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2020 Impreza Limited 5-door, Dark Blue with Ivory Leather.
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Discussion Starter #1
Two days ago, my wife and I decided to buy a new 2018 Impreza Premium hatchback. It is equipped with the full Eyesight system, sunroof and the base (6.5") infotainment system. We worked out a good deal and are scheduled to pick it up tomorrow morning.

Our car selection was influenced by the Consumer Reports #1 Ranking for the 2017 Impreza in the Compact Car category. The 2018 model tests had not yet been published, but it seemed reasonable to expect that the Impreza would continue to be a very highly rated car by Consumer Reports.

Au contraire! CR updated their Compact Car rankings today. The 2018 Impreza has fallen from #1 to #16 out of 42 cars! Apparently, the only reason for the drop is vehicle reliability, which is only 2 out of 5 for the 2018 model. The detail behind the poor reliability rating is not included. I notice that the 2017 model has poor reliability with respect to in-car electronics, but that was not bad enough to keep the 2017 model from being ranked #1. What else could be wrong with the 2018?

The bottom line is that we are concerned about the reliability of the car that we are supposed to pick up and drive away tomorrow morning. I am wondering if we should pull the plug on the deal and jump into a different vehicle.

What is happening with the 2018 Impreza to hurt the reliability rating?

All opinions welcome please.

Peace... Mack
 

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I just logged in with my account and it's the in-car electronics and power equipment that they dropped the ratings on the most, with one other small drop.

From the 2016 to 2017 model years the power equipment went from 5/5 to 3/5 and in car electronics went from 3/5 to 1/5.
The only other drop was the fuel system dropping from 5/5 to 4/5.

Not sure how power equipment is differentiated from in car electronics. The head unit is a bit funky at times although I think half the android auto issues I've had are due to my phone (issues are very infrequent anymore).

Nothing else changed from '16 to '17.

Everything else is rated 5/5.

Here's there summary from an article about vehicles they saw major changes on:
Trouble spots: The 2017 redesign, with an all-new platform, has below-average reliability compared with the previous generation’s outstanding reliability. Problems with the in-car electronics were the Subaru’s major downfall. Owners reported that the rearview camera didn’t work properly (its screen froze or was blank), the radio got no reception, and there were problems with phone pairing.
 

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Welcome Mack!

Hey I was concerned when I read about the infotainment issues as well but the more I read about it the more it sounds like the problems are when someone connects their phone to the system via a wire. I have never done that and have not had any major problems with the large screen system that came with the Sport.

My phone "pairs" with the system and I can make phone calls and get phone calls and texts just fine. I have a usb drive with more than a thousand songs on it that works just fine. The only problem I ever had was Sirius losing my station presets one time.

The new Global Platform will no doubt score higher than the old platform in crash testing.

So far I am very happy with my 2017 Imp.
 

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All new cars with advanced info electronic packages are pretty buggy. Remeber advancement is always a bit buggy but nothing software upgrades wont handle

You would not believe the tesla issues, sitting in the driveway taking upgrades now LOL
 

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It's all about managing expectations!

Consumer Reports of reliability come from user reports. Since how cars function "normally" has been known for decades, people tend to know what to expect in the mechanical aspects of the vehicle.

Electronics are something else. Wander on over to Google's "Android Auto" user forum. Many of the complaints are valid, but many reflect unreasonable expectations. Users see the infotainment systems in other models & brands (or in some cases other countries), and expect the same thing in their vehicle. Or expect the infotainment system to have the full functionality of their phone or desktop computer. Eg, "Why can't I run YouTube?"

This whole infotainment thing is new, and there are both design and implementation bugs. The really good thing about many of these problems, is that most can be fixed with a software update. Unlike mechanical recalls (which are VERY expensive for the manufacturer to do), a software "recall" (aka update) is quite inexpensive (on a per unit basis).

Right now, manufacturers may be very reluctant to lets users do the firmware update (note that Subaru has now blocked web access to its head unit update), just like camera makers did a decade ago.

Some users (particularly the stupid ones) are quick to give software/firmware a negative review, just because the software doesn't do what the user wants. If you don't believe the magnitude of this problem, view the reviews on Google Play of most apps. I know one app maker who has blocked installation of their app from other than the USA & Canada, just because they got so many negative reviews from users in other countries, where the app made it clear it wasn't supported!
 
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2020 Impreza Limited 5-door, Dark Blue with Ivory Leather.
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Discussion Starter #6
I am feeling a bit better after these few responses. I also looked at the thread for likes and peeves, or whatever it is called. Most of the Gen5 complaints seem relatively minor to me. Reminds me a little of BMW forum, Bimmerpost.com. BMW drivers will complain about anything. "I don't like the long reach to the door handle to close the door," or "the power seats move too slowly," and so on.

Anyway, we're going to stick with our decision to buy the 2018 Impreza... unless someone shares a real deal-breaker with me in the next 24 hours or so!

Peace... Mack
 

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I think Consumer Reports is a great resource (that's why I pay for it), but it's definitely good to look at the details behind their reports.

These problems do exist and impact users to varying degrees, but I have not personally found them to be an overwhelming issue for my Impreza.

ymmv of course
 

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Right now, manufacturers may be very reluctant to lets users do the firmware update (note that Subaru has now blocked web access to its head unit update), just like camera makers did a decade ago.!
Hmm? which camera makers? I don't ever recall that happening with Canon or Nikon... can't say about everyone else.
 

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Here, this should make you feel better, it did for me...

https://www.torquenews.com/1084/how-29k-subaru-impreza-rivals-85k-bmw-7-series

The last 4 cars I have owned had buggy and quirky electronics, so no issue for me. Really
a lot of it is Software, not so much hardware I believe. I just don't think they did a good job
testing the thing.

