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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 5-door wagon body style within the same 'Small family car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the Ford and 4 x 4 in the case of the Subaru). The first one has a Mazda-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 145hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 162hp engine designed by Subaru.Safety
The fact that the Ford got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), while the other contender didn't, puts it sky-high safety-wise, in my eyes at least. 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 it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the Japanese car offers a marginal difference of 4% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem 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 Ford, as well as Subaru, with the same average rating of 4.4 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed Focus 21% above average, and Impreza those same 21% below the first one. We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the American car rank it on average as 4.1, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.8 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Subaru is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.6 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 203 kilometers per hour, 3km/h less than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the American car, averaging around 7.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (40 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 27% difference compared to the Japanese car.
Subaru 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 American car beats the other contender by far, making it the best choice without even considering other things. From there things take a different direction, with Subaru offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... 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. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser™, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.