Subaru Impreza Hatchback vs Mazda3 Hatchback

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Asked by Jan 22, 2013 at 06:31 PM about the 2013 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited Hatchback

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I am planning to lease a car -- I know that many of you may discourage this idea but I have been putting a lot of thought and research into it and I really feel that leasing is my best option right now. So - that being said, my only question now is: lease a new Subaru Impreza Hatchback Ltd Edition or a new Mazda 3 Hatchback Grand Touring Edition.

I know the basics, you know - the most prominent differences: Mazda gets better gas mileage due to skyactive technology and FWD - Subaru is AWD, which is good for me because I'm moving back into the CO Rockie Mountains where the roads get really bad and the only way out of town is via Rabbit Ears Pass which gets very nasty at times in the winter. Also, to get the ltd edition on a Subaru may cost slightly more than the highest edition on the mazda - but not so much that it's a deterrent.  I guess I am hoping that some people on here that have some experience with each of these cars can give me some insight. I have not yet test-driven the Subaru - I'm doing that on Thursday (2 days) but I know I love subies because I used to have one, though I have never driven one with only a 2.0 L engine. I'm not too sure about now getting a 2.0L - it may leave me wanting after my BMW with a 2.5L 6 cylinder!! But I am trying to consider gas mileage. and besides I cannot afford an outback or forester. I have already driven the mazda and enjoyed it very much - but I drove the base model thinking it was all I could afford, so I don't know what the GT is like, though I do know how the drive feels and it was fun!

Any insight would be much appreciated. I'm going to make my final decision after I test-drive and look at the impreza, but once again - if any of you out there have either of these cars and want to put in your two cents I would love that! Thanks!!

3 Answers

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ha! I cannot believe I spelled Rocky Mountains wrong - I think I was trying to say Rockies but instead said Rockie Mountains. lol

26,145

Hi Omly...I totally agree with you that the Mazda3 is a blast to drive! I love the way it handles. I may NOT be the best person to answer your question, since I don't actually own the Mazda3, but have spent some time behind the wheel of the car for about a week and a 1/2 while my Volvo was getting some major repair work done (broke a front axle in an unintended Dukes of Hazzard maneuver). Also, I DO own a Mazda MX-5 with the same Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control and allows the car to handle extremely well in the snow and slush, even though it's a RWD Sportscar! However, since you're moving to the Colorado Rockies, I would suggest going with the AWD Subaru...This Rabbit Ears Pass place you described sounds like a place a guy from NJ like me would be paranoid to drive through...LOL!

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Hi! Thanks for your response. I have been talking to the dealer about the traction control in the Mazda and there are A LOT of people who still drive FWD vehicles in Steamboat - the city in the mountains. But if you get in a situation where you are trying to get home from a trip or something it could be tricky in a FWD vehicle. Basically I would HAVE to get studded tires probably - or at lease VERY good snow tires. But it is doable - just scary to me I guess being that I have never owned a FWD vehicle and have always had at least optional 4WD if not AWD. But I've talked to a lot of people who feel that FWD is safe as long as you go slow and have the proper tires. Not as safe as the AWD though. I think the mazda does great with their zoom-zoom with such a small, fuel-efficient engine - 39 mpg hwy is hard to beat. If the subie, which also has a 2.0L 4 cyl does not have the pep that the mazda has that may be a deal breaker - but the boxer engine in the subie is pretty sweet so we'll see. thanks for the info though, honestly, it does help. hearing that the DSC and TC in the mazda makes a big difference for you in the snow is pretty cool to hear. The pass can get pretty bad, just like all passes here in the CO rockies, but when you grow up with it it's not so bad - sometimes it is truly undriveable though in a blizzard no matter the car you're driving! Thanks!

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