I'm having a hard time deciding between a 2013 Hyundai Elantra and a 2013 Subaru Impreza. I will be driving 25,000 miles a year. I have tested both and couldn't tell much of a difference.
Because you expect to drive 25,000 miles a year, that would steer us toward the Elantra. You would burn through Subaru's basic three-year/36,000-mile warranty in 18 months or less and the five-year/ 60,000-mile powertrain warranty in less than 30 months. With the Elantra, the 60,000-mile basic warranty should last almost 30 months and the 100,000-mile powertrain coverage for about four years.
On paper, the Elantra has better fuel economy (28/38 mpg city/ highway versus 27/36 mpg for the Impreza), but we have had trouble matching Hyundai's highway numbers in our tests. Our guess is that over the long haul there could be little difference between them.
The Elantra might offer another benefit: reliability. The Elantra has ranked among the top three compact cars in the J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 and 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study, which measures problems in vehicles during the third year of ownership (the Impreza was not among the top three). Those surveys covered the previous-generation Elantra, not the current one, but as a brand Hyundai ranked above the industry average both years and Subaru ranked below the industry average in reliability.
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