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So I'm helping my wife find a replacement for her 14yo Nissan Murano. We have a couple kids now and would still like the ability to make a run to IKEA and transport 6 or 7 ft long boxes on occasion. Overall we want better gas milage while maintaining some cargo capability in a smaller safer package. Mostly it will go to and from school and the grocery store with occasional weekend day trips.

We looked at the Mazda3 and CX3, the Toyota CH-R, the Honda HRV, the Hyundai Elantra GT, the Kia Niro and Forte5 and the Ford Focus 5 door. We still plan to drive a Civic Hatchback before making a decision, but we like the Impreza so far and the Island blue color seems to come the closest of anything to achieving her "fun color" requirement.

We are looking specifically at the Sport trim because the "Premium" interior felt very non-premium and my wife hates leather. I'm not a fan of the 18" wheels, but I disliked the roof rack more so that works out. We want the Eyesight safety package, but the thought of paying for the associated Harmon Kardon stereo so that she can listen to NPR makes me a bit sick.

So that's my deal. Are there other budget friendly vehicles I'm overlooking? I'm seeing some posts on here about rattles and electrical demons...are these addressed now or should I be considering an extended warranty if we proceed this way?

Also, if we proceed are there any Limited owners who want to trade their 17's for 18's. Kidding....sort of.
 

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Glad you are thinking about getting a 2017 impreza.

I never had the issues that others had in their car for infotainment system, but mine is also a 6" screen instead of the 8".

They did have 2 recalls for this vehicle which was suppose to fix the issue. I had mine done but i didn't notice a difference since i had no issues to begin with.

To me, the price of the Subaru is so close to that of the civic that it might be worth it for the AWD if you live in an area where snow is prominent.

I am a big honda fan though, and the build quality is almost unbeatable.
I've been through 5 hondas, 1 lexus, 1 toyota, 1 infiniti, and 1 Subaru.

Currently I own a 2009 civic si, and the 2017 subaru impreza. In terms of build quality, I would choose honda. In terms of safety, I would choose Subaru.

This really depends on your wants and needs but if you do decide on the Subaru Impreza, it would still be a very good choice.
 

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So I'm helping my wife find a replacement for her 14yo Nissan Murano. We have a couple kids now and would still like the ability to make a run to IKEA and transport 6 or 7 ft long boxes on occasion. Overall we want better gas milage while maintaining some cargo capability in a smaller safer package. Mostly it will go to and from school and the grocery store with occasional weekend day trips.

We looked at the Mazda3 and CX3, the Toyota CH-R, the Honda HRV, the Hyundai Elantra GT, the Kia Niro and Forte5 and the Ford Focus 5 door. We still plan to drive a Civic Hatchback before making a decision, but we like the Impreza so far and the Island blue color seems to come the closest of anything to achieving her "fun color" requirement.

We are looking specifically at the Sport trim because the "Premium" interior felt very non-premium and my wife hates leather. I'm not a fan of the 18" wheels, but I disliked the roof rack more so that works out. We want the Eyesight safety package, but the thought of paying for the associated Harmon Kardon stereo so that she can listen to NPR makes me a bit sick.

So that's my deal. Are there other budget friendly vehicles I'm overlooking? I'm seeing some posts on here about rattles and electrical demons...are these addressed now or should I be considering an extended warranty if we proceed this way?

Also, if we proceed are there any Limited owners who want to trade their 17's for 18's. Kidding....sort of.
Welcome to the forum. First off you will see better MPG with the Impreza up to 27/36 MPG compared to the Murano up to 18/24 MPG. If you live where it snows then the AWD will be your advantage. I have the Sport Hatchback & there's plenty of space in the rear with seats folded. I have not made any visits to IKEA with this vehicle but I'm sure you'll manage. Obviously you have done some research & probably know this already, but with the Sport there is additional features such as "revised suspension tuning, active torque vectoring, 18-inch wheels, LED daytime running lamps, a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and keyless access".
Regarding issues some owners have experienced. This is a new generation Impreza with new features, so it will take a little time for these issues to be worked out, but owning a Subaru is something you won't regret. Plus the AWD system is the best on the market.
I think you & your wife should test drive the Impreza as soon as possible so you can see for yourself that this is an amazing vehicle. Besides the Impreza, maybe check out the 2018 Crosstrek if you want the higher clearance.
 

