Test Drive: Subaru Impreza & Crosstrek

Today I test drove, back to back, the Impreza and Crosstrek which are the leading candidates to replace the Claims Kia. The drives were pretty short and the Impreza was actually the SALESMAN’S PERSONAL CAR, because he was super nice and didn’t have a manual Impreza in stock. Driving a stranger’s car was weird.

The salesman” was like...20. Nice kid (God, am I old now?) but obviously inexperienced. He offered me $12,000CDN for the Kia as a trade in. That’s $1,000 than the price I paid for it a year ago.

My target replacement is still winter or spring 2020. This depends on my job situation improving, if I can bill more hours, I can easily snag one.

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My requirements are essentially:

  • New or preowned, max age 2 years old
  • Less than $25K (flexible within $2-3K)
  • Manual*
  • AWD/4WD
  • Less than 35,000km/22,000 miles if used

*Unless used “luxury” sedan like a Cadenza, Genesis or whatever.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Convenience (Base Model) 6MT

Ride height is nice, you forget what you’re missing when you drive wagons, hatches, sedans and old trucks exclusively.

Manual feels good. Not sporty, but not as vague as the Kia’s. Acceleration is meh as is top speed, but that’s OK. The artificial rev hang in both cars is atrocious however, something the salesman told me he still hates in his Impreza.

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Driving in an urban environment, obviously I can’t speak to the AWD, but given the CX-3's part time was OK in the snow, I would guess the Subie’s are pretty darn good.

The Crosstrek is obviously better looking and the better overall car of the two, but I am not sure if I can justify the extra $6,000-$7,000 on my work car/DD over an Impreza.

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2018 Subaru Impreza Sport 5MT

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Again, this was not a dealer car, this was the personal car of the saleskid. Right away, this car felt more....well like a car. Everyday driving would likely be better, but with the light offroad I do, the Crosstrek wins out.

The steelies the base model come with would need to go and the aftermarket support isn’t as good. But, it is cheaper...

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