The 2013 Subaru Impreza earns an average Total Car Score for the Compact Sedans & Wagons segment.
The 2013 Subaru Impreza builds on last year’s successful redesign by adding features to several of the car’s models (with the exception of the performance-oriented WRX, which remains on the Impreza’s previous platform).
The All-Weather Package, for example, which consists of heated front seats, heated outside mirrors and windshield wiper de-icers, is now standard on 2.0i Premium models with the manual transmission, optional on Premium models with the continuously variable transmission (CVT). Bluetooth connectivity (for phone and streaming audio), iPod controls, a USB port and auxiliary jack have been added to the base audio systems; and the optional touch-screen navigation systems now include a backup camera. All Impreza models with the CVT are now equipped with Incline Start Assist, which had been standard on five-speed models.
For 2013, the WRX receives standard steering-wheel controls for the audio system, cruise control and Bluetooth, but otherwise remains unchanged.
Last year’s redesign of the rest of the Impreza line, marking its fourth generation, brought the car a little more into the mainstream, smoothing some of Subaru’s quirky design elements, increasing its interior space and improving its fuel economy. The changes worked; Subaru reports Impreza sales more than doubled over the previous model. The media have responded positively, too, giving the Impreza mostly glowing reviews for its practicality and family friendliness. They do note, though, that if buyers don’t need the Impreza’s standard all-wheel drive, they’ll find other competitors in this niche that deliver better fuel economy.
The 2013 Subaru Impreza is offered in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles and in several trim levels. (The high-performance Impreza WRX STI is reviewed separately.)
All 2.0i Impreza models are powered by a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional.
The WRX features a 2.5-liter turbocharged and intercooled boxer four, sending 265 hp and 244 lb-ft to a five-speed manual transmission.
All Imprezas feature Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system, though the systems differ depending on transmission choice. The manual transmission is mated to a Continuous All-Wheel-Drive system with a viscous coupling in the center differential, while the CVT is joined with an Active All-Wheel-Drive system fitted with an electronically managed continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch.
Impreza 2.0i sedans and hatchbacks share three different trim levels. Base 2.0i models are equipped with 15-inch steel wheels; air conditioning; power locks, windows and mirrors; a multi-function display (with fuel economy readouts); tilt/telescope steering column; and a four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with Bluetooth and USB and auxiliary jacks.
The 2.0i Premium models add 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a six-speaker audio system and (for manual-transmission models) an all-weather package that includes heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.
Impreza 2.0i Limited models are equipped with the CVT (with manual mode and paddle shifters), 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, automatic climate controls, leather-trimmed upholstery and an upgraded audio system with a 4.3-inch LCD display screen and HD radio.
Additionally, Impreza 2.0i hatchbacks come in two more trim levels: Sport Premium, with 17-inch wheels, sport cloth upholstery, fog lights and roof rails; and Sport Limited, which adds the Limited features (standard CVT with manual mode, audio upgrade, automatic climate controls, leather) to the Sport Premium model.
The WRX, which shares the wide-body design of the WRX STI, features standard equipment that includes 17-inch alloy wheels, special suspension tuning, a functional hood scoop, sport front seats covered in WRX-exclusive fabric upholstery, automatic climate control, and a six-speaker premium audio system with Bluetooth, iPod control and a USB port.
WRX Premium models add the all-weather package mentioned above, foglamps and a power moonroof, while WRX Limited models have leather upholstery and HID headlamps.
The EPA finds the Impreza sedan with the 2.0-liter/auto trans combination returns 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined; with the manual mileage drops to 25/34/28. Impreza hatchback mileage numbers are nearly identical. The WRX returns 19/25/21 mpg in either body style.
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