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Old 04-23-2012, 12:21 PM   #1
SZRimaging
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Default Beginning to rethink my order....

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.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:22 PM   #2
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I am in the same situation as you (sort of- I haven't questioned by purchase). I am waiting for a 2012 Impreza to be delievered. I had considered the Focus. My reason for the subie over the focus is, the Impreza is made by Subaru/ the Focus is made by Ford. Based on mutiple reviews and "expert opinions" Ford has always rated low on reliability and resale value.

Also IMO the front end of the Focus is pretty terrible looking. Trying to hard to look new and futuristic LOL

Ultimately the decision is yours, if you like the focus more no one here is gonna talk you into a subaru. Its gonna be your car, get the one you want.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
SZRimaging
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Well, resale value is low on my list, as I plan to hold it, barring mechanical issues, for a long time.

As for Ford quality, my parents have owned three, and never an issue other than routine wear. My brother has a Saabaru, and he only had an issue due to low oil in his engine (not Subaru's fault). So on the reliability front, I'm not sure I have an opinion on who is really better than who. Part of Subaru's excellent ratings may be because of who buys them (also why some luxury brands may be so low). Or I could be over thinking the whole thing....
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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I should add that I am in an honest stale mate between the two. Really, the stereo is the biggest turn off on the Impreza, but I don't want to do an aftermarket unit/speakers. Cabin noise is the second issue. Otherwise, I would probably still be sold on getting the Subaru.

Does anyone know how well the Kicker upgrades work? If just adding a $250 option drastically improves the response, then it may not be so bad.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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You can get much higher quality speakers, for less, just by going into somewhere like best buy. A car audio place will be even better. Doing it yourself would be very cheap, and you could get exactly what you want.

Basically, if you don't want AWD, I would say go for the focus. I absolutely hated its driving dynamics, but that's just me.

Really, I can't complain about the cabin noise, I don't think it's at all bad in the Impreza. Last week I took a trip to Minneapolis from Omaha, and the whole ~1000 mile trip was quite enjoyable except for the horrible interstate from Omaha to Des Moines. One 4 hour leg, without stop, was acceptably quiet, though I sort of miss the ride of my old "grandma car" Buick.

I forget if the Focus has any steering auto-correct for wind. That was one thing I noticed driving into a 40 mph diagonal wind; though any car without auto-correct steering will be a bit of a bear driving 70 mph into a 40 mph diagonal wind.

I don't think you can really say ford is unreliable anymore, it's just Subaru is SO reliable, it's hard to say something else would be better.

Again, if you can live without AWD, then I would say the Focus is for you. If you want AWD, the Subaru. The other issues you talk about seem minor?
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SZRimaging View Post
I should add that I am in an honest stale mate between the two. Really, the stereo is the biggest turn off on the Impreza, but I don't want to do an aftermarket unit/speakers. Cabin noise is the second issue. Otherwise, I would probably still be sold on getting the Subaru.

Does anyone know how well the Kicker upgrades work? If just adding a $250 option drastically improves the response, then it may not be so bad.
I picked up the Kicker tweeter upgrade and swapped out the factory OEM ones and I noticed a difference for the highs. The difference would be more profound definitely if you're going from no tweeters to Kicker tweeters.

From what I heard the Kicker upgrades are decent but no where near the sound you can get out of aftermarket parts likewise. But installation is going to be much easier, pop off the speaker grilles, unscrew old speakers, screw in new speakers, pop the grille back on, and you're done. I'm looking to pick up the speaker upgrade at a later time. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xafen View Post
You can get much higher quality speakers, for less, just by going into somewhere like best buy. A car audio place will be even better. Doing it yourself would be very cheap, and you could get exactly what you want.

Basically, if you don't want AWD, I would say go for the focus. I absolutely hated its driving dynamics, but that's just me.