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I have a Lithium Red Pearl Sport 5dr. w/ moonroof, HK Audio, BSD and RCTA. I didn't opt for the Eyesight because I felt it was "in the way" I'm a pretty tall guy and when I test drove one I was nervous I wouldn't get used to the camera system being there. I'll probably regret this decision, but I'm very happy with the car I got.

I've only had the car for exactly two weeks so I'm not an expert nor experienced as others in this forum. So I'll give you a few reasons for why I chose this vehicle

Safety & Reliability: two most important things to me. Bells and whistles are nice, but it doesn't mean anything if the car is not safe or won't always get you from point A to point B. Impreza's have always been reliable vehicles. Yes, there have been some battery issues with these that have been annoying for some. Looks like a bad batch of batteries and nothing more than that. While it's frustrating it could have been a lot worse.

AWD: in an ideal world I would be driving around in a Forester or Outback. I'm just not there yet. Where else can you get an AWD vehicle like an Impreza for the price? With exception to the BRZ any Subaru will give you a solid AWD experience. You'll be able to go in any weather condition.

Cargo Room: I play hockey and run a lot. I needed a vehicle that had good storage for all of my equipment. I will definitely miss a trunk, but being able to put the back row seats all the way down is a huge plus in my opinion.

Apple CarPlay: With all the running I do I travel to some remote locations. It's nice being able to run navigation through the phone that appears on the screen. All of this is happening while also streaming music (either through XM or a playlist) and being able to respond to texts without fumbling around with the phone. Not sure if you're an Apple user or not, but it's great. The interface looks exactly like an iPhone. It's pretty obvious I wanted something with navigation.

Here's what I like so far:
HK Audio (You might not use it the way I do, but I think you and your wife will enjoy it)
Comfort (The seats are pretty comfortable and I've found some nice comfortable driving positions)
Infotainment System (it's crisp and clear)
Keyless Entry/Push To Start (I was always annoyed having to dig around in my pockets or bag to find my keys. Now I can leave them in my pocket or bag. Plus keys in the ignition would always hit my knees. No longer an issue)

Here's what I don't like or could be improved:
Starlink issues (so far I've run into three separate issues with Starlink not working correctly. It goes back to the dealership on Friday to get looked at.) It doesn't appear to be anything serious, but if it is that's why I bought a new car...warranty.
Sport Model should probably have a little more HP (now if I was looking for HP I would've have opted for a WRX. I knew the car I was getting so I settled for less HP for more room, Apple CarPlay and a reasonable price)

Based off of your post you've done your research vehicle wise. I think to help you should determine how important is an AWD vehicle to you and what other features you need, not want. That will eliminate some of your choices. Any chance you're interested in a Forester? You can get a Premium with Eyesight and no HK Audio (unfortunately not in the Island Blue color though). I was close to buying one of them.

I wish you luck and hopefully this helps. Spend some time reading reviews other than in forums. You'll find some good unbiased stuff!
 

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I'm in a similar boat as you are, only I'm replacing my wife's Honda Fit as the lease is almost up. We have an infant son and will likely have a second in the near future. I'm currently driving a Forester which my wife will be taking over and I'm getting a commuter car.

I've test driven the Mazda3, Civic Hatchback and the Impreza (twice now).

Mazda3

Pros: Front seats, handling, HUD, looks, engine, cheapest fully loaded
Cons: Back seat is small, resale value (they are a dime a dozen around here), wife didn't like it, no Apple CarPlay (yet, it's supposed to get an upgrade)

Civic Hatchback

Pros: Acceleration, handling, resale, back seat is large, Honda sensing has features that help in stop & go traffic, best fuel economy of the bunch, largest hatch space (without seats folded)
Cons: Engine (at least in the one I drove) sounded like a angry sewing machine, seats are very low, no blind spot monitoring (lane watch doesn't really count IMO), most expensive of the bunch when fully loaded, lowest safety rating of the three, looks, if you don't want halogen headlights you need to get the top trim, wife didn't like it

Impreza

Pros: Best visability (by far), most robust suite of safety features (reverse auto braking) and highest safety rating, amazing handling, largest back seats (has as much if not slightly more rear seat legroom than a Forester), wife liked it
Cons: Could use more power, top trim is a big jump in price (at least here in Canada) and not worth it IMO especially since the Harmon Kardon stereo is mediocre


I also had a hard look at the Toyota Corolla iM; it's probably the cheapest of the bunch if you want auto-braking (which is a requirement for me), but it's also the smallest and has the least power. It would have made my short list but I will need to use rear facing car seats for at least the next couple years and it's unsuitable for that. Not sure how old your kids are so that may not be a concern. For anyone else cars.com has excellent car seat ratings, as does the IIHS.

