Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium

12 Oct 2009 | 1,478 views | No Comment
SPECIFICATIONS Model: Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium Engine: 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four Horsepower/Torque: 170 hp @ 6100 rpm/170 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm Transmission: 4-speed automatic with Sport Shift ($1,000 option) Wheelbase: 103.1 in. Length/Width/Height: 180.3 x 68.5 x 58.1 in. Tires: P205/55 R16 Cargo volume: 11.3 cu. ft. Fuel economy: 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway/23.4 mpg test Fuel capacity: 16.9 gal. Sticker: $21,939 (includes $695 destination and delivery and $3,249 in options) The Bottom Line: The Impreza is a good package with a lot of features (like all-wheel drive) that make it attractive in the Northeast. However, it's not a great package and has several flaws that made me happy to wave goodbye when it left my driveway. A definite hazard in this job is getting behind the wheel of an ordinary car (and that's not meant as a disrespectful term) after spending a week behind the wheel of an extraordinary car. And when the price of the ordinary car is about one-third of the price of the extraordinary car, that adds to the confusion. I think I've been pretty fair when this kind of a switch occurs. It may take a day or two, but I eventually learn to "forget" the previous car and concentrate on the one at hand, or foot. The Subaru Impreza is one of the "ordinary" cars that was on the wrong end of one of these comparisons. I had been asking for a "normal" Impreza for a long time, and all I seemed to get was the Rally Sport versions or the ones with turbochargers and spoilers that are definitely not aimed at my age demographic. But Subarus are so pervasive in the Northeast that I had to drive the kind of car normal people drive. While the Impreza is a good car, I was definitely underwhelmed. For one, the 2.5-liter horizontally opposed "boxer" engine is noisy, even when cruising. I expect some sort of banging and clanging from a four when I'm accelerating, but this one made noise all the time. What made the situation worse was that the engine is relatively low on power, so you're constantly climbin g up the rev range to milk more power out of the engine, and therefore creating more noise. The engine drives all the wheels through a 4-speed automatic transmission to Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and then the wheels and the ground. The transmission has a SportShift manual mode to it ($1,000 option), but by the time I realized I had it (or remembered I had it) I had usually taken the option of tromping on the accelerator rather than downshift. Handling was decent, but again not great. On my favorite winding hillclimb the Impreza didn't lean, but also didn't give me the impression that it wanted to attack the curves. Basically the handling was good for a small sedan. The front seats were comfortable and offered decent side support. However, since this is a sedan and not a sports car, "decent" side support is about all you need. The rear=2 0seats are good and have acceptable leg room for two passengers. Behind the rear seats is a good trunk of 112.3 cubic feet. Our tester had two cargo nets to organize grocery bags, one in the front of the trunk an done in the back by the rear seat backs. Those seat backs fold easily to increase cargo capacity. There are two cupholders in the center console, and one in each of the four doors. The door pulls have bottoms to create a convenient cell phone holder. Instruments include a tachometer and speedometer flanking a fuel gauge in the main instrument panel. These are white-on-black by day and orange at night. At the top center of the dash are an outside temperature readout, economy readout and digital clock. While the HVAC system cooled the car well on hot days, it also warmed us on chilly nights. The audio system left much to be desired. The radio couldn't pull in the Philadelphia stations I like. There is an AUX input in the center console that I used for my iPod when I couldn't listen to Philly. There's a smart steering wheel with audio and cruise control switches. I wasn't totally impressed by the Impreza. It has a lot to offer, but the noisy engine and lack of anything substantial to recommend it other than All-Wheel Drive made it a less-tha-perfect week. © 2009 The Auto Page Syndicate

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