Top Gear Philippines

Hi Top Gear Philippines,

I was hoping to solicit some advice from you and your team as to which one would be the best buy. As the subject of my email states, I'm choosing between the Impreza and the Civic 2.0 variant. I've gone through the usual dealer visits and test drives, and so far they're pretty much up to par w/ each other. I've gone through the brochures and magazine reviews of each and yet I'm still somewhat unable to make up my mind.

Here are some questions that I'm hoping you could help me with to make my decision easier:

1. In terms of fuel economy, have you tested both variants may I know your findings in-terms of km/L?
2. In terms of resale value which one do you think will come out on top. Do you think the Impreza has the edge considering the Civic's body is three years old?
3. How about the after-sales service and parts? This is my main concern in getting a Subaru because there's only one dealership there isn't much of a choice.
4. The last and most important factor for me is safety. Based on the brochure the Impreza comes out on top. Could you confirm this?

Thanks so much and looking forward to your reply.

Migs


Hi There Migs! We're so glad you could write to us! Let's get down to the nitty-gritty and let's see what we can do for you:

1. In terms of fuel economy have you tested both variants may I know your findings in-terms of km/L?

Hard to say really. I've only tested the Civic 2.0 and I got about 7.5- 8km/liter on a combined highway and city drive for a week, which seems average. I'd think the Impreza R, in non-turbo WRX form, would have slightly worse fuel consumption because of the additional drag created by the AWD drive train. A lot of experts say you won't feel the difference of AWD on the road if you have less than 200hp. Personally, I'd say swallow the better pill and consider the Impreza WRX. It's a good amount of money more, but well worth the upgrade. On a different note, I got to drive a non-turbo Forester and it had WORSE fuel economy/efficiency compared to the turbo versions since the turbo's engine is far less stressed hauling the big and heavy Forester around compared to the weedy 2.0 non-turbo Forester. I think the Forester gave me 8.5km/liter whereas the non-turbo struggled to break past 7km/liter, and I'm no grandma behind the wheel.

2. In terms of resale value which one do you think will come out on top. Do you think the Impreza has the edge considering the Civic's body is three years old?

A Honda will always have very good resale value after even a decade of use. Average consumers (i.e. non-enthusiasts) love the Honda for the perceived brand image and quality. Enthusiasts love the EG hatchback as it makes for the perfect track-day toy on the cheap. Subarus, on the other hand, are owned primarily by enthusiasts. These people tend to NEVER sell their Subarus and are fiercely loyal to the brand. That should give the Subaru an equally high, if not higher retained value after X years of use. The big problem though is that there is a huge number of JDM converted Subarus, particularly the WRX and STI variants of the Impreza which tend to ruin resale values. They confuse people on the prices AND the bad press Subarus get from JDM-converted cars. Another factor is that previously, Subarus were poorly represented here by the two previous dealers/importers so it suffered a bad rep through poor after-sales service caused by the ineptitude of the two previous importers who didn't know a boxer engine from Manny Pacquiao. In short, if you see a Subaru for sale, prices can vary. That's assuming you do find one on sale since, like I said, most Subaru owners are very loyal to the brand.

3. How about the after-sales service and parts? This is my main concern in getting a Subaru because there's only one dealership there isn't much of a choice.

Subaru is marketing itself as a premium Japanese brand, close in idea and concept to Lexus, if not in actual pricing. Despite having only one dealership presence (which should change very soon according to the Motor Image Pilipinas guys who brought in Subaru here), the Subaru dealership in Greenhills is well-supported and highly equipped, with well-trained and well-prepared people. You won't have a problem with the parts availability and with servicing. They are a pretty competent bunch and give a lot of latitude on modifications done on Subarus as they themselves understand the whole ethos of owning a Subaru: it's a performance cult-car slowly going mainstream. Performance cars beg to be driven hard, and sometimes require modifications to improve the entire experience. Even the dealership itself sells a whole lot of aftermarket STi parts. Hondas, in comparison, have all the dealerships they could ever ask for everywhere. Parts are everywhere, even from secondary sources. So, definitely, no worries here.

4. The last and most important factor for me is safety. Based on the brochure the Impreza comes out on top. Could you confirm this?

Subarus have high-performance written all over them. So they should be pretty safe since their performance envelope is far higher than your typical Honda. You can also feel that the brakes and suspension in your average Subaru have better feel, the transition better in movement and with higher limits than a typical Honda. Of course, it all boils down to the driver. But all things being equal, the Subaru should have no worries being at the top of the safety leaderboard. The only way to truly find out is for you and I strap ourselves in, ram on to something big, hard and immoveable, and err... find out first-hand!

If you've got more questions, please drop us a line again soon! Thanks and more power! Keep it safe!

Botchi Santos

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Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor
Botchi eats, lives and breathes cars (aside from hotdogs). Aside from wanting to drive any car, preferably through some scenic destination, he's always thinking of ways to "improve them" by modifying the (insert any car-related word here).
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Subaru Honda Honda Civic car safety Subaru Impreza car parts fuel efficiency after-sales service Honda Philippines Subaru Philippines Car Buyers Guide
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