Last post on Apr 19, 2013 at 2:22 PM
You are in the Subaru Impreza
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Impreza, Subaru, Sedan, Wagon
#834 of 1605 Re: Why Impreza? [tyguy]
Mar 19, 2012 (6:56 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 (7:00 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 (7:41 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 (7:45 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 (8:11 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 (9:26 am)
love mine...very comfortable...would compare to my leather in my 09 Caddy CTS......
#840 of 1605 Update
Mar 19, 2012 (9:31 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.......
#841 of 1605 Re: Update [pao]
Mar 19, 2012 (9:47 am)
Could be happier or couldn't be happier?
#842 of 1605 Re: Why Impreza? [backy]
Mar 19, 2012 (9:48 am)
as i expressed before, i had to race to decide on a car. and as it turns out, the decision was hasty and now i sit and wait for the Impreza since i felt it was worth waiting for.
here were our other contenders:
Honda Civic: i have been a honda/acura guy for a long time. my car being replaced is a 2000 Civic coupe in MT, the last year with the double wishbone suspension. i read all of the bad reviews of this year's and new generation Civic. i think they contain some truth to it. the bad: very cheap hard plastics in the interior which i really didn't like. they removed the lumbar support which could flatten the seat base like my 2000 for my bulged disc back so it wasn't very comfortable. i didn't like the techno instrumentation very much, being an analog gauge guy. but in the end, i could have lived with it. neutral: the steering wasn't horrible per se, but nothing like my old Civic's (2000, 1985) but it just didn't handle the way i have known honda's to handle. not bad, but nothing special. the good: good passenger volume, i actually think it looks pretty good, nice trunk, quieter than previous generations, and the Automatic transmission was remarkably smooth. (i used to drive a 5MT and the old civic AT's were horrible). plenty of power, IMHO for a small car and almost up to what i had with my 5MT 2000 model. I also drove the Civic Hybrid: felt a lot quieter and very solid, but if i bought a civic, even as a very environmentally minded person, i would likely have stuck to the EX. the mileage difference wasn't appreciable and the power loss was significant.
Honda Fit: just for kicks i drove this. i liked the way this car drove. it was functional, handled nicely, and was just fun to drive. however, it was loud and the interior really felt cheap. like, i was driving a 1980's-early 1990's civic. basically an Econobox for 18k. if it were 2-3k cheaper, i might have bought it.
Honda Insight: sat in it and hated the visibility so didn't even proceed with the test drive. (Prius also has poor visibility, too)
Hyundai Elantra: my wife loved this car. great bang for the buck. looked the nicest in the exterior although i too wonder if the design would seem "fad-ish" 10 years down the road. nice ammenties and fit and finish for 1-2k less than the competition. i didn't like the drive though. engine about as peppy as the Civic, but to me, it handled like a boat: i didn't like it's steering. i still might have considered it but after only 5 minutes in the seat, it really bothered my back and sciatica symptoms so this car was ruled out
Mazda 3: probably the best handling of all the cars; fun to drive and good mileage. but the trunk and rear seat felt small. and to me the control seemed cheap, as if they they would barely make it through the 3 year warranty.
Prius: my wife already has a Prius, but i wanted to try the new generation as well as the C model just for fun and as a wild card. they were pretty much what people have suggested: great mileage and high tech boxes, but no driver feel or experience. we'll probably buy my wife another prius after she's done with hers (almost 100k in 5 years so far with her long commute -- she likes it and if it lasts another 100k, we'll probably get her another), but this impreza is primarily my car so i leaned the other direction. i want a car i enjoy driving, but also want decent fuel economy.
i think the only reservation i had about the Subaru (beyond the wait for the 5dr) was the CVT. i think the 5-6AT on the Civic and Elantra were superior and smoother...or at least, easier to get used to for this guy who has driven manual for the past couple of decades (but going auto on this car so my wife can drive it in the pinch). but after talking with other folks who have made the transition to the Subbie CVT (mostly Outback folks), i decided the positives of the car outweighed this one concern: AWD, felt great to drive, great visibility, IMHO, in the limited trim, nicely appointed for the price paid, easy oil change/access to basic maintenance, Subaru safety record, etc. the gas mileage is a bit less than the Civic and i confess to some concern about what the real world numbers will look like for me, but we'll see. (even though my 30/35 civic was downgraded to 26/32 when the EPA changed how they did their ratings, i never got below 28 on my Civic and could hit over 40 mpg with moderate (<70mph) driving on the highway. if i didn't buy the impreza, i actually might have still bought a Honda Civic even with all of the things i didn't like about it. maybe it's just familiarity even with the downgrades from the previous generations and the attraction of the mileage which i am guessing i could have really milked for a lot. (i have heard people easily exceeding 45 mpg on the highway with moderate driving speed) but i'm glad i ordered the Impreza. it has more of a driving soul...at least if you believe a small economy car can have one.
#843 of 1605 Re: Update [zman3]
Mar 19, 2012 (1:08 pm)
Who would not be happy with 32mpg?