I’m looking for a vehicle that can handle all kinds of inclement weather good on gas. i’m getting mixed reviews on Subarus from friends. is this vehicle a not-so-good choice?
Friends ? Try Consumer Reports. According to them the basic Legacy sedan is upper level rated in comfort, reliability, economy and overall performance. If you need awd, it’s the best bang for the buck and has good satisfaction ratings. Believe only the “friends” who have the cars they talk about or have lots of experience with them. Otherwise, I’m listening to CR.
But, unless your travel conditions are real severe in which case awd is the best, I’d consider cars with traction control 2wd (almost all now) with winter tires and may be all you’ll need. You’re mileage and choices tend to be better.
Where do you live and what are your winter travel requirements ?
Here in Colorado we are the number one Subaru market. Also check out the CRV, RAV4, Tuscon and Santa Fe.
I recently bought my third Subaru.
I would not have bought the second one if the first one had not been a reliable, durable vehicle.
And, needless to say, my third wouldn’t have been a consideration if my second one had not been virtually flawless in its 10 years on the road.
My previous cars have included a Dodge, a VW, a Volvo, a Chevy, a Ford, and a Honda.The Subarus have resulted in far lower repair costs than all of my previous cars, including the near-legendary Honda Accord.
That being said, if you are considering a used vehicle (you didn’t specify new or used!!), I might advise not buying a Subaru. The AWD system requires “matched” tires, and unfortunately many owners decide to ignore the requirement for regular, consistent tire rotations and replacing all tires at once, rather than one or two at a time. The result is expensive repairs to the AWD system–usually for the second owner.
Also, Subarus have had head gasket issues in the past. As a result, I would avoid any Legacy or Outback models built prior to 2005. Additionally, a turbo-charged Subaru that has not had its oil changed every 4,000 miles can be prone to turbo failure and other resulting engine problems. In other words, a buyer of a used Subaru may have more problems as a result of lax maintenance than might be experienced with other makes.
I maintain my cars flawlessly, and I have no complaints regarding the durability or reliabilty of the Subarus that I have owned. I can’t say the same about the other makes that I have owned.
Inclement weather? I don’t know of a modern vehicle that CAN’T handle inclement weather.
Subarus are very popular in regions where there is a lot of snow, as their AWD system is one of the best on the market. I own a Legacy station wagon, and it is very sure-footed on snow. I attribute that to the winter tires I install each year more than the AWD. It’s also been reliable over the eight years I’ve owned it, but not inexpensive to maintain.
Subarus tend to be a little “fussy” about maintenance, and are not for people who like to ignore their cars. They also get slightly lower fuel mileage compared to cars of similar size. The extra weight of the AWD system is largely responsible, but if you want AWD that’s the price you pay.
Used Subarus can be all over the map. A car that someone has taken care of, and followed the maintenance schedule can be a very reliable vehicle. On the other hand, a car that someone has ignored, neglected, or abused can be an expensive proposition. If you’re buying new this is not a concern.
Keeping four evenly matched tires on a Subaru at all times is EXTREMELY important, and many owners don’t do it. Mismatched tires contribute to problems with the AWD system which can be expensive to repair.
Subaru’s are excellent vehicles, are extremely safe and reliable. Even in hot Texas I see more and more people driving bran new Subaru’s.
If you get one, make sure you keep matching tires on it. Expensive damage can result otherwise.
Your friends simply have different preferences. I love Subarus, but not all of them. I like the Legacy, but only up to 2008. I’m crazy about my SVX and will drive it until it falls apart like the Blues Brothers car. Even an extraordinary car like a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari will have detractors.
Mcparidise’s good advice is right on…but applies to all awd and 4wd cars and trucks in general and to differentials in all cars as wear over time can happen to the side gears of any differential from mismatched tires side to side and not maintaining proper inflation. AWD center diff requires consideration in the same way for front to back as that of any differential.
The real culprit is using Subarus or any awd car like an off road vehicle because they have so much traction and it is so tempting and not miss matching tires occasionally. Deep mud and snow and articulating over rocks stress awd in ways they were never meant for. The previous owner will never tell you what his teen age son used it for. Subaru drive trains present fewer problems than the drive trains in many non awd cars.
Tires need to be matched for safe handling as with any car, and diameters should be maintained with proper rotation and inflation maintenance…as with any car. If done, they are not more trouble prone and if not done, they are still no more prone to problems then others abused in the same way. They just have more diffs to be considerate of like all awd cars.This is true for all cars, awd or not and should be pointed out that way and not as a scare tactic for Subaru cars alone.
Check Subaru drive train reliability against that of other non awd and awd cars, especially GM, Ford and European makes in CR surveys over time.
i live in Massachusetts (near the Boston area). we get all kinds of crazy weather. Rain, sleet, snow and sometimes we even have sunny days. i drive about 1hr to/from work.
Subarus are great cars. As mentioned by others there are a lot of maintenance issues to be aware of.
Where do you live? Are you driving mountain passes or need to deal with the occasional snowstorm?
I travel frequently in this area. The weather that “requires” awd is very infrequent, but the security of having it is gratifying on those few occasions. Son has a similar commute in and around Boston and has an AWD car. He must get to work. His wife teaches and will have work called off when it’s bad. She drives the 2wd car. I’ll break the “winter tire” rule and say for this area, awd with all seasons with good traction rating will work and give you good security.
But, a 2wd car with traction control and winter tires will do a great job too and for a lot less money. For those of us who live farther north and on dirt roads, awd and winter tires is a must. I don’t think it is for you, but it’s your call as there is no arguing with piece of mind.
Don’t worry about owning a Subbie if you choose; the manual tells you everything and there is just a little more than what any car requires and not a big deal.
Most people who own them really like them.
The 2012 Impreza is supposed to get 36 MPG on the highway. Can you wait another 6 months? This is accomplished with a CVT transmission.