Originally Posted by SZRimaging
So I have a blue 2012 Impreza Premium on order (with the winter package). I just test drove a 2012 Focus, and am beginning to question if the Impreza is the right choice.
The Impreza is AWD and has a higher ground clearance. Not sure on handling in the wet/less than desirable conditions, but on dry it didn't handle too much better than the Focus (having only done a test drive and not pushing them through the corners too hard). The Impreza also strikes me as a safer car.
The Focus has a nicer interior, between the engine and transmission it felt peppier/sportier, it's cheaper by a few grand, has nicer electronics, and much less noise in the cabin. I also think the seats were just a bit more comfortable. I should note, I drove a sedan without the sport package, and am looking at a hatch with the sport package.
Both have heated seats, so the point is moot. I do live on b-roads in Northern Michigan, so the AWD and ride height can make a difference. But for the payment difference, I should be able to afford to throw on some decent snow tires and steel wheels for the winter on the Focus.
So basically, sell me on why I should be keeping the Subaru I have on order instead of switching (at no penalty to me) to the Focus.
I, too, have an Impreza Premium on order, but I'm not gonna try to talk you out of changing your mind. Your priorities are different. (I did not test drive the Focus).
That said, I would think that living in N. Michigan would make AWD a pretty significant feature: two-lane highway driving, residential streets that don't get plowed right away, pulling away from an icy curbside parking spot. FWD cars mainly drive one wheel at a time, so driving four wheels is a big benefit. I expect the AWD to be a benefit driving in heavy rain, too. Edge to Subaru.
Cost: not sure how a comparable Focus is "thousands less." They seem to be fairly close in price. (Focus Hatchback SEL vs. Impreza Premium). I'll take your word for it and say, edge to Ford.
Engine: you don't say if you're getting a manual or automatic. It looks like the Focus is a bit faster acceleration. For the automatic, the Impreza seems to be a smoother ride, especially at low speed driving, from what I've read. Edge to Ford for manual, edge to Subaru for automatic.
Stereo: the stereo is, at least,upgradable. Let's say, edge to Ford.
Cargo: +5 cubic feet more cargo space in the Impreza with the seats down (about 10 percent more). Edge to Subaru.
Maintenance intervals: excellent for both.
Maintenance cost: assuming both cars are equally reliable, domestic cars are often less to repair, especially parts. Possible edge to Ford, unless it needs more frequent repairs.
Length of ownership: you mentioned you plan to own this for a long time. Same here. Honestly, a Toyota Yaris or a Honda Fit would probably take care of my needs most of the time, but the extra expense of the the Impreza is OK when you get to enjoy the benefits for 10-15 years.