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2018 Subaru Impreza impressions

I am preparing to replace my 1998 Subaru Legacy L Wagon. It has only 113,000 miles on it and running smoother than ever. I had the bumper replaced after a hit-and-run earlier this year and the guy at the body shop said my car was golden. But I want to be prepared in case a situation comes up requiring a new car quickly, such as an expensive repair. I was reminded to consider this when my mechanic said a cam seal is going and a front axle boot is split (I told them to go ahead and repair these 2 items).

Since the Subaru is serving me well and Sabaru is still making new parts for it after 20 years, I would like another Subaru. I don’t really need all wheel drive but when I have been caught in crappy weather I have been thankful for it, plus I feel the price of a Subaru is reasonable. I am looking at the Impreza and have been reading reviews. Which leads me to ask for the experienced opinions of others.

Should I expect a long life of the 2018 Impreza? Consumer Reports downgraded the 2017 Impreza for reliability, probably related to 2017 being a new design. Is the 2018 built better?

Its continuous transmission seems to be meh. I suspect it will outperform my 1998 Subaru in acceleration, but should I expect the 2019 transmission to be improved?

Reasons for putting off replacing my Legacy is that it is running well, that I need the larger size until my son finishes college and money. I also don’t see a major expense coming up this year, such as timing belt (recently done).

do you have to remove the cam sprockets to replace the cam seals? which should have been done when you had the timing belt done? i got a car this spring with a bad timing belt job. the box of parts included the sway bar links and other stuff that i didnt look at too closely. so i redid the heads only later did i see the box included new cam seals. oops. missed that.

I don’t do my own work on the car so I’m not qualified to answer. My mechanic is good and honest, I am sure he would have changed the seals if they were part of the kit. I know the kit included the timing belt and water pump (which had started leaking).

Who really knows ? Only time will tell. That is why new vehicles have warranties. After the warranty period is over is when people decide to keep or trade.

If you change fluids and filters as required by Subaru, the 2018 should have a long life. The drop off in reliability is likely related to 2018 being the first year of a new generation. Many new generation problems these days are related to the electronic nanny systems like lane holding features and adaptive cruise control. Look at CRs description of the problems and see what exactly the issues are if you haven’t already.

Something to remember is that CR has changed the way they rate vehicles. There used to be a lot larger gap in the reliability of cars than there is now. The significantly worse than average category starts at 4% of their respondents having problems, and average is 2%. I wouldn’t have any problem buying a vehicle where 2% of the owner’s report problems. Don’t think poorly of CR for doing this. I found out by reading an annual CR used car book. Since they are up front about it, I can’t fault them.

Unlike the 2.5-liter engines Subaru has had serious trouble with, the Impreza uses the 2.0-liter. I just drove the 2018 Crosstrek with the CVT (same drivetrain as Impreza) and I liked it a lot. I own a 2016 Forester with the CVT and I have come to love it. I found that after a while, driving a car that “shifts” feels old-fashioned and jerky. The CVT is also one of the main reasons for the car’s great fuel economy. The Consumer Reports reliability rating drop is not a secret. It is due to defects reported by owners having to do with the in-car electronics. Infotainment and similar. CR rates the Engine and Transmission all green (5/5) for the past three years of the Impreza. It was new in 2017, so hopefully, the minor electronic glitches have been sorted. Many buyers are drawn to the new Crosstrek. It is similar to the Impreza in many ways. However, it has a higher driving height and according to the Subaru media event I attended, the new platform is much stiffer, safer, and quieter than the outgoing. Note that the Impreza has that new platform for 2017 and 2018. The Crosstrek, just for 2018. Best of luck!

the standard motor used to be 2.5 and is now 2.0? its a fuel mileage thing? 150hp with AWD seems kinda slow on paper. maybe with 4" of snow and 30mph avg speed it might not be bad. i do not like our 2015 civic cvt trans. to vague.

It is related to gas mileage and power. The 2.5 was likely normally aspirated and the 2.0 turbocharged. They produce similar power and the turbo gets better mileage. Honda did that this year. They replaced the 2.4L I-4 with a 1.5L turbo I-4 and the 3.5L V6 with a 2L turbo I-4. There is similar power in each replacement and better economy.

there is a 2.0 non-turbo Subaru and a turbo 2.0 Subaru model.

It depends on the model. The new generation Accord (2018) comes only with the engines I mentioned. The normally aspirated 2L and the 1.5L turbo are available on the Civic. The 2L is for the lower trim level Civics while the 1.5L turbo is for all Acords. All Accord models except the LX can get the 2L turbo.

Great reasons to KEEP it!
I didn’t see any reasons that I would consider great to trade it.

Think about it for another few years or ten. The 2018 should be reliable, but perhaps Subie will offer yet another model that you’ll like even better.

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