North Georgia Ford Compares 2008 Ford Mustang VS 2008 Subaru Impreza Near Calhoun, GA

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2008 Ford Mustang

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2008 Subaru Impreza

Safety Comparison

Both the Mustang and the Impreza WRX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, available four-wheel antilock brakes and traction control.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 7 times as many Ford dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Mustang’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Impreza WRX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt, which eventually needs to be replaced. If the Impreza WRX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The engines in the Mustang have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Impreza WRX has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

The Mustang GT has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Impreza WRX doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang first among midsize sporty cars in their 2007 Initial Quality Study. The Impreza WRX isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2005 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 21st, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Mustang’s standard 4.0 SOHC V6 produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 226) than the Impreza WRX’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Mustang GT’s standard 4.6 SOHC V8 produces 76 more horsepower (300 vs. 224) and 94 lbs.-ft. more torque (320 vs. 226) than the Impreza WRX’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. The Mustang Shelby GT’s standard 4.6 SOHC V8 produces 95 more horsepower (319 vs. 224) and 104 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 226) than the Impreza WRX’s 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mustang GT is faster than the Subaru Impreza WRX (manual transmissions tested):


Impreza WRX

Zero to 60 MPH

5 sec

5.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.3 sec

10 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.6 sec

16.2 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

95 MPH

Top Speed

147 MPH

140 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Mustang uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Impreza WRX requires premium, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Mustang GT’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Impreza WRX:

Mustang GT

Impreza WRX

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.3 inches

The Mustang’s brakes have 22% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Impreza WRX (495 vs. 405 square inches), so the Mustang has more braking power available.

The Mustang’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Impreza WRX are solid, not vented.

The Mustang with optional antilock brakes stops shorter than the Impreza WRX with antilock brakes:


Impreza WRX

80 to 0 MPH

225 feet

227 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

180 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Mustang has larger standard tires than the Impreza WRX (215/65R16 vs. 205/50R17). The Mustang’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Impreza WRX (235/55R17 vs. 205/50R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mustang offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Impreza WRX’s largest wheels are only 17 inches.

The Mustang has a standard tire pressure monitoring system, which will alert the driver to a drop in tire pressure before damage to the tire or an accident might occur. The Impreza WRX doesn’t offer a low tire pressure warning system.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mustang’s wheelbase is 4 inches longer than on the Impreza WRX (107.1 inches vs. 103.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 3.6 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Impreza WRX.

The Mustang’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the Impreza WRX’s (57.5% to 42.5%). This gives the Mustang more stable handling and braking.

The Mustang Shelby GT Coupe handles at .92 G’s, while the Impreza WRX Sedan pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Mustang GT Convertible handles at .83 G’s, while the Impreza WRX Sedan pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Mustang V6’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Impreza WRX’s (33.4 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Mustang Coupe is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the Impreza WRX Sedan is rated a Compact.

The Mustang Coupe has 3.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Impreza WRX (97.9 vs. 94.4).

The Mustang Coupe has .6 inches more front shoulder room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Impreza WRX Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Mustang Coupe has a much larger trunk than the Impreza WRX Sedan (13.1 vs. 11.3 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Mustang’s trunk lid uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Impreza WRX’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge (except wagon).

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Mustang disables the starter while the engine is running. The Impreza WRX’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The Mustang’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Impreza WRX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Mustang’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Impreza WRX’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

The Mustang’s power locks have a lockout prevention feature. When the key’s in the ignition and the driver’s door is open, the power locks won’t lock. The Impreza WRX doesn’t provide lockout prevention.

The Impreza WRX’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Mustang’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Mustang’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Impreza WRX’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Mustang’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The Impreza WRX’s standard power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

With optional voice command, the Mustang offers the driver hands free control of the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Impreza WRX doesn’t offer a voice control system.

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