Subaru automobiles are produced by giant Japanese firm, Fuji Heavy Industries, Since 1968 they have been exported to America. A plant in Lafayette, Indiana manufactures several of their models, but the Impreza is imported from Ota, Gumna, Japan. The compact Impreza is currently in its fourth generation configuration, having been produced since 1992.
Subaru sales have sizzled in the United States, with double-digit average annual increases taking place every year since 2007. Sales for 2014 ended up at 513,693, a 21% increase over the prior year. Over half of the Subarus were built in America last year, and the plan is for Impreza production to take place there as well, next year.
The Impreza was the subject of my test that took place in mid-January, 2015. Rocky Mountain Redline provided me with a test vehicle, and it was a Quartz blue metallic five-door 2.0i Sport with black leather seating for five. M.S.R.P. of the vehicle was $26,885.00, and that included the base price of $23,295.00 and Option #23 – moonroof, keyless access, pushbutton starter, navigation, pre-collision braking and throttle control, radar cruise control, and lane departure warning. Packaged together, these features on a Subaru are called “Eyesight”, and act as an effective driver-assist safety system.Other equipment on the Impreza included a 7″ infotainment screen, Bluetooth phone connectivity, XM radio, leather upholstery, power door locks and windows, tilt/telescope, and auto-climate control with no-nonsense knobs. Seat heat (front) controls and a hand emergency brake share space with the automatic transmission shifter on the console of the Impreza, and plenty of cup- and personal-item storage is on hand within reach of the driver. Visibility is good with five windows lined up on each side of the car, and the hatchback tailgate has a decent-sized one, too. Folding down the 65/35 three-passenger back seat provides 52.4 cubic feet of cargo room. Opening and closing doors and/or tailgates presents an impressive “thunk”, when entering or exiting a Subaru.
Subaru power for this car comes from a horizontally-opposed four cylinder, 2 liter engine with 148 horsepower (6,200 rpm) and 145 lb. ft. of torque (4,200 rpm). The engine configuration is referred to as a “boxer” (think punches thrown alternatively by each hand), and is currently only available in a Subaru or a Porsche. The resultant smooth-operating boxer in the Impreza is coupled to a continuously-variable automatic transmission and to Symmetrical all-wheel drive. EPA economy ratings for the Impreza are 36 mpg-highway, 27 mpg-city, and 31 mpg-combined (14.5 gallon tank). My observance during the week was of 27.4 mpg. The car is the most fuel efficient all-wheel drive car in America, and reportedly it travels from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds.
I guess I would call the styling of the Subaru Impreza “functional”, and the car was admired wherever I parked it all week. The ten-spoke gray 17″ alloy wheels were high toned as well as the luggage rack, one-bar grill, and lower side panel fascia. The Impreza isn’t Subaru’s best selling vehicle, what with the super-popular Foresters, Outbacks, and Crosstreks parked at their dealerships and for sale, but it does have a loyal following and an admirer in the person of this reviewer.