2015 Subaru Impreza Quite Impressive (A Review)
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
The 2015 Subaru Impreza was one of the fastest selling car models in January, moving out of dealer showrooms in a mere sixteen days.
Why? Well one thing is for sure. That’s the fact that Subaru has built its reputation and brand on all-wheel-drive (AWD). The Subaru Impreza is just about your only choice in a moderate-priced compact sedan if you want all-wheel-drive.
Winter is really wintery in a very wide swath across the U.S. Whatever has happened with our climate has strengthened the demand for Subaru beyond its typical New England stronghold to all across the country. The sure-footedness and confidence of all-wheel-drive pays off not only on snow covered roads but also in rainy, hilly and twisty-windy driving conditions.
With AWD standard on all models, and a starting price well below $20,000, the Subaru Impreza is the lowest-priced AWD car you can buy.
The 2015 Impreza is available with the EyeSight front crash prevention system. In IIHS track tests of an Impreza equipped with the technology, the system avoided collisions at both 12 and 25 mph, earning a superior rating. The system also includes a warning feature to try to prompt the driver to respond before the automatic braking is initiated.
The 2015 Impreza features revised front styling with a new front bumper, grille and headlights. New exterior mirrors enhance aerodynamics, as does a low-profile trunk spoiler on 4-door models. The sedans also feature LEDs for the center high mounted stop lamp.
Available as a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback, the Impreza is offered in base, Premium and Limited trims. On the 5-door there is also a Sport Premium and Sport Limited trim choice.
The 2015 Impreza has the best EPA test fuel economy ratings of any gasoline all-wheel drive passenger car in America with ratings of 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway for a 31 mpg combined rating, or 3.2 gallons per 100 miles. That’s for the CVT-equipped model. Five-speed manual transmission models are EPA test rated at 25 city mpg, 34 highway mpg for a combined test rating of 28 mpg.
Impreza sedan pricing begins at $18,195. Impreza 5-door model pricing starts at $18,695.
EyeSight uses Subaru’s stereo camera technology that is mounted inside the car on the upper edge of the windshield. The EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify vehicles traveling in front, brake lights, obstacles, pedestrians and traffic lanes. It can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid a collision. Under certain circumstances, Eyesight is able to bring the car to a complete stop. The system functions with speed differentials up to 30 mph.
In my drives with the Impreza I was continuously trying to bring the system into function. Quite frankly though, I wasn’t at all interested to ram another car in the rear. I gained confidence to not begin early-braking when coming up on vehicles stopped at a red light. In the end, I really needed to be on a test track and approach a soft object to truly try out the system.
The Limited includes an all-weather package that provides heated front seats—wonderful to have in a cold winter. A rear view camera is standard on all Subaru's and a feature that is very helpful in big-city tight parking maneuvers.
Considering the high volume of Impreza sales in wintery parts of the country, I would have liked to have a heated steering wheel. Perhaps we’ll see this as some future product improvement.
I was pleasantly surprised with the overall quietness of the Impreza. The new 6.2-inch touch-screen multimedia system with its touch screen display was easy to use.
Kelley Blue Book (KBB) awarded the 2015 Subaru Impreza a Best Resale Value Award in the Compact Car Category. And, Subaru won the 2015 KBB 5-Year Cost to Own Award for the Brand category. These awards are based on Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own data for new cars for the initial five-year ownership period.
Subaru closed out 2014 with 513,693 sales, the first year it ever did over a half-million in the U.S. They have had six consecutive years of sales growth and it looks like they will keep growing, in the near term anyway. In January 2015, Subaru recorded a 24 percent sales increase over January 2014.
Subaru is in the moment finding more and more “Subarians” across the United States. With a recent nineteen inch snowfall in Chicago and the huge amount of snow in Boston, I can see why.
© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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