I immediately discounted all sub-compact crossovers like the CH-R and HRV. I find them too small (especially back seat) and you're basically paying more for a smaller vehicle with worse handling.

I'm not sure if you can wait, but apparently the Hyundai i30 is coming to North America later this year.; it will be the new Elantra Hatchback. By most accounts it's going to be a very nice reasonably priced package. Check YouTube and you'll find some overseas reviews, I recommend you search for "2017 i30 autoexperttv" because I personally find John Cadogan hilarious, but don't watch his reviews at work or if your kids are in earshot :wink2:

I'm like you in that I'd prefer 17" wheels over 18" wheels. My first test drive was an Impreza with 16" wheels and it handled fine. I think the Sport trim with 17" wheels I'll likely get is a good compromise.
 

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Pointy,
If you are replacing Fit, I would have assumed you would go with HR-V, because Fit and HR-V are fairly similar except for cabin space. I generally disagree with you that the rear seat space in HR-V is small -- I think it is more spacious than Impreza.

IMO, the only negative I see with Civic is that the software is not very user friendly (example: The volume control on the screen is ridiculous). Impreza 2018 is likely a great car, but Impreza 2017 seems to have issues (recall related to software bugs, battery problems, door closing, low power, noisy, etc.)

In terms of sales numbers, Civic sells many many more cars than Impreza. Car buyers vote with their wallets.
newtosubaru, clearly your not an actual Subaru owner. The Impreza is an awesome car, but you wouldn't know. You test drove one, but you don't own one. You accuse me of "mislead"ing folks on this forum, but your talking about issues related to the Impreza that clearly you have not experienced first hand. Honda may sell more Civics but the Impreza is a much much much better vehicle than a Civic. I forgot, I better watch out not to praise Subaru too much or I'll be accused of having "financial links" to them :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

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Pointy,
If you are replacing Fit, I would have assumed you would go with HR-V, because Fit and HR-V are fairly similar except for cabin space. I generally disagree with you that the rear seat space in HR-V is small -- I think it is more spacious than Impreza.
You know what, you're right on most of this. The HR-V is fairly roomy for a sub-compact, but the Impreza still has larger back seats, at least according to cars.com. They give the HR-V a slightly lower score for car seats. One thing the HR-V doesn't have is Honda Sensing, which I think is a big oversight.

IMO, the only negative I see with Civic is that the software is not very user friendly (example: The volume control on the screen is ridiculous). Impreza 2018 is likely a great car, but Impreza 2017 seems to have issues (recall related to software bugs, battery problems, door closing, low power, noisy, etc.)
Car and Driver rates the 2017 Civic as #1 in compact cars (the Impreza is #8), though their rating system is geared more towards driving dynamics than others. Consumer Reports rates the Impreza as #1 and the Civic much lower. I think they're both great cars, but for me the Impreza wins out slightly due to AWD, better safety and a more standard seating position.

As for recalls I don't think they're that relevant. None of them are (a)that serious, or (b) difficult for the dealer to resolve when given a fix from Subaru. The Civic sedan had several recalls the first year it came out, but you don't hear anything about them anymore; I suspect it'll be the same with the Impreza.

In terms of sales numbers, Civic sells many many more cars than Impreza. Car buyers vote with their wallets.
That's true, and Toyota has sold just as many Corollas as Honda has Civics in the last few years. So does that mean that the Corolla is just as good as the Civic? For anyone interested enough in cars to be posting in a car forum I think the answer is a hard no.
 

