This question is probably somewhat subjective as all cars are slightly different. I am currently in the process of looking for a new car. I'm currently driving a Vauxhall Astra 1.8 SRi (mk-5, 5 door model).
I am torn between getting a Ford Focus Zetec 1.6 petrol, and a Subaru Impreza 1.5R petrol.
They both have roughly the same HP (100 - 110), however the Subaru has more torque due to it's symmetrical all-wheel drive system.
I'm sort of in favour of the Impreza. I watched a road test on MSN cars which tested the handling and stability of a Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic and a BMW 1 Series. I have to say, based on what I saw, the Subaru wins hands down on handling.
I guess my biggest concern is how reliable each car will be, and what to expect in terms of general maintenance costs (Timing belt change, oil change, filter changes etc).
My gut feeling is that the Focus will provide lower maintenance costs as this is a more popular car and therefore, parts should be cheaper than the equivalent Subaru parts.
Can anyone offer any advice on this?
NOTE: This is just one article that I've read which illustrates the good/bad points of the impreza (and compares it to a 1.6 focus)