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  • 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium

    Four-door wagon raises the bar for active lifestyles

    By Nina Russin

    2017 Subaru Wagon

    2017 Subaru Wagon

    If you’re an endurance athlete looking for an affordable vehicle with good fuel economy that can haul your gear, clear snow and travel the trails, you owe it to yourself to consider Subaru’s newest Impreza four-door wagon. Priced from $18,395, the all-wheel drive Impreza builds on the outgoing model’s off-road capabilities, adding a more powerful engine, more spacious and quiet interior.

    Our test car is the mid-grade Premium equipped with a naturally-aspirated two-liter engine and continuously variable automatic transmission. Standard features include heated front seats, exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, Bluetooth interface, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Aha, Pandora, Starlink connected services and roof rails.

    An EyeSight active safety package adds adaptive cruise control, autonomous pre-collision braking, lane departure alert, blind spot detection and cross traffic alert. Other options include a power moonroof and steering responsive fog lamps that swivel in the direction of steering input. Final MSRP is $24,910. Read the rest of this entry »

  • 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium

    Five-passenger wagon appeals to athletes on a budget

    By Nina Russin

    2012 Subaru Impreza

    Of all the products in Subaru’s model lineup, the Impreza wears the most hats, ranging from the fuel-efficient wagon which won our Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year award last year in the best value category, to the WRX STi, which dominates the World Rally Cup circuit. Subaru’s talent, and the secret to the company’s success, is its ability to develop loyal followings in niche markets.

    Subaru owners are almost religious in their love for their automobiles, because they seem to meet their needs in uncanny fashion. For example, the newest Impreza wagon features standard all-wheel drive and 36 mile-per-gallon fuel economy. Since all-wheel drive decreases gas mileage, it’s amazing that engineers boosted EPA figures by thirty percent compared to the outgoing model.

    Increasing the gas mileage for the fourth generation Impreza didn’t involve any particularly innovative technology. It was more a matter of being thrifty and paying attention to details. A new two-liter engine replaces the 2.5-liter block in the outgoing models. The new engine is lighter, with variable valve timing which improves its efficiency.

    Other weight-saving measures include replacing the hydraulic steering pump with an electric one, reducing the size of the fuel tank and using more high-strength steel in the chassis. Depending on the model, the new car weighs up to 165 pounds less than the one it replaces. Low rolling resistance tires and a continuously variable automatic transmission also boost gas mileage.

    Designers made the interior more spacious by pushing the wheels to the corners, lengthening the wheelbase. They added text messaging, Bluetooth streaming audio and XM real-time weather and traffic updates to the list of available options, giving owners the ability to stay connected on the road. Read the rest of this entry »