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Performance (automatic gearbox)
Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Small family car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (4 x 4 for the Subaru and front in the case of the Ford). The first one has a Subaru-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 114hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 150hp engine designed by Ford.Safety
A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the small family car segment, which is generally classifying them somewhere in the middle safety-wise, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. Furthermore, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the Japanese car offers a marginal difference of 6% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that Ford does have a slight advantage, when all the models are taken into account. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Subaru with an average rating of 4.3, and models under the Ford badge with 4.4 out of 5. The same official information place Impreza as average reliability-wise, and Focus is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Japanese car rank it on average as 3.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.5 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Ford is way more agile, reaching 100km/h in 3.6 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 212 kilometers per hour, 23km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the American car, averaging around 6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (47 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 20% difference compared to the Japanese car.
Ford appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the Japanese car offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. From there things take a different direction, with Ford outracing its opponent in any situation possible, making it better choice for boy racers. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but Ford. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. I suggest you spend two more minutes in order to find out which car, based on your needs and budget, would be picked by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.