Posts Tagged ‘impreza’

Subaru Impreza Gets Moderate Facelift for 2015MY

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 26th, 2014

2015 Subaru Impreza sedan

With the end of 2014 in sight, automakers are starting to make introductions for their 2015 models. For Subaru, they’ve made a number of changes to their conventional Impreza five-door sedan/hatchback both inside and out. As you continue reading, we’ll look at what’s new with the 2015 Subaru Impreza.

2015 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

Let’s start with the design. The exterior of the 2015 Impreza has received a minor facelift, mostly on the front end. You’ll notice a more refined mesh grille, a clean-cut front bumper with chrome accents and resculpted LEDs headlights. Subaru has also added new aerodynamic door mirrors and a slight rear spoiler. The more upscale Limited trims get a bit of extra chrome lovin’ for even more sports appeal.

2015 Subaru Impreza rear

Inside, you’ll find that the actual quality of materials hasn’t changed much, but that’s because the 2014 Impreza already had a great interior. Instead, the biggest improvement is the additional sound-deadening materials that Subaru has integrated into the cabin. There’s better insulation, thicker glass and tighter seals than ever before, giving this car one of the quietest rides in its class.

2015 Subaru Impreza interior

You’ll also enjoy a number of new tech. features in the 2015 Subaru Impreza across the entire range. The baseline model gets a standard 6.2 inch touch-screen multimedia system, while the Limited trims – which already had a touch-screen LCD – get an even better 7-inch screen. Finally, the entire instrument panel and center console have been updated… There’s even a new ECO gauge that helps drivers maintain optimal fuel consumption.

Additional tech. options that Subaru’s added to the Impreza range include:

  • Rear vision camera now standard on all trims
  • Cruise control now standard on all trims
  • One-touch lane change for the 2.0i Limited & Sport Limited
  • Safety features like EyeSight Driver Assist
  • Keyless Access and Push-Button Start for all trims, PIN code access on Limited trims

The only place that hasn’t been touched is under the hood. At all standard trims (ie. not including WRX), the 2015 Subaru Impreza will only be available with the same 2.0L boxer engine that sits in the 2014 model. That means 148hp with a stated fuel economy of 28mpg city, 37mpg highway and 31mpg combined. However, Subaru has improved their lightweight Lineartronic CVT, which is now standard on the Premium and Limited trims. The biggest mechanical change for the 2015 model year is a quicker ratio for the electric power steering, which should yield a slightly more responsive ride.

You can expect the 2015 Subaru Impreza to hit dealership floors in November.

Subaru WRX Teased Ahead of its 2013 LA Motor Show Debut

Posted by Stephen On Friday, November 15th, 2013

As you may know, the next-gen 2015 Subaru WRX is scheduled to debut at the 2013 LA Motor Show next Friday. Ever since the refreshingly aggressive Subaru WRX Concept from this year’s New York Auto Show, we and the rest of the automotive blog-o-sphere have held high hopes for the production model’s aesthetic.

For reference, this is the Subaru WRX Concept we saw earlier this year:

Subaru WRX Concept

However, our hopes were shaken a couple months ago when we found a disturbing story in which an unknown car made a television appearance on a Japanese news show showcasing Subaru’s new EyeSight technologies. The car looked very much like an Impreza with a hood scoop, but Subaru gave no name for the car on TV. This is what it looked like:

Subaru WRX prototype

That’s where we’re at coming into today’s story; we’re eager to see the new Subaru WRX production model, but we’re also nervous that it will share previous generations’ Impreza-ness. Especially because Subaru has specifically said that’s what they’re trying to avoid.

Fortunately, Subaru eased our fears earlier this week when it released an official front-clip-only teaser for the upcoming 2015 Subaru WRX, which is pictured below:

Subaru WRX

As you can see, the rendering looks muscular and sleek. Distinct body lines, an aggressive grille, a squared-off bumper, the signature hood scoop and new LED headlights all lead us to believe that Subaru has successfully translated the initial WRX Concept into an appealing WRX production model. If anything, it looks as if the upcoming Subie has even more musculature in production than it did in concept, which would be a rare feat.

But then, these front-and-back images were leaked online…

Subaru WRX front

Subaru WRX rear

And like a splash of ice-cold water, we were snapped back to reality. The Subaru WRX Concept was too much to hope for. The digital teaser was too much to hope for. It was all too much too hope for.

