ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0 Premium
Published on Mon, Apr 27, 2015
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
No, they’re not all high. Long before Colorado legalized marijuana, Subaru has been the most popular car in that state (for that matter, also in Maine, Washington, and Connecticut). The entire line has all-wheel drive, and the quality and reliability of its products are well-known. Harvey Schwartz reviews one of the most popular of this popular line, the 2015 Imprea 2.0 Premium.
Story and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
There is a lot to like about the newly revised 2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0, a premium, compact four-door sedan—especially for active people. The Impreza joins the Legacy, Outback, and Forester models by offering the brand’s innovative EyeSign Driver Assist Technology, which features Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning (our test vehicle had all these options). Furthermore, the new Impreza offers improved fuel economy with EPA ratings of 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, with the Lineartronic CVT AWD transmission. After a seven-day, 430 mile test-drive, the trip computer showed 34.7 mpg in combined city and highway driving. That figure is extraordinary for a roomy four-door sedan with four-wheel drive.
The new exterior styling gives the Impreza Premium a bolder look, and includes a new front bumper, grille headlights and foglamps that connect more closely with the 2015 Legacy. The new remote-controlled/heated/signal repeater sideview mirrors increase aerodynamics as does the low-profile trunk spoiler on the four-door models. The interior is quieter, thanks to additional sound deadening and thicker side glass windows with improved sealing. From the side you see steeply raked windshield A-pillars, chrome pull-out door handles, scalloped doors, lower side extensions and a tapering roof line to the high-mounted trunk lid. The rear wraparound lamp clusters make it easier for other traffic to see the vehicle from behind.
Power to quickly move the new Impreza comes from a fabulous 2.0 liter four-cylinder, all-aluminum BOXER engine that produces 148 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 145 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. The long-stroke configuration emphasizes low and mid-range torque. The camshafts are chain driven reducing long-term servicing. Dual Active Valve Control system (AVCS) variable valve timing optimizes torque performance and lowers emissions. Making driving the new Impreza Premium more fun is the lighter, more compact second-generation version of the Lineartronic CVT that features a six-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters that control the gears in the transmission. I can feel the difference when downshifting the CVT, and can also see the drop in RPM when upshifting the paddle shifters. I’ve tested several CVT vehicles that let me shift from 1st to 6th with little change in my speed, but the Impreza only allowed me to shift into a higher gear when I reached a certain speed—just like a real six-speed paddle shifting transmission.
Making the ride more composed with increased handling and grip is the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. When equipped with the Lineartronic CVT, the Impreza uses Active Torque Split AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls power distribution in response to inputs, driving conditions, and wheel slippage. Launch is brisk and attacking curving roads is more fun with this AWD system. Enhancing the handling capability is the new quick-ratio electric power assisted steering that is nicely weighed and reacts instantly to my inputs at the wheel.
The suspension system gives the new Impreza a sportier yet smooth ride. Up front is a MacPherson strut setup with lower L arms, coil springs and a stabilizer bar. The rear is a double-wishbone setup with coil springs, gas-charged shocks and a stabilizer bar. Combined with the AWD system this fully independent suspension system gives me the confidence to go a little faster when traversing curving roads and it remains very stable driving at high speeds on the highways. The standard 17X7 inch alloy wheels are wrapped with Yokohama 205/50R 17 inch tires, giving me even more confidence when driving fast and when traveling over poorly paved roads.
Quickly slowing the new Impreza down from speed are powerful power-assisted steel disc brakes all around. Up front are 10.9 inch vented discs with dual-piston calipers and 10.8 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers. My direction during severe braking is enhanced utilizing the standard ABS, BA, EBD, Vehicle Dynamics Control and the All-Wheel/All-Speed Traction Control. I always felt safe and confident when behind the wheel whether driving around slower city traffic, merging into fast moving highway traffic, or when passing slower vehicles on the highway.
The updated cabin is well-appointed, ergonomic, and roomier than the predecessors. Built on a 104.1 inch wheelbase, the Impreza offers one of the roomiest cabins in its segment. Rear seat passengers have 35.4 inches of legroom. The rear bench seat is 60/40 split-folding, expanding the already large trunk volume. Each door opens almost 90-degrees for easy entry and exit, plus there are grab handles above each. The instrument cluster is easy to see and understand. On the center of the dashboard shelf is 3-position readout for time/temperature and the trip computer. All buttons, switches and dials are easy to reach. Liquid (hydraulic) engine mounts on CVT models help to dampen vibration for a smoother, more comfortable ride.
The new Impreza Premium is a pleasure to drive. It best combines bold new looks, a unique and powerful 4-cylinder engine that pulls hard yet returns exemplary mpg’s, is fun and easy to drive and maneuver around town or on the open highway, all the while sitting in a comfortable, ergonomic, well-connected and safe cabin. Few competitors in this growing segment can offer so much.
© Story and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
Name of vehicle:
2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0 Premium
$25,885.00 (as tested including $795.00 destination charges)
EPA fuel economy rating:
28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway
2.0 liter four-cylinder, all-aluminum BOXER engine
148 @ 6,200 rpm
145 pound-feet @ 4,200 rpm
Steering: Power-assisted rack and pinion Drive configuration: All-wheel drive Suspension Front: Independent MacPherson strut with lower L arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar Rear: Independent Double-wishbone, coil springs, gas-charged shocks and stabilizer bar Brakes 10.9 inch vented discs with dual-piston calipers in front and 10.8 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in rear, with ABS, BA, EBD, Vehicle Dynamics Control and All-Wheel/All-Speed Traction Control Wheels and tires: 17X7 inch alloy wheels and 205/50R 17 all-season Yokohama tires Dimensions Length: 180.5 inches Width: 68.5 inches Height: 55.7 inches Curb weight: 2,955 pounds For more information about Subaru products, go to subaru.com