When anyone thinks they need an affordable and safe all-wheel drive family car they inevitably jump to the conclusion that their only choice is to buy a Subaru. Now, everyone knows that the Snow Belt is downright enamored with Subaru vehicles as their all the time, any weather toughness has been proven over decades spent not skidding across harshly salted asphalt. As such, Subaru has countered sales downturns in the auto industry in recent years which proved that it must have a very loyal and ever expanding group of fans.
But there must be some all-weather alternative that is as affordable as the relatively basic 2012 Impreza sedan and hatchback, right? Or at least something that offers buyers a sensible and viable option to the somewhat off-beat styling sensibility that has been a Subaru brand hallmark for years. Honestly, our road test 2012 Subaru Impreza was the snappier looking hatchback variant but it still managed to look reptilian or insect-like the whole time it was in our care.
As with most Subaru vehicles (at least the non-turbo models), the 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium that we drove for a week was the definition of the word sensible with its impressive 22.5 cubic feet of cargo in the cargo hold. That figure grows to an SUV rivaling 52.4 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down.
The Impreza also boasted quite impressive EPA fuel economy estimates of 25 city/33 highway which is notable because vehicles that constantly turn four driven wheels tend to guzzle gas. So what kind of car can compete with the 2012 Impreza’s all-around excellence and affordability? Allow us to introduce you to the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi GTS i-AWD (intelligent all-wheel drive) sport sedan. If you are wondering why the Suzuki has “intelligent all-wheel drive” we promise to explain that in greater detail shortly.
But first, let’s have a look at how well these two very affordable all-wheel drive vehicles handle life in the real world even on days when it isn’t raining, hailing or snowing. The sun does come out even in places like Wisconsin and Alaska so you need to be prepared to have a car you absolutely love on those days as well.