Pros: Reliable, durable, sturdy, good in snow
Cons: noise inside car, underpowered, hidden cup-holder
I purchased my Impreza about 2 1/2 years ago as a replacement to an 86 Subaru sedan. That earlier sedan had kept going and going and I wanted to stick with the Subaru name because I had such good luck with my first Subaru. I got the Impreza with 67,000 miles and have been putting on a little over 37,000 miles each year and am at 146,000 miles now.
The impressive thing is that in all that time the biggest maintenance costs have been tune-ups every 30,000 miles or so. At my last tune-up one of my gaskets was cracked and they replaced it along with the timing belt, but all told I have spent about $800 dollars on maintenance in 2 1/2 years (not counting oil changes and tires). I am amazed. This little car keeps going and going and going.
I have had the car while I was living in Vermont and now Maine and both have some pretty crappy winter weather. The Impreza, with a good set of snow tires has impressed me every time. I have spun it out a few times, but never gotten stuck with it. It only has front wheel drive and has managed to get up snow covered hills better than some of the 4wd vehicles that have been on the road with me.
The salt from the roads has been attacking the body, but the car is not rusting like earlier Subaru's did. I have managed to sand off the rust spots and retouch it and they have not come back.
I only have two real complaints about this car. The first is that it can get quite noisy inside the car, but I think that is something that all Subaru's suffer from. My friend recently got a new Forester and while it's not as noisy as my car, there is still quite a lot of noise inside the cab. The second is that the car is somewhat under powered with its engine. Sometimes you just can't get the car to go, but that is somewhat expected with a 4-cylinder engine.
Overall I have to give this car my highest rating. I didn't expect it to last this long or stay in this great of shape after all of the miles that I have been putting on the car. If you want a car that is inexpensive, reliable and durable, this is the car for you.
One side note, I had the car for two years before I realized there was a built-in cup-holder. I kept telling myself I was going to get a new car and make sure it had a cup-holder and then one day I was reading the manual and saw an entry for the built-in cup-holder. I was like "I don't have a cup-holder," and went and read up on it. Then I realized that I probably did and tentatively reached out and pulled on the console just above the stereo and discovered after owning the car for all that time, that yes, there was a cup-holder. The moral, read your owner's manual.
I would also add that you should get a stick-shift. I got an automatic only because it was all they had on the lot and I needed a car, but I am sad that I did. I didn't like autos to start and the automatic transmission on the Impreza isn't stellar.
2002 Toyota RAV4 / Whistler 1733 Radar Detector / 2000 Subaru Forester / PNI Digital Vehicle Compass