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2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5
2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5

Deals of the Week

Best AWD picks for winter driving Add to ...

Winter weather hit hard in big chunks of Canada this week, giving rise to a simple question: what can the savvy shopper get in an affordable and practical AWD (all-wheel drive) compact car?

"One deal I uncovered was at Subaru -- primarily on the Impreza," say says Paul Timoteo, president of the pricing service www.carcostcanada.com. "This is an ideal car considering the weather.

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"The Impreza is already well priced, starting at just over $20,000 for the AWD sedan and just under $22,000 for the hatchback. Great prices. But add in up to $1,000 in holiday bonus money and low (interest) rates and the Impreza is a great deal."

Timoteo is especially high on Subaru for those who want to lease a new vehicle, rather than buy.

"Their residuals are very high, which translates into cheap payments," he says. "Most other car makers have backed off offering good lease deals, so with thousands of people at the end of their lease, this is a very smart move for Subaru to pick up some biz. No wonder their sales are up huge this year."

Indeed. Subaru is having a record year in Canada. Sales through the end of last month were up 14.8 per cent on the year and in November, Subaru's sales were up a blistering 50.4 per cent. Big-time residual values backstop a very strong leasing program at Subaru.

Automotive Lease Guide says the Impreza is its top pick for 48-month residual or resale value among mid-compact cars. The Impreza is predicted to retain 45 per cent of its value after four years.

Add in the fact that the Impreza, like all Subarus, is a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and this AWD car offers plenty of appeal for the already winter-worried driver. And the Subaru brand has an excellent reputation for quality and reliability.

The Subaru Impreza is one deal worth considering. Here's a look at it in more detail, along with the offers on two direct competitors - the Suzuki SX4 and Toyota Matrix. We're sticking with three hatchbacks, all versatile body styles and with AWD.

2009 Subaru Impreza 2.5i hatchback: The base MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) of $21,895 is just the starting point. In some parts of Canada, Subaru is offering up to $1,000 in "Holiday Bonus" factory-to-dealer money.

And Subaru has some of the lowest lease rates in the country: 1.9 per cent for 24 months or 2.9 per cent for 39 months.

The details:

  • MSRP: $21,895.
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,625
  • Dealer discount (average): $800
  • Final price before factory discount: $22,720 plus GST and PST.
  • Total price with 8 per cent PST and 5 per cent GST: $25,673.60
  • Factory to consumer rebate: $1,000
  • Total price: $24,673.60

Deal No. 2: 2010 Toyota Matrix AWD: Toyota's sales were up 27.4 per cent in December thanks to deals like this on the AWD Matrix -- $1,000 in a factory-to-consumer rebate, zero per cent financing for 36 months and a lease rate of 2.9 per cent for four years.

The details:

  • MSRP: $23,470.
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,625
  • Dealer discount (average): $800
  • Final price before factory discount: $24,090 plus GST and PST.
  • Total price with 8 per cent PST and 5 per cent GST: $27,043.60
  • Factory to consumer rebate: $1,000
  • Total price: $26,043.60

Finally, No. 3, the 2010 SX4 JX AWD hatchback: Suzuki's sales were down 23.7 per cent in November and are off 9.0 per cent on the year. Not surprisingly, Suzuki is not dealing very aggressively on one of its core models, the SX4.

Suzuki is offering 0.0 per cent financing for up to five years on this model, but the lease rate is uncompetitive at 8.29 per cent for up to five years.

The details:

  • MSRP: $21,595.
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,495
  • Dealer discount (average): $700
  • Final price before factory discount: $22,390 plus GST and PST.
  • Total price with 8 per cent PST and 5 per cent GST: $25,343.60
  • Factory to consumer rebate: $0
  • Total price: $25,343.60

(Pricing provided, by www.CarCostCanada.com.)

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