Seriously? I’m going to put the modest Subaru Impreza wagon up against the BMW 328xi uberwagon? The same 3-series that has made mincemeat of the luxury division? That has set the standard for sporty opulence? That has made Car & Driver’s Top Ten list for the last decade? Yes, I am. Why would I do it? Not to embarrass the little ’Ru, but quite the contrary.

If the all-wheel-drive 328xi is the gold standard, then at $20,000 less than King Bimmer, the AWD Impreza is simply the best bargain in all of Autodom.

My Subaru versus Bimmer test is not really a buyer’s guide, as shoppers for these cars will likely never step on the other’s lot. Rather, like comparing a Timex and Rolex, this face-off weighs the value of brand name and engineering in two products that occupy opposite poles of the midsize, C-wagon segment. It’s a diverse-price segment that, at its core, provides sporty, all-wheel-drive transportation to carry a family of four over the river, and through the woods (and up a steep, snowy driveway) to grandmother’s house.


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Subaru Impreza vs. BMW 328xi - Which Is The Better AWD Wagon?

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