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Great car for traveling, outdoorsy people

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 7/20/2015 JEK 2015

I'm in my late 20s and I wanted a car that would last me for the next 10+ years, and after shopping around Subaru seemed to be the best bet. There are some features that could be improved upon, but all-in-all this was the best car for my purposes! I was also looking at both the VW Golf and Mazda 3 and while they were comparable (and even better in a few circumstances) I figured the Subaru would last longer, be more reliable, and could handle camping in rugged terrain while also looking good in a city. Pros: -Handles great in rain and sand and have yet to drive it during winter but I can't wait! -Awesome cargo space: well worth it to get the rubberized cargo mats so I can fold the seat down and increase trunk space. Can fit my bike in the back no problem, and am working on adding a bike roof rack as well! -Visibility: I am short (5'4) and can see out of all windows and rear easily (compared with when I test-drove the Mazda 3 which I felt like I could barely see anything - main reason for not buying)-Backup Camera: perfect, clear and detailed-Comfortable seats and ease of use of controls (Again, compared with Mazda 3, which I couldn't really figure out)-I average 35mpg for city and 37.5 for highway, true to estimated fuel usage. This is even better than my 2005 Honda Civic. -Driving: Drives great, albeit not as zippy as a VW Golf (which I also test drove) It gets you there and has plenty of pickup for highway speeds (which I drive about 50% of the time). This was something that reviewers panned the car for, although in day-to-day driving how often are you really going from 0 to 60? -Bluetooth: This is kinda in-between a pro and a con - I love that the car has it, but my listeners complain that it sounds like I'm yelling into a tunnel. All-in-all it is a pro considering I never miss a phone call and can answer the phone without searching through my bag. I have never had bluetooth in a car before so I don't really have anything else to compare it to. Cons: Yes there are a few....-CVT Engine: My only complaint with the CVT is when you are going from Reverse or Park to Drive - There is a significant lag time of 1-2 seconds for the gears to catch. This might not seem like a lot, but if you're not used to it and you're backing up onto a road you have to take it into account. This has definitely altered my way of driving so I don't end up straining the transmission by pressing on the accelerator too soon. When test driving, make sure to try this out. -Cloth seats stain easily - My interior is Tan and already have a stain on the passenger side seat from (of all things) a bouquet of flowers that decided to pollinate in my car. This has yet to come out :-(-Speakers/radio - The radio is constantly trying to find an HD radio station, when it does it will increase the bass and sound amazing. When it can't find an HD Station (which isn't often because I don't live near a city) the radio sounds tinny and slightly muffled. Luckily I enjoy books on tape (Mazda 3 didn't have CD Player) Final Notes: I researched the heck out of VW golf and Mazda 3 (among many others) and my reasons for choosing the Subaru included: My roommate had a 2007 VW GTI that had a major transmission failure that would have cost over $4000 to repair, which is kind of ridiculous seeing as my 2005 Honda had never had any repair that cost over $500. I also know that VWs have a sketchy track record in terms of easy and cost-efficient maintenance and repairs. Unfortunate because the Golf was my first choice. As for the Mazda3, when the Mazda salesman asked how long I planned on keeping my next car I responded "at least 10 years" to which he laughed and said "why would I want to sell you a car that you'd have for that long? I want you back here in 5 years!". Nuff said.

Average Rating : 4

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