs the Impreza has exceeded expectations.......