The Impreza, which has been manufactured by Subaru since 1992, has always been a solid compact car, whether as a sedan or a hatchback. However, a higher-than-usual price and lack of brand awareness meant that the Impreza was always at the bottom of the list of choices for customers. However, sales have increased over the years, and Impreza is finally being considered worthy competition. The second and third generation that began in 2000 and 2007 respectively made a lot of improvements, and the introduction of the very capable WRX Impreza made a big difference in the popularity of the car.
The fourth generation of the Impreza was introduced at the 2011 New York Auto Show, and it went into product later that year. One of the most distinctive features of the car continues to be offered this year as well, which is its all-wheel drive powertrain. It competes head to head with a lot of great cars and still stands tall, and there are some good reasons why.
New For 2013
Subaru upgraded the audio for base 2.0i cars to include Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, iPod control, a USB port, and a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack. Steering-wheel audio and Bluetooth controls are now standard. Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium cars now feature leather-wrapped steering wheels and shifters. All 2.0i models with the optional navigation system now have rearview cameras.
The previous generation of the Subaru Impreza brought about a major change in the car’s exterior styling, making it a lot sleeker and aggressive. The fourth generation that started a couple of years ago does not make many drastic changes from this design. The exterior of the car looks more toned down and mature, but it is still an exciting and aggressive design. Subaru’s new hexagonal grille forms part of the front end, along with the nicely sculpted headlights. The A-pillars have been moved a few inches forward, which puts the windshield at a lower angle and gives the car a faster profile. The car has 15-inch wheels as standard, but 16-inch and 17-inch alloys are available as options, along with fog lights and a power moonroof. The Impreza also gets a windshield wiper de-icer, power side mirrors, and heated side mirrors.
Interior & Cargo
The interior of the 2013 Subaru Impreza has a pretty standard design; there is nothing that really stands out in the car that can attract attention. This can be a turnoff for some customers who want a more stylish cabin with a bit of character, but most people would not mind it. The overall quality of the interior is quite good with high-quality materials used around the cabin. The door sills and dash have been designed quite well with solid, tight panel gaps and soft-touch materials. The front and rear seats are comfortable and provide some support too.
In terms of space, the rear seat is one of the best in the segment. Headroom and legroom are plenty for the front and rear, and so is cargo room at the rear. The sedan offers 12 cubic feet of space while the hatchback offers 22.5 cubic feet, plus more with the rear seats folded down. On the downside, the stereo system in the 2013 Subaru Impreza is quite bad. The quality of audio is not as good as the competition, and one more complaint about the car is its touchscreen interface. The interface has clearly improved a lot from earlier versions, but it still too small and confusing when compared to the infotainment systems available in other cars. The buttons are small and finicky, and it is difficult to control even basic audio functions when driving.
The 2013 Subaru Impreza has anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, driver knee airbags, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags as standard. With 17-inch wheels, the car has a stopping distance of 123 feet from 60 miles per hour, which is average for its class. The NHTSA gave the car a four-star rating for frontal crash safety and side impact safety.
A horizontally opposed, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine delivers 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque to the 2013 Subaru Impreza. California emission states get a slightly tweaked engine that has a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) certificate. The engine is connected to a five-speed, manual transmission as standard, but a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available as an option. With the manual gearbox, the all-wheel drive has a 50/50 ratio of power distribution to the front and rear wheels. With the CVT, the power distribution has a front wheel bias with rearward power distribution when the extra traction is needed. The CVT setup allows the Impreza to go from standstill to 60 miles per hour in 9.6 seconds, which is slow for its class but expected considering the weight of the all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is also lower than average but great for an all-wheel drive car at around 25/34 mpg city/highway.
The 2.0-liter engine clearly offers poor acceleration. It is one of the slowest in its class, but it is also one of the most stable. The car holds steady on rain and snow, and it offers secure and firm handling over substandard roads. The steering feels firm and gives the driver confidence in driving over rough patches. This is all due to the amazing all-wheel drive system, which stabilizes the car and keeps the car firm to the ground at all times. The CVT is a great addition, but its throttle response is a little too sensitive, giving the car sudden jolts forward unnecessarily.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Subaru Impreza
- Chevrolet Cruze
- Ford Focus
- Honda Civic
- Mazda 3