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Dammit I wrote a reply to this but it didn't seem to get posted for some reason. OK well here it is in point form:

Pointy,
If you are replacing Fit, I would have assumed you would go with HR-V, because Fit and HR-V are fairly similar except for cabin space. I generally disagree with you that the rear seat space in HR-V is small -- I think it is more spacious than Impreza.
- you're actually right, HR-V isn't that cramped in the back but Impreza does have more room back there according to cars.com carseat review.
- HR-V doesn't have Honda Sensing though, so it's automatically off my list

IMO, the only negative I see with Civic is that the software is not very user friendly (example: The volume control on the screen is ridiculous). Impreza 2018 is likely a great car, but Impreza 2017 seems to have issues (recall related to software bugs, battery problems, door closing, low power, noisy, etc.)
- Civic does have more flaws than just that, though they may not be important to you (i.e. low seating position, lack of BSM)
- Both great cars IMO, Impreza wins for me though due to AWD (I live in the country), better safety and more standard seating position
- Recalls are minor and easily resolved by the dealer once they get a fix from Subaru. I don't see this as an issue. Civics had their share the first year too

In terms of sales numbers, Civic sells many many more cars than Impreza. Car buyers vote with their wallets.
- Toyota sells just as many Corollas as Honda does Civics. Does that mean that a Corolla is as good as a Civic? To anyone interested in cars enough to post in a cars forum I think the answer is a hard no.
 

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Yeah, just went through this process. Now one month in to owning a 2017 Impreza Sport-tech with optional tech package (hatch with every bell and whistle as marketed in Canada)
All the above points raised by others in this forum are valid. My previous car was an Acura TSX and we own a Fit 2015. Always owned Honda or Toyota products.
I wanted something safe, economical to own and drive, reliable, great in snow, quiet and smooth to ride in and just a little different than every other car in the Walmart parking lot. Looked at all the available options by the competition. The Impreza hit all the marks. Choosing the Eyesight package was, I will admit a moment of weakness, however i have to say that it may have already have saved me a fender bender. So I can justify its added cost. The VW Golf was the runner up in my selection process. But with it loaded with all the same features it'd be pricey.

Do the 18inch alloy rims make for a rough ride ? No.
Is the car underpowered ? Not for 95% of everyday driving. Sure if you are looking to warp drive past a barelling transport, it's not going to happen. However, there's no such thing as perfection.
So far I'm happy with my purchase, the wild card is going to be reliability, but that is true of all brands from time to time.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the detailed feedback! Most of what's been said seems to align with the research I've done. We have driven a Limited trim Impreza and the vehicle seemed to have plenty of power and was not at all noisy inside. The panoramic view was impressive and almost to the point of sensory overload. If one were to get used to that I can imagine it being hard to go back and drive something else later. The dealership didn't have a Sport model accessible to drive at that time, but this weekend my wife and I are going to drive a Civic Hatchback EX and then head back to Subaru to drive a Sport model Impreza.

Additionally, based on feedback here, we're going to drive a Crosstrek. We don't need the extra ground clearance, but we live in Texas where everybody is either driving a truck or huge SUV so being a bit higher may be good for general visibility. Also, the Premium trim Crosstrek with Eyesight does not require the HK audio system so the price is similar (maybe slightly less) than the Sport Impreza with Eyesight. It's also the last year model on the existing platform so it has that as an advantage to me over both the Impreza and the Civic.

I owned a 2006 Civic Sedan previously and it was a decent reliable vehicle and I have to give it marks for safety as well since ultimately I was T-boned at ~35mph and walked away with only a minor airbag burn. This new Civic hatchback is crazy ugly though...not quite Aztec bad, but if you google 'ugliest cars 2017' 3 of the first 10 images are the Civic hatch.

I'll update after the weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I promised an update so here goes:

We drove a Civic Hatchback LX (apparently they sold the only EX on the lot before we arrived at 10:20am) and overall it was fine. The interior was nowhere near as nice as that in the LX I purchased in 2006. In Sport Mode the engine was really annoying to listen to, but in normal or Eco mode it was not as loud as I'd expected based on reviews I'd read. We sat in an EX sedan and the interior was nicer, but the center console/armrest feels like it's made out of cheesecloth (same in LX)...its really terrible. On the HRV, a cheaper vehicle, this surface appeared to be leather even in LX trim. Very odd.

The HRV is a big step up in interior quality, but the ride was not as good as the Hatchback. It is a baby SUV after all and it bounced around a lot and even when on the highway it just never felt like it settled entirely. Acceleration and sound level were fine. Good space usage though and with Honda's reputation to boot I can see why I see so many of these on the road.

We went straight from Honda to Subaru and drove a Crosstrek. The difference between this and the HRV both in interior quality and drive were significant. The price is also higher though...about $3K as I was looking at them. It's not fast, but felt solid and predictable.

