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Used Impreza vs. other cheaper smallish cars

We are looking to get my teenage son a car for school and driving around town. He’s very responsible and safety conscious. Ideally I would like to get him a used Subaru Impreza. I and several family members own Subarus and we love them. Plus they have good safety ratings and they last a long time.
However, the Impreza sells for several thousand dollars higher than other cars around the same size (given same age and mileage). Examples: Kia Soul, Ford Escort, Hyundai Elantra, Honda Fit— and others have decent safety ratings but they’re cheaper.
I am wondering whether the Impreza is really worth the extra money or if I’m just being biased.

I have always owned subaru’s, and have always been happy with the overall performance of the vehicle.
Sure, honda’s are great too… but if you’re looking for a vehicle which will be great in every weather condition - i’d recomend a subaru because of their superior AWD .

plus, ask anyone who has owned a subaru and still does. there is a reason behind it :slight_smile:

How about getting a new one for yourself and passing your “old one” to your son?

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Kurt- I 'd love an excuse to upgrade, but I’d want a “newish” Subaru Crosstrek and that would cost a lot more than what I’m planning on spending on the kid! (We had a Crosstrek as a vacation rental recently-- wow, what a great car.)

He will be happy with anything. Any of the cars you mentioned will provide satisfactory performance for him. How much do you want to spend? Just off the top, I would add the Chevy Cruze to the list. My daughter has a 2012 Cruze LS and is very happy with it after 5 years of use. Consumer Reports also has good things to say about the Cruze, though mostly newer ones.

The main thing to look for is condition. You might find an attractively priced Impreza in poor to fair condition. It would not be as good a buy as a different car in clean to excellent condition at the same price. Consider paying a mechanic you trust for a prepurchase inspection before you buy a car. It should cost about $125. Clearly, you need to be ready to buy that car before you put out that money, but it can keep you from buying a car with expensive hidden problems.

1 Like That site will help you make your decision.

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I think any of those would be a good practical choice for student to run errands and tool around town. Suggest to ask him which car he’d prefer. It’s a pretty personal decision which car a person likes. In my area I think most younger drivers would prefer the Kia Soul to the Subie, just b/c the Soul has a bit of a different look to it. More individual looking than the Subie. Just try to steer him away from what he probably would really like, small low-slung sports cars, if you possibly can. Not as safe, less reliable, and too expensive to repair. When purchasing a used car, two things are a must:

  • See what Consumer Reports Used Car Guide has to say about that make/model/year
  • Before writing any checks, hire your own mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection. Costs about $100, and well worth the money.

I don’t doubt that at all but he is still a teenager. I remember being one and at times all of what few brain cells I had would simply turn off.


Subaru Impreza is an excellent choice, yep its more expensive, but reliable and safe!

Thank you all for your advice. I think I will keep hoping to find a great deal on an Impreza while being open to other vehicles. My son says he’ll be happy with any car , though he would prefer something cool-looking, of course!