Despite all of the wagon-shaped vehicles Subaru makes, it does manage to turn out sedans, as well. The Japanese company offers the Impreza and its bigger, more powerful brother, the Legacy. Both four-doors are ready for bad weather thanks to their standard Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive. Which one should a buyer be prepared to buy, though?
The gap in usable space between the two Subarus isn't dramatic -- the Impreza seats five in its 96.9 cubic feet of passenger volume. The five-capacity Legacy does have an edge, though, measuring 103 cubic feet. The difference is more pronounced in the trunk, where the Impreza's 12 cubic feet falls behind the Legacy's 14.7 cubic feet.
Under the Hood
The Impreza comes with a 2-liter four-cylinder engine. Its 148 horsepower puts it slightly behind the 173 horsepower from the Legacy's base 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Opting for the larger sedan's 3.6-liter 256-horsepower six-cylinder motor puts it out of reach of the regular Impreza's engine. However, the 265-horsepower Impreza WRX and 305-horsepower WRX STI are options.
Gears in the Impreza can be changed with a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Power in the Legacy is processed through a six-speed stick, a CVT or a five-speed automatic. Equipping the four-door Impreza with the CVT enables fuel economy of 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Gas mileage for the Legacy goes as high as 24/32.
The smaller Subaru comes with power windows and mirrors, air conditioning and a four-speaker audio system, among other features. Options include voice-activated GPS and an All-Weather Package. Electronic cruise control, cloth upholstery and silver metallic interior trim are standard kit for the Legacy. It can be dressed up with options such as a remote engine starter and the EyeSight driver assistance system.
Imprezas currently start at $17,895. The entry price of a Legacy is marginally higher at $20,295.
Our Verdict: Subaru Impreza
The Impreza is the better all-around Subaru. Similar space and power, better fuel economy and a lower price of entry make it the smarter choice.