Last we drove the Sport model Impreza. The interior loses some style points compared to the Crosstrek, but is far better than the Civic. I don't like the carbon fiber accents, but that's my preference. Losing the extra Crosstrek weight makes a huge difference for this engine and this combo offered the most perceived acceleration capability of everything we drove. Part of this might be because it feels like Subaru has biased more horses in the first 1/2" of pedal travel than the others. The Civic Hatch may have a better 0-60 time, but the Impreza felt more fun and responsive to us. I expected a harsh ride with the 18" wheels and firmer suspension, but was pleasantly surprised.

We were also able to test all the Eyesight and associated safety features. Everything worked perfectly and I learned that I'm not as good a driver as I thought. Adaptive cruise is a non-negotiable for my next car.

I really went into this day thinking I'd prefer the Civic Hatch despite it's looks and that my wife would prefer the Crosstrek. In the end it was unanimous and not even really close. We are heading back later this week to see if we can work out a deal on a 5dr Impreza Sport. Looks like you may be stuck with me after all.
 

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Ever seen YouTube Family Wheels video reviews ?

So I'm helping my wife find a replacement for her 14yo Nissan Murano. We have a couple kids now...
I'd say the Impreza is a good choice or maybe the Forrester. 2018 Crosstrek is to be on the "all new" and well reviewed platform.

If you have not seen the YouTube video car reviews by Family Wheels you may want to check em out. He does a very thorough review with a strong focus on the car for family use. Examples come to mind like front passenger room with a big rear facing kid car seat behind it and stuffing a cargo area with strollers and all the other stuff we need to go to visit grandma with the little ones. Seats/interior resistance to sticky stuff spills is a big focus. Lives in Canada and their trim level equipment seems to differ from the US models at times. Latest July 2017 Consumer Reports also lists a short review and ranking of some of your cars of interest. Good luck!
 

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Though not an owner, I did extensive research and the new Impreza Sport is a great car. It ended up # 2 to us; however, for it just did not have enough juice for us to be fun to drive. This Impreza did impress us due to its excellent quality, making it is a definite keeper for many.

BTW, we choose the '17 Mazda 3 GT because we enjoyed the extra 30 HP, like its better interior including leather which we like, and paid less for it than we would have for the Impreza. (Our other driver is a WRX, so we do/did not need the AWD the Impreza has.)

Again the new Impreza Sport is one sweet car for many. Hope all you buy/bought it love it for many years.
 

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enjoy your Mazda - I've had 5

Though not an owner, I did extensive research and the new Impreza Sport is a great car. It ended up # 2 to us; however, for it just did not have enough juice for us to be fun to drive. This Impreza did impress us due to its excellent quality, making it is a definite keeper for many.

BTW, we choose the '17 Mazda 3 GT because we enjoyed the extra 30 HP, like its better interior including leather which we like, and paid less for it than we would have for the Impreza. (Our other driver is a WRX, so we do/did not need the AWD the Impreza has.)

Again the new Impreza Sport is one sweet car for many. Hope all you buy/bought it love it for many years.
Enjoy your Mazda. I've owned 5 of em starting in 1982 and was never disappointed.

Well, maybe with one a little bit, a 2002 Protege 5, but I kept that one for 10 years anyway - needed one non-warranty, non-normal maintenance repair on it that cost me like $30. Mazdas seem to be a little noisy, but they were usually happy noises - like a young kid. Made their own music that I thought superior to the radio's chatter. All of em very reliable and had manual transmissions and made you grin in the corners. One a 5 speed stick-shift MPV 7-passenger minivan, rear wheel drive - I wish I'd bought a 6-pack of them and put em in a freezer to keep. Good front seats too. Watch for rust though! Oh, you're in Texas; never mind unless those road-trips go into the rust belt much or maybe the Texas sea shore. Dealer attitude was always much better than the Toyota and Honda jerks of the 1980s when I swore "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry (for a Toyota) again." I'm still carrying that grudge.

Still have my 2012 MX-5 Miata with the power hard top. My late wife Susan told me to buy it, saying "What are you going to do? Wait until you're too old to get in and out of it?". Your Mazda 3 GT was on my recent short new car list too. The car products we can choose from are just fantastic today. You almost have to work really hard at it to get a bad vehicle but I think you got a particularly good one.

Have fun - zoom zoom!
 

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