Really, I can't complain about the cabin noise, I don't think it's at all bad in the Impreza. Last week I took a trip to Minneapolis from Omaha, and the whole ~1000 mile trip was quite enjoyable except for the horrible interstate from Omaha to Des Moines. One 4 hour leg, without stop, was acceptably quiet, though I sort of miss the ride of my old "grandma car" Buick.

I forget if the Focus has any steering auto-correct for wind. That was one thing I noticed driving into a 40 mph diagonal wind; though any car without auto-correct steering will be a bit of a bear driving 70 mph into a 40 mph diagonal wind.

I don't think you can really say ford is unreliable anymore, it's just Subaru is SO reliable, it's hard to say something else would be better.

Again, if you can live without AWD, then I would say the Focus is for you. If you want AWD, the Subaru. The other issues you talk about seem minor?
Well, on my old Maxima, I did the audio work myself, no issues. On the Rav4, a shop did, no issues. On my Saab 9-7x, I have had nothing but issues since having an aftermarket headunit installed by a shop. The same shop did my brother's Saabaru without issue (except a Focal speaker blew out, I think, but that was a warranty repair).

But, since the issues with the 9-7x, I'm a little weary of doing any changes. Could just be that ONStar wiring that screwed things up, but still a little hesitant to replace a headunit on these newer vehicles.

The AWD is probably the number one reason why I'm not just switching over to the Focus. FWD + snows = pretty good, AWD + snows = frickin' awesome!
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkL View Post
I picked up the Kicker tweeter upgrade and swapped out the factory OEM ones and I noticed a difference for the highs. The difference would be more profound definitely if you're going from no tweeters to Kicker tweeters.

From what I heard the Kicker upgrades are decent but no where near the sound you can get out of aftermarket parts likewise. But installation is going to be much easier, pop off the speaker grilles, unscrew old speakers, screw in new speakers, pop the grille back on, and you're done. I'm looking to pick up the speaker upgrade at a later time. Hope this helps.
That does help. Which factory headunit do you have?
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SZRimaging View Post
That does help. Which factory headunit do you have?
I'm in Canada, so the head units are different than the ones in the US based on trim levels. This is the one I have.

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Old 04-23-2012, 02:15 PM   #10
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Damn you Canadians! You also get the nicer displays on your consoles. I really don't get why the US got so screwed on this compared to everyone else.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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It was between the focus and Impreza for me. After driving the focus and sitting in the back the impreza was much more my style and spacious. I thought the impreza rode better. The design of the engine led me to be a big fan of subaru

Also i have a family member that works at Ford (passed up employee pricing on a focus) and there is already a problem with the transmission seals leaking. A service bulletin has been issued. With that being said the reliability rating for the ford isnt as high as the subaru.

Mine was bought as a commuter car to enjoy for years and years. I think i got that. For all its sortcomings Stereo, Interior noise, and having to wait for the vehicle i dont think its anything that was a deal breaker for me.

But this is your decision so think about it a little an maybe drive them again and then make a choice.

Last edited by auskip07; 04-23-2012 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:22 PM   #12
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canadian limited also gets the turning signal on side mirrors, and heated mirror is standard on all trims.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SZRimaging View Post
Damn you Canadians! You also get the nicer displays on your consoles. I really don't get why the US got so screwed on this compared to everyone else.
Damn you Americans! But its not fair how your MSRP is cheaper by far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorkbert View Post
canadian limited also gets the turning signal on side mirrors, and heated mirror is standard on all trims.
I think the wiper deicer also comes standard? The lower part of the windshield has a heating element under the glass to warm and defrost the area where the wipers sit. It unsticks the front wipers.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:33 PM   #14
SZRimaging
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I think the wiper deicer also comes standard? The lower part of the windshield has a heating element under the glass to warm and defrost the area where the wipers sit. It unsticks the front wipers.
Now there is a feature I would love. Never have heard of any car with that, but something I never understood why it wasn't there.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SZRimaging View Post
Now there is a feature I would love. Never have heard of any car with that, but something I never understood why it wasn't there.
comes with the impreza all-weather package, along with heated mirrors & seats
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:50 PM   #16
SZRimaging
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comes with the impreza all-weather package, along with heated mirrors & seats
Wait, it does?! I think I need to go look at that package again...
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:02 PM   #17
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Wait, it does?! I think I need to go look at that package again...
leaning back towards the impreza? LOL
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:03 PM   #18
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I love knowing if it snows, my AWD Subie will get me home. That's only if it doesn't get to deep. You still might be okay with a good set of winter tires on the Ford just not sure since I never drove a Focus in the winter.

