Spin-off of a spin-off- tell me about your Subaru Impreza
I'm in love with the Outback. The Outback is bigger than what I need. I'm looking at both the sedan and Sport models of the Impreza and would love to hear your thoughts. Gas mileage, reliability, how much work you've had to put into yours...
"I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
- Harry Dresden
Cons: gas mileage is not great and you have to use 91 octane, back seat and trunk are on the small side and the trunk lid has long arms that have to encroach on the trunk space when closed, the passenger front seat is not comfortable, oil changes cost more than average because of the turbo.
Pros: fast, safe, sporty, corners and stops very well, very good looking, easy to handle, compact without being small, doesn't attract cops' attention, good instrument panel, overall super fun to drive.
I find the driver's seat to be very comfortable, though a friend who is shorter (5'4" or so) couldn't sit high enough. I've had mine 1.5 years and have only done routine maintenance.
Things I like:
-Fun to drive, fairly peppy
-Suspension dampens really nasty bumps without feeling spongy
-Heated seats and mirrors
-Fits in the compact car spaces at work
-Inexpensive compared to similar vehicles (at least at the time I bought mine)
-Uses regular gas
-Back seat space is better than a lot of small cars
Things I don't like:
-Unimpressive gas mileage (usually mid 20's on mostly highway driving; I've never hit 30 mpg.)
-Low ground clearance, so I bottom out on some garage ramps and speed bumps.
-Snow handling isn't as good as I'd expect from AWD. It improved with more aggressive tires, but the low ground clearance limits the ability of the car to bash through deep snow.
-Cargo cover rattles annoyingly to the point where I no longer use it
-More blind spots than I'm used to
-Doesn't have a height adjustment on seat
I haven't had any problems bottoming out. I haven't driven it in the snow. I'm happy with the road noise level. My seat does have a height adjustment. Maybe my opinion is skewed since my previous car was a '95 model that didn't even have automatic locks...comparatively, my Subaru is luxury! Love the heated seats. It seems like there is an appreciable difference between the models.
Definitely go with the Impreza "Outback Sport" Wagon. You will have 4" of ground clearance over the regular Sport Wagon. You will also have some other upgrades feature-wise. It has a five-star safety rating and is all-wheel drive which really helps it stick to the road.
With just regular maintenance the Subarus are not unknown to go well into the 200K mile range.
I have had a Subaru Impreza Outback Sport since 2009 and drove it both in the slightly snowy part of southern NY, tundra of upstate NY (near Syracuse), and now Kentucky, where I am waiting to see what kind of winter weather occurs.
I like the sporty look of it (sleek hatchback look, not too station wagon looking), it handles well, especially through corners, overall I just like the way it dives. I have found it pretty light (heavy wind has moved it on the road sometimes), but I like that aspect compared to my last Subaru, which was an older Forester.
Gets decent gas mileage and can take regular 87. I have gotten it to 30, 31 mpg on the highway (I was putting 89 in it at that point in time). When I drive it in KY to and from work I get about 22, 23 mpg, usually get to 300 miles and I need to fill my tank again.
Decent size for packing stuff. I take the cargo cover thing out, put the back seats down and can fit a fair amount of stuff in it. It comes with roof racks too (that also come off thank goodness) so if you want to put a cargo crate on top.
Nice features, mine has a usb port and jack so I can plug my iPod in through the stereo, heated seats, a windshield wiper deicer, buttons on my steering wheel for the cruise control and radio so I don't need to move my hands a lot.
For snow driving it holds up. Comes with a vehicle assistance system (I know it has a more proper name, can't think of it) that helps correct your car when it is sliding. I drove this thing through some nasty snowstorms in upstate New York and never had a problem. Now I didn't drive it through unplowed roads (for how low it is, I don't think that would be good), but the roads are never completely plowed in upstate NY during winter, and it kept me safe and got me where I needed to go.
Subarus are also known as safe cars, especially in accidents *Knock on wood* I had a bad accident in my old Subaru Forester where the passenger side of the car got plowed by a pickup truck, I got bounced across the road, into another car, and back to my original lane, and I walked way unscathed.
It does have a pretty low ground clearance and I have scraped the bottom more times than I should have. You have to be a little more cautious and remember that when driving.
A little more expensive for maintenance and tires. Due to the clearance of the wheel well the tires are a unique size, which makes them more expensive. I don't think you can get normal oil changes or the specials a lot of garages charge because it takes synthetic oil, I normally do my own oil changes (much cheaper!) but when I moved to KY I got it done and it was $50.
I can't really think of anything else. I really love my little car and Subarus in general. Haven't had any mechanical issues in the 2 years I have had it and my parents both have older Subarus and they have not had any issues either. I have a friend who owns a Subaru with over 120,000 miles on it and I think she still drives it into NYC for work time to time, works like a dream.
I have a 2000 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. I purchased it new and it has been a great car. Being 11 years old, it is substantially different from what you're looking at.
Reliability - it's been great. Mind you, it has fairly low miles (75K) for its age. I've had one wheel bearing replaced. And the light lifespan seems to average abou 10.5 years as I've had to replace tailight, headlight and one side marker light over the last year. Everything else has been maintenance. Well except for the two accidents it was in last year...resulting in a new driver's side door in one (and I was impressed with how well the car held up) and just a few scratches when I was rear-ended.
Mileage - most of my driving is city and I get low- to mid-twenties. Not the best but that is the price of all-wheel-drive.
I do at times wish it was slightly bigger. I think the newer models have expanded the passenger space but have less cargo space. I do like that I can fit both of my dogs (~50lbs each) in the cargo area in mine.
The other thing I don't like is that it is loud at freeway speed - road noise. But I think this is something that has also improved over the years.
I keep drooling over the new Outbacks - more room for the dogs and for passengers. But I can't bring myself to part with my little car - it has everything I need and runs great.