Car Doctor Q&A: Subaru — New or Used?

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It’s the eternal question: Do I spend less on a good used car, or lay out more money on something new? John Paul has a few suggestions. 

Q. My daughter will need a car after graduation and has decided to stay in New England. I was thinking about a Subaru because her job will have her on the road in all kinds of weather. I have always purchased used cars for my family and normally look for cars with between 40,000 and 60,000 miles on them. When I started looking, a decent used Subaru is about $16,000 and a new Impreza can be had for approximately $19,000.  Taking into account maintenance and other repairs, the new Impreza seems like the way to go. I would be interested in your thoughts on new versus used Subarus.


A. A new Subaru, even a base model Impreza is a very good value. The Impreza with the 2.0 liter 148 horsepower flat four-cylinder engine offers enough power to make driving fun. The all-wheel-drive system can be very helpful in New England winter-although for best results consider four winter tires. Don’t think that you won’t get a old-time “stripper”. The base  model has a full complement of airbags, decent sound system, 4-wheel disc brakes, remote keyless entry and a backup camera and much more all standard. Add in a new car warranty and essentially no repairs except normal maintenance, the Impreza is in my opinion a good value and a great used car alternative.