As a side note: The 2012 Impreza is getting a lot better gas mileage then before! The Focus get's a little bit more because it's not AWD.

The Good: Plenty of leg room and trunk space for the Impreza Sdn.

The Bad:
The stereo sucks in all the Impreza's not mater what model or options.

For me I would stick with Subaru since I've been buying them new since
2003 and overall love the car and the resale of them.

In the end it's going to be a tough decision for you because both cars has their good points and bad points. I think the main issue is the AWD or FWD. What are your roads like in the winter and how comfortable are you driving in bad conditions? You should be much more relaxed with an AWD car in the snow/rain then with a FWD or RWD car.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:05 PM   #19
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If it matters at all, I sold Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazdas for a while before I took my current job. I passed up the employee discount for the Subaru.

For me it was between the Mazda3, Ford Focus, and Subaru Impreza. I absolutely couldn't stand driving the Focus any time I had to take one between dealers. The dynamics were just terrible. I had reservations about the interior fit and finish on the Mazda.

The Subaru may be a bit spartan, but that's exactly why I like it. There's nothing fancy on it, but it is very well put together, and overall looks great.

Going back, I would probably consider the Mazda3 a bit more carefully, but a lot of that I think is this past winter was so mild I didn't even bother to put on snow tires. We had almost 3 snow events, 2 inches here, 3 there, 6 one time (oh no!).

I did consider the worth of AWD for snow, but in the end it didn't come down to it's use in snow for me, but how valuable it is in wet conditions.

A minus for the Focus is the 40mpg is ONLY on the SFE package, only available on a sedan. I hit 40.2 mpg on my Minneapolis trip, and even though I get mid 20s in the city now that it's warmer, I'm still quite happy.

Those are just a few more random thoughts. If you want AWD, it's really an easy choice. The issues you mention with the Subaru seem minor, and for the most part, you can remedy them.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:08 PM   #20
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Wait, it does?! I think I need to go look at that package again...
My wife has a 2010 Impreza with the winter package and LOVES it! Her favorite thing is the heated seats. She named her car Hot Ass and mine's the Beast. LOL
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:28 PM   #21
SZRimaging
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Does the Impreza have skid plates stock?

As for wind noise, is it a design issue, or is it something a bit of dynomat can fix?

I should add, my fiance has a Trailblazer, equipped with Blizzaks, so deep/bad snow will belong to the Trailblazer once we are married (next summer).

And the amount it snows is never the issue, it's the 2 foot drifts that form over the roads that is a problem. I used to bust through them with my Golf, but it was a little scary as some of them were up to the beginning of the hood. The last two winters haven't been as bad as years past though.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:30 PM   #22
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By the way, thank you everyone for taking the time to talk this out with me! Kudos to you all!
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #23
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I drove the Focus as well. It's definitely quieter than the Impreza. By far. I like the car. I just can't stand the gauge and dash design on that car. That's just me though.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SZRimaging View Post
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.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:07 PM   #25
SZRimaging
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The Focus would be an SE, and after talking to the dealer who has the one I'm thinking of, it's literally $2,000 less. That is partially due to $1500 in rebates that Ford is running. However, what is unknown is what Subaru will be running next month as a deal, when I will supposedly be getting the Impreza (no VIN yet, ordered late March). But, I also re-ran the numbers, and given cheaper financing through Subaru, and $10 less a month in insurance, the Focus isn't as much cheaper in the long run as a I thought.
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