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Christian

Who Owns a Subaru?

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After 12 years of driving a Geo Prizm, it looks like it may be time to buy a new car.

Probably not a NEW new car, but a good, recent-year, used car.

After reading the Consumer Reports "Car" issue the past couple of years, I have it in my head that a Subaru Impreza would be the right car for me. Not too fancy. A step up in performance from the Prizm, although a small tradeoff in mileage. Not too irresponsible (that would be my NEXT car...).

In researching this, I discovered that:

a) Subaru has luanched successful ad campaigns aimed at the gay community, particularly lesbians;

b ) The Impreza, once I actually looked at the thing, is kind of ugly;

c) I like it, despite its looks, even though;

d) I've never driven one.

I also found out that the Subaru Legacy might be a good, reliable option. Doesn't have the "les-baru" connotation (hey, that's the word used in a news article I was reading, and it's supposedly a term of affection, or something like that), not that I'm too concerned that people will think I'm a lesbian if I drive an Impreza.

I've also searched the Click N Clack bulletin boards, and various other car sites, most of which indicate that the Impreza and Legacy are pretty good cars.

I'd like to hear from people who actually own these cars. What's been your experience? Would you buy another?

Edited by Christian

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I have a 97 Outback. We've owned it for six months and we really enjoy it. Outbacks are really popular in Bellingham. Really popular. It seems about 25% of the population has one.

Don't know anything about the Legacy or Impreze though. Sorry.

I also recommend a Honda Accord. My 1991 Accord has almost 240,000 miles on it now. How cool is that?

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The Impreza has the advantage over the Mazda 3 right now because of financing incentives, but in investigating, I discovered that Mazda is currently offering rock-bottom financing on Mazda 6's, which are close in price to the 3's.

So, a follow-up question: Who drives a Mazda 6? It's recommended in Consumer Reports but doesn't quite get the glowing reviews that the 3 does.

Also, I've been stunned -- STUNNED -- to learn that a new 2006 model of the Subaru Imprezas and Mazda 3s are priced lower than some of the (few) good 2005 models avaiable locally. Whatever happened to a car losing 40% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot? I guess that adage no longer applies to good, reliable used cars.

Edited by Christian

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My last car before my current one was a Subaru Loyale. I purchased it used with only 37,000 miles on it, and I drove it until it passed the 200,000 mark. It lasted me nine years, with occassional problems, not too bad.

My current car is a Honda Element. Hondas are very popular up in the northeast, and they seem to get a lot of mileage for the money.

Nick

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We have a '98 Subaru Forester, and it's been a totally positive experience. I'd buy another Subaru product in a minute. Only downside is, my wife keeps getting winked at by women in Birkenstocks.

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We have a '98 Subaru Forester, and it's been a totally positive experience. I'd buy another Subaru product in a minute. Only downside is, my wife keeps getting winked at by women in Birkenstocks.

<_< Hey now! I'm wearing Birkenstocks, right here as I type! ;) Tee hee

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Funny thing is, my wife wears Birkenstocks, too. That's our little joke after we saw a standup comic (I think) talking about the identifying features of a lesbian, one of which was Birkenstocks ... ha ha, dumb joke. :) It was funnier at the time because she had just bought a pair.

As for bumper stickers ... none here. I'm kind of an anti-bumper sticker activist. Like Matt Page's law of bad movie club choices (the more members of a film club, the more middling the choice will be), I've got Mark's Inverse Law of Bumper Sticker philosophy - the more loudly one's vehicle shouts for (social justice, religious fervor, or fill-in-the-blank) the less said driver's actions resemble the sentiment expressed. This was beautifully demonstrated a few weeks ago when my daughter and I were almost run down in a crosswalk by a woman with a "Practice Random Acts of Kindness" bumper sticker.

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Things have changed. It turns out I can get a new Mazda 6 for virtually the same price as a new Subaru Impreza. The Mazda is slightly larger, and the mileage is a little bit better because the engine is a 2.3-liter, compared with the Impreza

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We completely, 100% love our 2000 Legacy (not Outback) wagon. We bought it new, have owned it for five years, and have had excellent mileage, very high reliability, and that thing hangs on to snowy roads like a polar bear.

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Turns out that the financing rate I thought I was getting on the Mazda only comes at a *higher price* than the one I thought I'd be getting. It's an either/or thing, not a both/and. Tricky.

