Pros: "Price, leg room, AWD"
Cons: "Interior build quality, performance, speakers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Before I go out to buy a new vehicle, I read tons of online reviews, ask other owner's opinions, and pick the brains of my mechanics before I make my final decision. I know how useful a heartfelt and in-depth review is to most people. So here we go...
I bought my 2013 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium CVT (hatch) last June, 2013. I had never owned a Subaru until I purchased this vehicle. My main "needs" for purchasing this vehicle: I needed to fit comfortably in the car (I am 6'3"), needed something reliable, needed AWD for NE weather, and needed good gas mileage. I commute 120 miles everyday to and from work. Right now I am just shy of 30,000 miles, so I wanted to give an in-depth owner review.
Starting from price paid: I got a pretty decent deal on this car. I showed up to the dealer with no intent of purchasing my Impreza that day. However, they made me an offer I could not refuse for my old Toyota Corolla (which had 245,00 miles on the original motor and transmission and I had ZERO issues with) and shaved quite a bit off the Window Price to make room for the 2014 stock. I did not want this exterior color, or interior color, but like I said the price was just too good to pass up so I sacrificed some of my "wants" for price.
My first "need": I am 6'3"; I did not fit well in my old Toyota Corolla. I needed something that was more comfortable for longer rides to accommodate how long of a commute I have. I fit comfortably in this car. The seats are not the best, but they are not the worst either. Added lumbar support would make all the difference. With my seat all the way back, there is still plenty of room in the back seat for other (normal sized) people. In one instance, folding down the rear seats I was able to cut some sheet stock plywood in half and haul that back to my house from the Depot with ease (not bad in my opinion).
My second "need": I can't really complain about the reliability at this point. Just shy of 30,000 and there have not been any major issues. I have regularly changed my oil every 3,000 miles. One thing to note, which hasn't posed an issue yet... but it might: This engine burns a LOT of oil. I saw quite a few other reviewers commenting on this as well. Every time that I have changed my oil to date, I have noticed that my car is burning 1 to 1/2 quarts of oil every 3,000 miles. Not sure if this is normal with Subaru's, not ever owning one before. But my old Corolla would spit out whatever you put in it 3,000 miles later. Hopefully this doesn't get worse as my car gets older.
My third "need": the AWD in this car is pretty good from what I've thrown at it so far, but I really have not been able to test the true capabilities due to the fact that the tires that come on these rims are absolutely terrible. Do yourself a favor and pick up a nice set of continentals. I did 3/4 of the way through this winter, and I wished I did sooner they make all the difference. With the stock Yokahamas that come on these rims, turning or trying to pull yourself out of 6" of snow is impossible, even with AWD. I drove in a couple dozen snow storms this winter back and forth to work, and I wish I got different tires sooner. With the continentals that I have on it now, I'm pretty sure I could climb the Eifel Tower in this car hahaha
My fourth "need": I have averaged 26-29 mpg on this car. In the winter I have seen as low as 24 mpg, and summer high as 32 mpg. Do not go by the gauge on the dash, mine is off my about 3 mpg in either direction. I was hoping that I could get the window advertised gas mileage, but I have not come close. To be honest, I think it is the 2.0 in this car. To get up to highway speeds and maintain 60-80 mph definitely pushes this car to its limits with aggressive highway driving (I have to in my commute, or you might as well get run over). I did not buy this car for performance, but you would think that the EPA ratings would take into account aggressive highway driving into their calculations. I know a couple of other people who get similar mileage as I do and have slightly shorter commutes. I was getting 34 mpg minimum with my old Toyota...
I want to touch upon a couple other things with this car that I have noticed:
I find that the cup holder arrangement is very odd, considering the armrest goes over one of the cup holders. It is not ergonomically friendly. This is probably not something that you would notice right away, but at 530 am when you are leaving for work, fumbling with your coffee mug can get messy.
The stereo is NOT a strong point for this car. One thing about me, I am always listening to music where ever I go, so the fact that Subaru could not get a decent stereo in here is pretty disappointing. The passenger side dash speaker died 2 months into me owning this car, still haven't fixed it yet, I will get around to it eventually. The "upgraded" stereo system does not sound that much better, by the way, and in my opinion is not worth the extra money. Do yourself a favor and get a professional system installed. Don't even bother with the blue tooth...
My dashboard is coming loose. This can definitely be attributed to the fact that 90% of Massachusetts roads are garbage and filled with pot holes, but the amount of dashboard noise I have right now is what a 15 year old car should sound like, not a 9 month old car. If you are listening to songs that are bassy you can even hear the pieces of plastic that have broken off shaking around on the inside of the dash. Normally this wouldn't have been that big of a deal for me, but since I drive 120 miles every day this gets pretty annoying fast. There is not as much road noise as everyone else says...
The motor in this car is pretty lack-luster. Like I mentioned above, I did not buy this car for its performance. But I would have expected it to be a little peppier considering it is such a small car. If this went back to the 2.5 L that was in the older Impreza's, I'm sure I would be more happy.
I was reluctant on buying this vehicle with the CVT. I will say I am very impressed with the CVT transmission. It is seamless going up to speed, and playing with the paddle shifters is fun on back roads. Having the extra 6th "gear" is nice for cruising. I put "gear" in quotations because it technically is
just a ratio, not a gear.
The paint that Subaru used on the exterior is pretty soft. If you were to take your thumb nail and press it up agains the paint on the car, you would see a mark permanently left there.
Overall, I would say that this car is a solid car that meets my needs (generally). From this post, you can probably tell that I am getting into the nit picky, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. It is definitely not the most high quality vehicle you can buy, but it will get you from point A to point B with minimal issues. To be honest, I don't know if I would buy another Subaru, just because the interior build quality is so terrible. If this car actually got the advertised window MPG, I would probably be a happy customer. Its the little things that add up with this one... I think next vehicle I am just going to buy another Toyota."
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