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New Subaru Impreza Owners - Give Us Your Report!

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  • I'm so relieved to see others having the same problems, so I don't feel picked upon. I have the same loud vibration noise going uphill at 40 - 45 mph. I've had my '09 Impreza (less than 4 months old, 5700 miles) in for this problem 3 times now. My local dealer's service manager has been very condescending to me and no help what so ever. He told me the first time that it was a tire noise. The tires were way out of balance, but I couldn't accept this diagnosis, as the noise is definitely coming from the engine compartment. (The tires are another issue - they're been balanced twice, and are out of whack again.) I even took the mechanic for a ride with me on one visit so that he could hear the noise. He says it's probably one of the heat shields. When I picked it up yesterday, the service department told me, once again, that they can't find the problem, so they can't fix it.

    At least, you can sometimes get your car to shift by pressing the gas - my Impreza doesn't always respond to the gas pedal! Four or five times now, I've depressed the accelerator to - nothing. The car continues at the same speed it was going for a few seconds before deciding whether or not it wants to go faster. :lemon:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    to the Subaru ownership experience is having to deal with the Subaru dealers for service, especially if you have something that actually needs fixing..... :-(

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Ugh, yea my dealer was no help either. They took it around for a drive, but of course they couldn't replicate the problem so they did nothing. Also I posted earlier that the front left pillar was rattling when I go over bumps..well now the whole dashboard rattles..middle and right side too. Perhaps I was expecting too much from this car. I realize it's an entry-level car and not a BMW. But it's brand new and only has 3000 miles on it. I'm glad I'm leasing it though because once the lease is up, I'm giving it back and probably not getting another Subaru. I do like the size of it and that it's a hatchback. Maybe the AWD will come in handy this winter. But perhaps I should have gotten the Rabbit / Golf instead. This is my first car. Are these problems to be expected?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    VW has more reliability issues than Subaru does.

    Work with the dealer, they've helped Forester owners with similar complaints.
  • hi All,

    I'm considering getting a 5 door manual Impreza , either 2.5i, 2.5i Premium or Outback Sport. Just trying to see how they are different. Can i live with base model or there is something great i would be missing?

    Also, if I put third party alloy wheels on the base 2.5i , would that convert it to 2.5i Premium? :)

    Thanks in advance.
    Greg
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Premium package is a bargain. So much so that it actually increases residual values. At least get that.

    The OBS has the AWP I believe, so in cold climates, I'd want it.
  • The premium adds alloy wheels, 10 speaker system, sunroof, 6-disc in-dash cd changer, auxillary audio jack. You can compare the models on Subaru.com. Base model is doable if you don't want the above items. It's truly a matter of money and preference for features. Best of Luck!
  • Thanks! is sunroof standard or optional? i absolutely need alloy wheels but could get good ones from tirerack.com. 10 speaker (vs. 4) is nice, sunroof is nice too. but who would need a CD changer these days? i stopped listening to CDs a long while ago, auxillary audio jack does the trick

    anyone has experience with exterior heated mirrors? My previous car had heated seats - i used to flip it on in the summer to get my g/f uncomfortable. :P That was the only thing it was good for.

    also, think Outback sport suspension is different from base models. Is that true?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,687
    The heated mirrors are the best (and probably only useful) feature of the AWP. The heaters will dry off water spotting from rain/mist and clear off fogging/icing due to morning frosts or elevation/humidity changes. Unfortunately, they are tied into the wiper and rear defroster switch (which I think is a little annoying). And, they do it very quickly! I doubt it takes longer than a couple of minutes to completely clear them when iced or wet, and even less time if they are fogged.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    The moonroof is optional, on the Premium model only.

    The 10-speaker stereo is so much better than the crappy base Subaru stereo, there just aren't words to describe it. But you could also visit a reputable aftermarket car stereo installer....

    I am not the type to ever opt for frippery like heated seats, but they came as part of the deal on my Outback Sport, and after my first really cold morning, I would never be without them now. As mentioned above, the heated mirrors can be very useful too, and I don't find it a big deal that I have to leave the rear defroster on to get the mirrors cleared.

    Subaru SAYS that the Outback Sport has "heavy-duty raised suspension", but I have never really believed it. It has like 0.4 inches more ground clearance than the other Imprezas, and I bet that is because of the 17" rims. All the non-WRX Imprezas need a rear sway bar IMO, and none of them have one. The Sport has a somewhat less squishy ride than the Premium and the base Impreza because of the lower profile tires.

