I recently said goodbye to my 2001 Subaru Forester and purchased a 2013 Subaru Impreza. Have a look…
I’d bought the Forester 12 years ago — and it was the first vehicle I owned all by myself. I was in my first post-college job and wanted to use some of my income to trade-in my then-Plymouth Acclaim sedan for a SUV. I researched, test drove, and decided to go Japanese. I drove the Forester (or “Subie” as I called her) to California for a short-term job, to Florida, through half of the United States, and into Canada.
I drove her for over 196,000 miles!
But with the years came oil changes, new tires and brakes, exhaust system retrofits, and spark plugs. Their costs added up. I exceeded the trade-in value over the past three years. When the “check engine light” turned on for the third time in a month, I accepted the fact it was time to move on.
I made a list of Kia, VW, Saab, and Suzuki models that had wanted features. I visited Honda, Toyota, and Ford dealerships and drove several vehicles on highways and sideways. I turned to the web and read customer reviews, watched videos, and compared specifications from TrueCar, AOL Auto, Kelley Blue Book, and Consumer Reports.
The web did help me. If it wasn’t for reviews and videos, I don’t know what I would have done — as all of my friends recommended different models. There was zero consensus from them what to do.
Soul searching for how much money I was willing to spend and what vehicular features were required, I ultimately recognized I was going to stay in the Subaru family. I had grown accustomed to All-Wheel-Drive; and while other car manufacturers had AWD cars and SUVs on their lots, finding them were exceptions and not standards.
I made an appointment with Ira Subaru, spent some time driving the Impreza at 70 miles per hour on an interstate and taking sharp curves on an industrial driveway, cheered at Bluetooth connectivity being standard in their 2013 models so I could talk on the phone without using an earpiece, and picked out the only remaining Impreza on their lot that had the optional features I wanted.
Whether I hold onto this new Subie for another decade or trade it in a few years is unknown. I like it, keep discovering new buttons as the seasons progress, and time will tell where in the world we drive next.