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Old 08-08-2012, 09:03 PM   #21
BrApple
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Originally Posted by quattro1 View Post
Thanks for the pictures comparing the two. I also considered an Impreza as we bought an Outback in '08 when our first daughter was born, then had to sell 3 years later when we had twins and got a Flex w/Ecoboost.

Really loved the Outback which is why I wanted to look at the Impreza when looking for a commuter car. Went to a dealer to driver one and nobody came to help me and didn't see any manual's on the lot, looked like all they had was automatic base models. So I went and drove a Focus and ended up ordering a manual Titanium. I still wish I could have driven the Impreza though.

Couple things I really wish the Focus had that the Impreza did:
1) Sliding cover for the rear instead of a removable shelf
2) Some type of rack up top to mount some racks
from what we where told the new impreza is selling very fast. Our local dealer only had 3 on the lot, and the one we got came in about the time we where looking.

the sliding cover is good and bad, imho. I really like how the cover moves with the hatch in Focus, its kinda a pain otherwise. But as noted, its easier to deal with sliding one if one is out and needs to remove it.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quattro1 View Post
Couple things I really wish the Focus had that the Impreza did:
1) Sliding cover for the rear instead of a removable shelf
2) Some type of rack up top to mount some racks
Quote:
Originally Posted by SterlingArcher View Post
Yes! I hate the shelf. May look a little better, but the practicality sucks, especially if you're out and spontaneously want to buy something oversized.
The Escape has a roller blind for the rear, so does the C-Max but I prefer the system in the focus with the solid cargo cover personally. It appears sturdier to me but that's my opinion. As to roof racks if you desire to worsen your car's aerodynamics go ahead but it's better to remove it when not in use
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by suss6052 View Post
The Escape has a roller blind for the rear, so does the C-Max but I prefer the system in the focus with the solid cargo cover personally. It appears sturdier to me but that's my opinion. As to roof racks if you desire to worsen your car's aerodynamics go ahead but it's better to remove it when not in use
Unless you plan on placing things on that shelf(which would fall over when opened), sturdier doesn't really help anything, its just a cover.

Btw, my desire is to place some bikes and snowboards on the roof, heck I had them on my A4 Sedan and Avant and also the Outback. They serve a real purpose here.
Do you really think people try to worsen the car's aerodynamics with racks? Wow...
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quattro1 View Post
Unless you plan on placing things on that shelf(which would fall over when opened), sturdier doesn't really help anything, its just a cover.

Btw, my desire is to place some bikes and snowboards on the roof, heck I had them on my A4 Sedan and Avant and also the Outback. They serve a real purpose here.
Do you really think people try to worsen the car's aerodynamics with racks? Wow...
Putting things on the roof hurts worse than putting it in the wake region behind the car, such as on a light duty tow hitch just sized for hauling a bike on the back, putting it on the roof is about the worst thing you can do to mess up the air flow over the roof of the car. I.e. the efficiency hit is greater for putting something on the roof than it is in the low pressure region behind the vehicle. Now does it really matter if you really want to run a roof rack and put the bike or some snow boards on it and don't care about the mpg penalty then go for it. However if you were looking to minimize the impact at least for the bikes its better to put them down low and behind the car then up high where it causes turbulent flow and greater drag. It would also theoretically be quieter with the bike behind the car than on the roof.

I just happen to like the way its set up in our cars and found the roller to be unattractive a proposition, as generally I don't want to have to take and remove it from the vehicle all the time, but I know how they work, my grandfather's mariner has the roller cargo cover.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:57 PM   #25
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Any kind of noise/drag is a given with racks, I'd like to think everyone knows that. However with fork mount carriers, I never had any noise or MPG penalty that was noticeable. And if it does get bad for people, fairings are available.

Though my main reason for wanting bars as an option is cost and functionality. Having the roof option makes things so much easier than stuffing bikes/boards inside. Yakima and Thule make great stuff but very expensive.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:42 AM   #26
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Any kind of noise/drag is a given with racks, I'd like to think everyone knows that.
Not with a hitch rack in my experience.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:20 AM   #27
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Hey all, I'm new to Focus Fanatics and have a few potential cars on the list- Impreza Premium, Focus, Elantra GT, Mazda3. I'm looking to buy in December when I return from abroad. I've test driven a Focus 5spd SE without Sport and loved it- the clutch was pretty good but man is the stick buttery smooth and paired very well to the 2.0 GDI engine. On the test drive I got 34mpg!