    I am one of the last people out there who prefers the two-tone paint of the Sport, and that with the factory 17s that I really like convinced me to go with that trim instead of the Premium. But don't discount that AWP in the Outback Sport - the heated seats and mirrors are a definite bonus.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,687
    I don't find it a big deal that I have to leave the rear defroster on to get the mirrors cleared.

    In warmer weather, this is not a problem. It is when the temperature drops to cold, such as perhaps 10F and lower (which is most of the many months of winter here), that it is annoying. Having the rear defroster on only serves to create large amounts of ice on the rear window and obscure the rearward view. This phenomenon is a result of blowing snow coming up behind the car, melting briefly on the glass, and then freezing. The wiper is useless to correct it and the glass must be scraped off periodically.

    In the past, the mirrors had their own switch (a discreet little button on the dash) which was far more practical.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • thank you, xwesx &nippononly. this was all really helpful

    I myself don't really like two-tone paint of the Outback Sport and that is something a dealer was trying to sell to me. :cry: If anything, I'd go with Obsidian Black, but that's a matter of personal preference. You are saying you like OM 17s wheels - how does it corner on those?

    Also, Impreza is one of the heaviest cars in it's class. Any comments on this? how does it handle? I had a test drive but they don't really let you "test" it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Consumer Reports said it is the best ride among small cars.
  • Regarding the test drive, insist on taking the Impreza out by yourself. If the dealership doesn't allow it, then find another one. I agree, color is a matter of preference. I chose dark gray metallic because it has a black interior, no beige for me too easily soiled. The weight I feel doesn't effect its handling, in fact it's a car that's fun to drive and not boring. This will be my 5th Subaru, 2nd Impreza. I've done a lot of research and test driving and for the money Subaru makes a very safe and fun car. I chose the premium for the alloy and didn't like the two-tone paint either. Liked the 16in wheels, a bit cheaper to purchase than 17in which I have on my 08 Legacy. I can have my choice of any car out there and I still keep coming back to Subaru. Take your time and enjoy the process. :)
  • I have a 2008 Impreza with the dark gray metalic exterior color. This paint system is flawed and chips very easily. I suggest you buy with another color. My dealer applied a hardner at no cost to me to make the pain more durable. After a year it needs to be reapplied.. very costly.

    Sol
  • I have an 08 Legacy dark gray metallic and I have found the same thing. From what I understand about the new paint with most car companies is that by going "green" the lead has been taken out. I have searched other forums such as Toyota and Nissan for ex: and owners are complaining about paint chipping easily. I thought about what color might show the least and found the dark gray to be best, though I think all colors will show to some extent. Maybe Mercedes doesn't have this problem :P
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    For a small car it has a nice ride on bad pavement and out on the interstate. However, if you are a canyon carver like me, you will find it a bit wanting as the back end tends to call out that lack of a rear sway in hard cornering.

    You will never want for grip though - you just might be slightly uncomfortable with how far the car is canted over, and you have to watch it when it wags back as you straighten out. For anything less than manic (like my driving!) you will be fine, and it has a way smoother ride than any of the other compacts. You could also install a rear sway, and then I think it would have an almost perfect balance between ride and handling.

    Yes, it's heavier than other compacts, because of the AWD. If you don't need or really want AWD, there are better handlers on the market which will also go a bit easier on gas. But they will generally cost more than $20K, and the higher Impreza trims can be had for significantly under $20K. And Impreza is the only real CAR available under $20K. Everything else in that price range is just a plastic appliance.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They stopped using solvents, and we shouldn't be surprised if they slowly move to low VOC paints soon, also.
  • you hit it right on the eye, nippononly. :shades: Impreza is an unique combination of safe ride and fun ride with the price tag below 20K.

    I finally realized what my problem was - part of me wants more performance and handling and I'd rather had a lighter car giving up AWD. The other part of me wants it to be very safe as my g/f will be driving it as well. I still have to teach her how to drive stick (told her that automatic transmission is not even offered by Subaru :blush: )

    I'm leaning towards 2.5i Premium - should be ok w/o AWP as i live in tri state area. I only hit snowstorms occasionally when going on skiing trips.