I am just glad I didn't bother to wait for the Tesla 3.

https://jalopnik.com/heres-why-tesla-is-furious-with-consumer-reports-over-i-1819689234

So it's all relative...Your Mileage May Vary!
 

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I have the CR ratings and pricing guide for 2017 cars. The individualcar write up for the Impreza shows better than average reliability but consumersatisfaction is about midway in the satisfaction chart. It isn’t listed as arecommended car, maybe because it’s too new.

In the vehicle ratings and reference section for compactsedans the Impreza is checked as a recommended car, (contrary to their informationin the individual car listing). The Impreza is shown 1st overall of the 17 cars listed in the compact sedan class, FordFocus is last.

No section of the magazine mentions the excessive oilconsumption experienced in some older Subaru’s. My son has a 13 Crosstrek thatrequired and new short block for excessive oil consumption. He also has afriend that had the same problem. If you do a search for Subaru oil consumptionyou will get lots of information on oil use problems.

That said, I’m happy with my Impreza, miles is only 3800,it has been trouble free and there is no measurable oil use.

Clifton
 

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Don't brick your car/phone/camera/radio/whatnot ...

Hmm? which camera makers? I don't ever recall that happening with Canon or Nikon... can't say about everyone else.
It most certainly did happen with Nikon. They first allowed owners of user-level cameras (eg, CoolPix 880) to do firmware updates, but the Professional line was not user-updateable for some time. Eg, the D1, & (I think) the D2h/D2x line.

It also happened at first with Icom radio transceivers.

Even now, many firmware updates include a "Be careful or you will brick your device, which is not covered by warranty, blah, blah blah" disclaimer.
 

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It most certainly did happen with Nikon. They first allowed owners of user-level cameras (eg, CoolPix 880) to do firmware updates, but the Professional line was not user-updateable for some time. Eg, the D1, & (I think) the D2h/D2x line.

It also happened at first with Icom radio transceivers.

Even now, many firmware updates include a "Be careful or you will brick your device, which is not covered by warranty, blah, blah blah" disclaimer.
Well I mostly owned Canon so that shows what I know about Nikon in that era. Used a bunch and thought I saw people doing firmware updates, but never did one myself. Had a Powershot G3 first and then a 1D Mark II (well, still have both) and I don't ever recall firmware updates being locked away from end users.

All those warnings absolutely applied though, they were all over!
 

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2020 Impreza Limited 5-door, Dark Blue with Ivory Leather.
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Discussion Starter #15
Awesome article about Impreza vs BMW 7! Yes. Yes I do feel better. Thank you!

Sorry about the Tesla, though.

Peace... Mack
 

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2020 Impreza Limited 5-door, Dark Blue with Ivory Leather.
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Discussion Starter #16
Mack, what color are you getting?
Island Blue, but kind of by default. Other choices in the premium palette didn't do much for wife and I. She has had nothing but dark gray cars for the last 15 years, and my current ride is white, so we needed something colorful in the garage.

We were both really happy to find exactly what we wanted on the lot. Last time I bought a new car in 2011, it took about four months from production line to dealer delivery. Ugh.

Peace... Mack
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Uh oh, now the BMW owners will soon be descending upon this & other Subaru forums with their snide comments. Just like they did on the Audi forums 20 years ago.

Good article, though.[/QUOTE

No problem for me, Dean. I love my BMW, but I do not bleed blue and white, or have any BMW roundel tattoos.

Peace... Mack
 

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I have the CR ratings and pricing guide for 2017 cars. The individualcar write up for the Impreza shows better than average reliability but consumersatisfaction is about midway in the satisfaction chart. It isn’t listed as arecommended car, maybe because it’s too new.

In the vehicle ratings and reference section for compactsedans the Impreza is checked as a recommended car, (contrary to their informationin the individual car listing). The Impreza is shown 1st overall of the 17 cars listed in the compact sedan class, FordFocus is last.

No section of the magazine mentions the excessive oilconsumption experienced in some older Subaru’s. My son has a 13 Crosstrek thatrequired and new short block for excessive oil consumption. He also has afriend that had the same problem. If you do a search for Subaru oil consumptionyou will get lots of information on oil use problems.

That said, I’m happy with my Impreza, miles is only 3800,it has been trouble free and there is no measurable oil use.

Clifton
Consumer Reports NEVER recommends a car during it's first model year introduction based on a lack of data on reliability and how folks feel about their car. In addition, the #1 reason that cars will get a negative is based on the in-car electronics and their ease of use and bugginess. I rely on CR a lot but you have to also read between the lines and not get so caught up in the weeds.
 

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You have to realize that consumer reports are those reviews by owners and how often do you see people logging into websites to give rave reviews just for the fun of it? A large percentage of reviews will always be negative because people mainly write reviews to complain!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You have to realize that consumer reports are those reviews by owners and how often do you see people logging into websites to give rave reviews just for the fun of it? A large percentage of reviews will always be negative because people mainly write reviews to complain!
Hi Derrick. In general, you are correct. Most people post reviews online to complain. Consumer Reports ratings however, have two components. First are their 'expert' evaluations which are performed under rigorous conditions, the results of which are generally very accurate and reliable. The second part is comprised of survey responses. CR sends out these surveys to members soliciting reviews across a broad spectrum of products and services. It takes me about three hours to complete these surveys every year, which include cars, appliances, insurance companies and so on. It is painstaking and a real test of stamina and memory! Their system keeps track of the items that I have included in prior surveys and asks me for updates in subsequent years. This format can lead to changes in their ratings and recommendations for products over time.


Peace... Mack
 
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