So I'm looking at the Impreza again, but waiting to see if the Mazda salesman will find a way to make me a deal.

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We have a '98 Forester. We bought it used about 6 years ago and have had a very positive experience and I even think the previous owner had a bit of an accident with it. We have driven our Subaru to Halifax and back and this is where I would agree with Alan, the seats are TOO small but what can you expect from a compact SUV.

The car is amazing around corners and turns (AWD) and perfect for our Chicago snow days, never stuck once. I would definitely think about buying another Subaru and have looked at the Outback wagons.

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the seats are TOO small but what can you expect from a compact SUV.

My expectations were raised when I sat in a new Honda CRV.

I haven't checked out the new CRV's but we did look at them on 2000 and after sitting in one decided against it, that and the salesman was an A$&. Maybe the new CRV has changed that one thing we didn't care for in the seating/interior. However, all gas issues aside, we sure do like the Jeep Commander.

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2006 Hyundai Sonata. Cheap. Every safety feature in the world. Initial reliability up there with the Toyotas and Hondas of the world. Bigger than pretty much every other midsize sedan. I like mine.

Dale

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2006 Hyundai Sonata. Cheap. Every safety feature in the world. Initial reliability up there with the Toyotas and Hondas of the world. Bigger than pretty much every other midsize sedan. I like mine.

Dale

Hyundai. Made in Korea. Just like my 1988 Pontiac LeMans. Which was the Worst Car in the Whole Wide World.

I will never buy another Korean car.

My Geo Prizm is a Toyota Corolla, with a Chevy logo slapped on the body. Japanese, in other words.

I've had it 12 years.

I'll be buying another Japanese car, thankyouverymuch.

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My family has owned Subarus since the mid-'80s. They've always been dependable. I had an '89 Subaru station wagon as my first car, and it ran like a dream. The manual transmission was a lot of fun as well. My folks have a newer model (I don't remember the year, though) and it's a solid car. I will say, though, that they're getting more alien-like in their design.

I'm currently driving a '94 Toyota Corolla. It's an amazing, amazing car.

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All I am going to say about your Hyundai dissin' is this.

(And that yes, old Korean cars sucked.)

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

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Dale, I was being a little snarky yesterday. It's undeniable that a bad experience with a particular car can sour one on that brand or category of car, and that's what happened with my Pontiac. But I know that Hyundai's have improved with time, and were probably better to begin with than my '88 Pontiac.

A good friend bought a Hyundai about a year ago and has recommended it. I have to say, I'm greatly impressed with the manufacturer's warranty on the car -- something like 10 years, right -- which is almost a dare not to believe the car will run well for a long time.

So I commend you on your purchase and hope that my own choice will be as good. It better be, since it will cost a little more.

But it'll be worth it.

Edited by Christian

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An interesting weekend, with a baseline Mazda 6 advertised well below the price I'd been quoted, led my Mazda sales guy to drop the price of the better-equipped model I'd test-driven, giving the Mazda 6 now a distinctive advantage over the Impreza. The Subaru guy couldn't counter on price.

So I have an appointment tonight to buy the Mazda. I've walked away from the table once before, but this time I've got two "all-in" firm prices -- one with Mazda financing, one with my credit union financing (yes, they jack up the price if you don't use the dealer's financing, but I'm now aware of that tactic) -- and am ready to pull the trigger, assuming there aren't further add-ons to the price. If there are, I'm walking out and driving to the Subaru place, then buying the Impreza tonight. But I don't think that will happen.

Either way, I should be driving a new automobile tomorrow. Yee-haw!

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Either way, I should be driving a new automobile tomorrow. Yee-haw!

So? What happened? If a double walkout, I suggest you seriously consider this new Sonata. It represents a serious step up to the adult table of automotive design and manufacturing. It can run with the big boys (Accord and Camry) if not nose to nose at 75% of the price with a dealer network desperate for sales and respect. You'll appreciate the interior room over an Imprezza as you grow older.

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I'm a Mazda man now.

Took the car to Philadelphia this weekend, and it runs like a dream. The low-gas light came one with 2 gallons left in the 18-gallon tank, and my miles per gallon -- nearly all of it highway -- averaged 30.5. The car advertises 31 mpg highway, which, taking into account one day of suburban driving, looks to be right about on target.

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