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Update: Subaru Impreza Review

The fourth-generation Subaru Impreza hatch and sedan have been launched in Australia today after months of production delays following last year’s Japanese tsunami.

Originally scheduled for late last year, the new Subaru Impreza lands in showrooms with the existing starting price of $23,990 (Impreza 2.0i six-speed manual hatch/sedan) but tops out at $31,490 (Impreza 2.0i-S Lineartronic™ CVT hatch/sedan), $1000 more than the outgoing Impreza RS four-speed automatic. The current third-generation WRX and STI variants will continue to sell alongside the new Impreza for the foreseeable future.

With the outgoing Impreza initially receiving a stream of criticism for its bland styling both inside and out, the main point of improvement for the new model has been exterior and interior design. Managing director of Subaru Australia, Nick Senior, said: “New Impreza will attract new customers to the brand with its focus on improved exterior styling and interior design.”

“Impreza sends the strongest possible message that Subaru’s new design direction is a winner on so many fronts, from technology to quality, comfort, efficiency and style. Combine those factors with Subaru’s all-wheel-drive DNA, safety, durability, engineering and retained value, and you can see that Subaru is firmly committed to growth combined with quality products.”

The base- and mid-range variants will be available with either a six-speed manual or a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the top of the range can only be had with CVT. One of the more noticeable new features is auto stop start, which turns the new Impreza’s engine off when idling in traffic (to save fuel) and restarts it within 0.35 seconds. It works by focusing on the actions of the brake pedal. When the vehicle is idling and the brake pedal is pressed and held, the engine will automatically stop. When the brake pedal is released, the engine will automatically start (it will take other factors such as air conditioning requirements into account as well). Similar systems have been implemented across European vehicles over the past few years.

Subaru will equip all CVT models with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters while a multi-function display will be standard across the range. All variants will make use of a new-generation 2.0-litre four-cylinder horizontally opposed boxer engine that produces 110kW of power and 196Nm of torque (exactly the same as the outgoing model). Unlike the previous model though, the new Impreza is now competitive on the fuel economy front.

Impreza buyers opting for a CVT transmission should see their fuel consumption hit around 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres (22 per cent better than the four-speed automatic), while manual drivers will see figures around 7.1 l/100 km (a 20 per cent improvement over the five-speed manual). Despite the additional equipment and new design, the new Impreza weighs just 5kg more than its predecessor in manual form and 25kg more in CVT. It also happens to see a 25 percent increase in bending stiffness.

On the safety front all Subaru Impreza models receive the maximum five-star ANCAP rating thanks to seven airbags (including driver’s knee airbag) and an array of active safety features. 2.0i-L and 2.0i-S variants also gain a reversing camera.

Subaru Impreza pricelist:

  • Impreza 2.0i six-speed manual $23,990
  • Impreza 2.0i Lineartronic CVT $26,490
  • Impreza 2.0i-L six-speed manual $26,990
  • Impreza 2.0i-L Lineartronic CVT $29,490
  • Impreza 2.0i-S Lineartronic CVT $31,490

OPTIONS:

  • Impreza 2.0i-L and 2.0i-S – Factory-fitted satellite navigation and electric sunroof +$3000
  • Impreza 2.0i-S – Factory-fitted satellite navigation, electric sunroof, leather trim and eight-way adjustable powered driver’s seat +$4000

Subaru Impreza 2.0i:

  • ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • All-Wheel Drive
  • Automatic transmission lock-out – need foot on brake, key in ignition “on” position, to release lever
  • Brake Assist
  • Child seat anchor points on back of rear seat (hatch)
  • Curtain airbags
  • Driver’s knee airbag
  • Dual front airbags
  • Dual side airbags
  • Four wheel disc brakes
  • Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. Double pretensioners on driver’s seatbelt
  • Front adjustable seatbelt anchors
  • Hill Start Assist – manual variants
  • Rear door child lock
  • Ring-shaped reinforced passenger cabin
  • Seatbelt indicator lights – front seats
  • Shock absorbing brake and clutch pedals
  • Side intrusion bars
  • Three-point A/ELR rear centre seatbelt
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control

Interior:

  • AM/FM tuner CD player, six speakers, iPod, Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Automatic climate control air conditioning
  • Bottle holders in front doors + two cup holders in centre console & rear armrest
  • Cargo area light
  • Cargo hooks
  • Cargo security blind (hatch)
  • Central locking – remote
  • Cruise control – steering wheel buttons
  • Driver’s footrest
  • Height and reach adjustable steering column
  • Height adjustable driver’s seat
  • Immobiliser security system
  • Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission option with paddle shift
  • Map lights (2)
  • Multi-Function Display
  • Power steering, mirrors and windows
  • Rear illumination instrument display
  • Remote fuel lid release – tethered fuel cap
  • Seatback pocket (front passenger side)
  • Six speed manual transmission option
  • Two remote central locking keys
  • Vanity mirror
  • 60/40 split/fold rear seat
  • 12V/120W power jacks (two)

Exterior

  • 16-inch steel wheels – space saver steel spare
  • Colour-coded mirrors and door handles
  • Rear roof spoiler with LED brake light – hatch
  • Rear roof mounted radio antenna
  • Rear wiper – hatch

Other features

  • Auto hatch unlock on key
  • DataDot security technology
  • Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
  • Auto Start Stop
  • Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty
  • 2.0 litre DOHC horizontally opposed boxer engine with dual AVCS. 110 kW/6200 rpm, 196 Nm/4200 rpm

Impreza 2.0i-L Adds:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual zone climate control air conditioning
  • Front fog lights
  • Leather trim steering wheel and gear knob
  • Premium Multi-Function Display with liquid crystal screen, information options and steering wheel control
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Rear view camera
  • Sliding front centre console armrest

Impreza 2.0i-S Adds (only available in CVT):

  • 17 – inch alloy wheels
  • Alloy pedals
  • Chrome-type exterior door handle insert
  • Chrome-type rear garnish (sedan)
  • Chrome rings around front fog lights
  • Side skirts
  • Upgraded seat upholstery and trim
  • Upgraded speedometer
  • Wing mirror mounted indicators



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