Originally Posted by Strix
I bought an Impreza last month and I'm growing to love it. It's very different than the Focus... slightly less refined in some ways (wind and road noise, appearance), but much better engineered and well thought-out in other ways (visibility, transmission, interior, and of course the AWD). PM me if you have any questions.
I, too, was slightly concerned about the CVT, but then the salesman told me that Subaru is putting them in everything, including the WRX STI. I figure long-term reliability must be OK if Subaru is confident enough to do that.
The CVT takes a little getting used to, but I'm really liking it. After a hurky-jerky, engine-bogging, annoying as hell DCT with obvious clutch problems (that Ford wouldn't fix), Subaru's CVT is a breath of fresh air. Smooth, almost seamless power delivery with none of the harsh shifting and torque gaps that plagued my Focus. And the AWD really lets it take off way faster from a dead stop. No spinning or squealing tires, even if there's some loose sand or gravel in the driveway/intersection. It just goes.
I traded my 2012 Focus Ti in on a 2012 Impreza Sport Limited a year ago and it's been 12-months of problem free driving. The CVT is smoother and more predictable than Fords DCT, and the interior roomier and more comfortable. Also, visibility is panoramic compared to the Focus especially around the A-pillars. Oh yeah, and the factory car mats are still going strong! The Focus mats didn't last six months, rubber or carpet. I also like the fact that the Impreza has a timing chain and that the oil filter is right on top of the motor.
The biggest complaint I have with the Impreza is that the EPA rated MPG of 27\36 is nowhere near what they claim. I average 26 MPG on the same commute the Focus did at 31.5 MPG, and where the Focus's trip meter was usually within .5 MPG's the Impreza is consistently optimistic by at least 2 MPG.
Still, I like the Subie much better especially since I equipped it with my own custom in-vehicle infotainment system. No restrictions on what I can do with it and in the 8-months since I installed it in the car it's only crashed once (unreproducible BSOD due to Microsoft's native wifi driver).