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2015 - 2018 Subaru Impreza
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Would you buy a new Subaru Impreza with automatic transmission for driving in Los Angeles?

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Response from mkaresh

9:18 am April 21, 2016

If I were to do over my purchase, I would likely have upgraded to the Sport Premium trim level. The lower trim levels don't have tinted windows, which may be a factor in sunny LA. Also, I live in a rainy, sometimes snowy region where the AWD was a factor in my decision. AWD may not be a compelling feature in LA. Otherwise, I'm very satisfied with the performance and quality.

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Response from mkaresh

10:50 am April 21, 2016

We have the 2015 Impreza Sport premium level. So it has the upgraded wheels and a few other miceties. Bought this vehicle specifically for a college age daughter to use while doing an internship in Indiana during the winter and wanted her to have the safest awd vehicle. It served that purpose well. It's now in Missouri where we have snow but this past year didn't have much and so the Impreza was not seriously challenged. It does handle well in the rain. We had previously owned a 1996 Subie Legacy wagon which also did well in rain and snow.
Here's some counter argument. The 2015 Impreza has a CVT as its auto trans option. On dry payment where the awd isn't needed it seems sluggish - it's almost like downshifting when not on the throttle. That may help mpgs but may take some time to get used to. Somewhat disppointed with both in town and highway mileage. Otherwise we like the vehicle size and versatility of the hatchback (rather than a crossover). It's not the quitest car though. Rain on the roof sounds like being inside a tin can. Seats and interior overall are well designed. Be sure to take an extended test drive if possible since awd in LA with the CVT may not be what you really need.

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Response from mkaresh

11:46 am April 21, 2016

I don't live in LA and I don't enjoy driving automatic for a number of reasons. I'm pretty easy to please, andso far like the car very much. For us, this represented an expensive purchase, replacing a Nissan Versa hatch we enjoyed but which had an air bag failure. We live on Vancouver Island and often endure poor weather and ski regularly. I have never needed 4wd in the past; proper snow tires do the job. In poor conditions the best strategy is to simply slow down. I take exception to Subaru and others excessive safey claims for 4wd which seems to promote oveconfidence in drivers. 9 of 10 vehicles I see in theditch are 4wd out here.That being said, it will probably be good for getting out of snow drifts the odd time, and I expect to have some safety improvement with slush and deep water on our highways which are prone to hydroplaning in our torrential rains. This has never been a problem in the past though as I simply slow down. Astonished with miliage; if I drive carefully I get better than the Versa;over 40mpg (Canadian measure) on hwy. Car feels safe and solid, but manueverable. The manual gearbox is a pleasure to shift. Lovely suspension. I am not accustomed to such luxury. It is not peppy andis noisy and this is noticable going up the very steep ski hills, but I'm not in a hurry, and I don't mind hearing the revs for shiftingand being aware my car has a motor. There are a lot of Subarus here in this mountainous and fairly rugged area. People seem to love them. I'm always suspicious of people loving brands though, as human suggestibility knows no bounds! I will be suspicious of my new Subaru...I have concerns about oil consumption and engine reliability in long term, but talking to people and reading on line suggested any issues are diminished. I broke it in carefully. I met just one local person who had a motor replaced for oil consumption at 60000km. We bought this car and the 4wd along with it because there is a dearth of well rated manual trans. compact wagon/hatchbacks and this was fairly competitively priced. Also hasa very good IIHS overall crash rating including partial front offset. So much texting while driving out there now and on the ski hill very easy for speeding drivers to slide across centre line...Honda Civic is bringing in a hatch soon, and would have considered it as Fitfelt too small. But we needed a new car with a passenger air bag pronto! So far so good; yes, for sure, I would buy it again. There's my laymans 2 cents.

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Response from mkaresh

2:21 pm April 21, 2016

I really like my Impreza, but I'm starting to wish that I had purchased the XV. The ground clearance is a problem and I've scraped the bottom more than I have in any other car, including other typical cars without extra ground clearance. It's much lower than one would expect. My primary reason for going with the Impreza over the XV was the claims of much higher mileage (37). They're just flat out wrong. I've tried and tried to drive like a grandma, AC off, and every other trick to squeeze out that last bit of mileage and I just can't exceed 32 MPG with 100% highway driving. Sad thing is, my 2015 Forester gets the same mileage without me even trying.

That said, at 24k miles it has been very reliable (nothing wrong so far) and is enjoyable to drive. If you're driving in the city I HIGHLY recommend EyeSight. Being able to set adaptive cruise control and let the car do the crawling in stop and go traffic is a dream...


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Response from mkaresh

2:54 pm April 21, 2016

Hi Rexkerr. Thanks for the info. Also very interesting to hear of your real world miliage on the Forester. Your report on the Impreza miliage is pretty similar to mine, although I'm not disappointed.We mainly opted for the Impreza vs. Crosstrek over price, but also over the rated fuel economy. Also a thousand more than Crosstrek would get a Forester with pretty much same fuel economy as Crosstrek, but the physical bloat on the Forester didn't suit us. We might have liked more clearance to get us out on the huge network of logging roads here but I presumed it was the higher profile that would knock back fuel economy of the crosstrek. One other bonus for Crosstrek would have been a towing capacity of 1000lbs; we had fancied an ultra light camper trailer in future. If I drive carefully at about 100km/hr and don't hammer I regularlyget 6.8 liters per 100km according to thedisplay goingfrom a to b to a again.This is apparently about34 US mpg. I will have to check this against calculations at the pump. So it sounds similar to yours although mine is manual. It's too late for us now, we're committed to our purchase and it suits our needs quite well, but I would be very curious to hear from anyone about the kind of real world fuel economy they are getting from their Crosstrek and how different it is from the regular Impreza. In away though, gas is so ridiculously cheap these days fuel economy is a minor issue in the scheme of things.

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