Needless to say, I'm a 2-time Subaru owner and would love some more impressions about the Impreza- most of them that I read are with the CVT but I'd be looking for a 5 speed only. The people that tested the 5 speeds, what are your driving impressions eg. power, transmission, can it get up hills, merging, etc.? The body roll and noise sound annoying... Pittsburgh is a hilly place and I love having AWD (I go to school in Rochester where it's flat but snows a ton too) but I can't get over the terrible mileage of my Subies, especially commuting every day. Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:42 PM   #28
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I have a '06 Impreza which is coming due for a replacement. I have really enjoyed the commentary in this thread as it will be helpful.
While I have been happy with the '06 Impreza I am not so sure that I would like the CVT. I prefer a manual tranny but my wife needs an automatic. We will be test driving a Focus as we get closer to purchase time.
One other factor is that I would like to have a NA-built vehicle. My wife just traded her Indiana-built Sube Legacy for an imported Forester so I'd like to keep at least one "native" car in our yard.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:24 PM   #29
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My wife and I own both the 2012 Impreza Premium (CVT) and a 2012 Focus SE hatch (manual). Our driveway looks very much like BrApple's. Each car has about 4,500 miles on it, so I feel qualified to weigh in here.

CVT vs. DCT: We prefer the CVT from 0 to 30 or 35. Which is to say, around town. It's quicker and smoother. CVT is OK accelerating above 35, but you have to pay attention and play the gas pedal a bit to get the most from it, or use the paddle shifters. Once you're moving, the DCT seems pretty sweet. The CVT is a bit noisier, as it stays close to 4000 rpm during acceleration from 0 to 50. In comparison, the DCT sounds like it's constantly shifting, at lower speeds. Choose your poison. Overall, we like the CVT better. We got the SE manual because it's so much more fun to drive than either the CVT or the DCT, and it saved $1000.

Handling: both are good, Focus is better (on dry roads). Focus feels lighter and more agile, with less body roll and quicker steering response. The Impreza feels solid and stable. It's a smooth ride, but not mushy. We expect the Impreza will be much better in snow, and that counts here in Colorado.

MPG: We're getting about 35 mpg combined in the Focus, about 32 with the Impreza. Pure highway mpg with the Focus is close to 40; with the Impreza, about 35.

roof racks: We have the Premium aero rack, not the sport rails. It's handy. Easy to install and remove, and accepts any aero accessory. The bare rack cuts about 1 mpg. With two fork-mount bikes on top, the penalty is about 2.5 mpg in highway driving (45-70 mph). No rack for the Focus.

Visibility: better in the Impreza all the way around.

Interior: Impreza's roomier, and the rear seats fold flat. It's better for carrying long loads. Focus is more stylish, Impreza is easy on the eyes and functional. (Note: we have the beige Impreza and light stone Focus.) Across the back of the hatch, the Impreza can fit a golf bag; the Focus hatch space is not wide enough for that. As for the interior hatch covers, the Focus deck lid and Impreza rollaway cover each have their good and bad points. Think oversized loads vs. bags of groceries.

Seats: Comfortable and with good adjustment in both. Impreza has less bolstering, but it's great on 4-hour trips. Fabric in Focus looks more durable, but the Impreza's is perhaps more comfortable.

Interior noise: both are quiet enough, though there is slightly more wind and road noise in the Impreza. It's rarely a distraction in either car.

Technology: We were leery of MFT, so we skipped it. And same with the Impreza--no navigation. The dash info system is cooler in the Impreza, but the Focus provides more info. And to access it ...

Steering wheel controls: better in the Focus. The sound system and cruise controls are similar, but the Impreza stashes the the main info control on the dash behind the wheel—where it's barely accessible. Focus is much better, and the controls are more logical.

A/C: both are ample. Impreza's might be a little stronger.

Bottom line: too close to call, so we each got one. Focus for fun, Impreza for winter.

biking4life: we test-drove an Impreza 5MT, and it feels very similar to the Focus manual, with the other handling points noted above. The Focus 5MT is smoother overall, but the Impreza 5MT is OK, and it will feel familiar. The 5MT Impreza will handle the hills, and especially the snow. But the Focus is sportier, and with good snow tires ...

Last edited by skepticaleye; 08-22-2012 at 10:26 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:49 PM   #30
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Wow skepticaleye, that was an awesome review, thanks! I'm going to have to check out both again when I get back to Pittsburgh/Rochester. I've always loved my Subarus but hated the mileage. Seems that the Impreza has come a long way! My driving is a mix of city during the week and suburbs/highways on the weekends so for me it's going to pretty much come down to whichever is easier to drive in the city (both have Hill Holders, thank goodness). And with snow tires.... :)
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