    BTW, the dimming rearview mirror is a must - guys, make yourself a Christmas gift. It worth so much more than CD changer there are no words to describe it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm looking at a blizzard's worth of snow outside, so I know what I'd rather have right about now. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Yup, I got my OBS at a tidge over $18K, and for that money what are you going to buy? A Corolla for goodness' sake?? The only thing near it is the Mazda3s, which is comparable in many ways. But:
    - the 3's shifter is worse
    - the 3's steering has less feedback
    - it's FWD, the worst possible configuration
    - resale and service are worse
    - the 3 has had several systemic complaints in the last few years, and who knows if they have all been addressed by Mazda. Of those, one - weak A/C - would really bug me, enough to be a deal-breaker. My sister has a 3 in which the compressor already seized, before 60K miles, causing the belt to burn which started a minor underhood fire. Both before and after the compressor replacement I found/find her A/C to be very weak - on a hot summer's day in LA, you might as well just open the windows, you will sweat less.

    Having said all that, if I had had to pay the full $21K on the sticker of my Outback Sport, I would definitely have been choosing between an SI or a GTI for the same money, and Subaru would have been off my list. But for some fun and the AWD for snow trips (of which I do many) at $18K, the OBS was it for me.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Ok, what is your secret for scoring an Outback for 18k? Is it a manual? Edmunds TMV for a 2.5i premium w/auto is 20,147. I didn't even add auto dim mirror. My dealer would laugh at me with much negotiation, well at least that's what I think. I dislike haggling over price, but want more money in my pocket in the end. :) It seems you even barely paid over invoice? I'm intrigued.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Mine is a manual, yes, so that's $1000 less than the automatic on the sticker. I think I got mine about $1000 below invoice, and of that at least $500 was a factory rebate.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Inventory is pretty lean in my area, so I'm still waiting. I was told that the North East region is only getting the premium w/ special edition pkg. unless I want to build my own without it that's the only way they're coming. I'm not crazy about sunroof/possible leak, fog lights don't help much, heated seats and side mirrors, eh over rated. I've had all these features on my last three Subarus, didn't even use or need them. Yes, I live in a very cold climate/loads of snow. Have any of you experienced sunroof leaks, or can see the value of the other items? It's turned in to more of a rant, I know. :)
  • I got the answer straight from Subaru today. The North East region gets the 2.5i premium w/spec. ed. pkg included so I have no choice unless I want to make a special order. Hmm..the 2.5i is looking better and cheaper except need to buy allow wheels.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    I was curious what the special edition package was, so I went and looked it up, and it's only $500! And it includes a moonroof and the cold weather package? Seems like a real bargain unless you hate moonroofs, which of course you may.

    Me, if a moonroof could have been included in my car for only $500 more, I would have jumped at it.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Indeed, it's such a bargain that the residual as a % actually increases. Belive it or not, it may actually cost less to lease one if you ADD that package.

    So you sort of pay *not* to get a moonroof and heated seats/mirrors/wiper de-icer.

    Get it.
  • I believe that I'll special order one since I don't want a sunroof,
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    that is worth knowing if you are considering one: it has a really twitchy tire pressure warning system. My warning light came on and stayed on at 28 mpg - the recommended pressure is just 32, and that is cutting it pretty close IMO. That means that if I have a 40 degree swing in outside temps from week to week (and I did have a 20 degree swing just prior to the light coming on recently), the light could come on even if I had just checked the pressure.

    On these cold mornings lately, the light has been illuminating briefly when I first start the car in the morning, then going out about a minute after it would normally go out. Not sure what that means, but I think I am going to have to check if it monitors the spare too.

    Had a chance to have four full-size adults in the car this weekend, and I am now officially uncomfortable with how soft the rear suspension is. At freeway speed, the rear end was bottoming out over gentle dips in the pavement. Plus when the rear end would come up over a rise, it would go flying up higher than I am comfortable with too. There just wasn't enough control in the struts back there. But then I was out on an extensive piece of rutted dirt road today, and the soft suspension and lack of sway kept me from getting my back fillings knocked out. So I just don't know what to think....I want it to be able to do both well!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • I'm considering the 2.5i base and was wondering if anyone had problems with the wheel covers popping off easily. For example how many times have you had to replace them because they fell off while driving? Also, are you happy with the 4 speaker system vs. the 10 speaker in 2.5i premium model?

    Thank you :)
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