As you can see, the rear image in particular looks almost exactly like a regular Subaru Impreza. If not for the sculpted fenders and the slight rear spoiler, you wouldn’t notice a difference between the Impreza and the pictured WRX without extensive inspection.

There’s no doubt that the 2015 Subaru WRX will be significantly more attractive than its predecessors, but in the clear light of day, it simply doesn’t live up to our (admittedly) high hopes.

Fortunately, all hope is still not lost. As said earlier, these are unofficial, leaked images, which may mean they’re fake. Subaru has not released any confirmed teasers beyond the original front-clip-only image. So, if these are fake renderings, it would make sense for the rear shot to be unimpressive since Subaru’s official teaser only details the front half of the vehicle. Plus, even if they’re real, we can still hold out hope that the Subaru WRX STi will be more impressive; we should hopefully find out for sure at the beginning of next year.

Ultimately, it’s fully possible that we’re being too pessimistic. So, if you’re a Subaru fan, don’t let our cynicism ruin your excitement for the LA Motor Show’s WRX debut! The car will undoubtedly look better in the metal than in any rendering. Plus, there’s more to a car than mere design, and we’re sure that the 2015 Subaru WRX will be even more responsive and fun-to-drive than its well-loved Impreza WRX predecessors. Either way, we’ll find out for sure next week when the car officially debuts.

Until then, thanks for reading!

Japan Car Auction Finds: Subaru Impreza XV Hybrid

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

To give you an idea of just how quickly newly launched models start appearing at the auctions, check this out: It wasn’t but a few weeks back that we posted here about Subaru’s first hybrid car, the Crosstrek XV Hybrid.

Inside Japan, this car is known as the Impreza XV Hybrid, and here is a grade S (brand new) one with just 10KM on the clock at auction in Japan on Thursday. Yes, the auctions in Japan are a great source for any kinds of cars ancient to brand new. Just what you would expect considering that 7.2 million used vehicles passed through the auctions in 2012.

Here’s the link to see this car in our online system —

Impreza XV Hybrid Front

Impreza XV Hybrid Rear

Subaru XV Crosstrek 2013 Named As A Top Safety Pick

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Great news for all Subaru lovers: the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek achieved top marks for crash safety in all of the applicable tests. These tests were recently completed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but they did not include the new small overlap front crash test.

Actually, this designation is not entirely surprising, considering the fact that the Subaru Impreza was also a top safety pick. The Crosstrek is a virtual twin to the Impreza, although it does have an additional three inches of ground clearance.

How The IIHS Operates

This is a non-profit and independent US organization which conducts safety tests on every type of vehicle imaginable. They are looking to help promote the reduction of injuries and deaths from car accidents. As a scientific and educational group, funding is provided by a number of auto insurance companies. The IIHS releases information on a number of topics, including vehicle and motorcycle safety, air bags and driving tips.

The results of each test are listed from “bad” to “good” and can vary among a number of ratings. They also analyze a number of safety factors for passengers as well as drivers. They even also issue rating for child car booster seats.

Types Of Testing

Perhaps the most important type of testing carried out by the IIHS is the frontal offset impact crash test. The reason for this is that only about 40% of the vehicle’s front is exposed. This not only shows the structural integrity of a car better than exposing the full front, it is much more realistic. Most actual accidents involve a frontal offset type of crash.

The side impact test is also very demanding. This test actually simulates the impact of an SUV crashing into the side of a passenger vehicle. This tests not only the structural integrity of a vehicle, but also how effective side airbag systems may be. The IIHS actually has a series of nine different areas within the side impact category, providing ratings of:

  • Good
  • Acceptable
  • Marginal
  • Poor

Finding a vehicle, such as the Subaru XV Crosstrek, which performs highly in all areas is pretty rare, indeed. Any vehicle which is able to obtain a good overall rating in these tests is one which a consumer should definitely feel not only safe, but proud to drive. Such is the case with the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek.

Japanese Cars Earning Top Safety Picks Once Again

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, October 6th, 2012

The US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave a big thumbs up to four new cars this week, adding them to their elite Top Safety Pick list. Three out of four of the coveted spots went to Japanese car makers whose resurgence amongst the rebuilding efforts after the earthquake and Tsunami last year are backed by strong sales of award-winning cars. With sales up across the board almost completely, this latest news shows that not only are Japanese automakers at the front of the design game, but are also fast becoming the standards of safety.

Lexus and Subaru Get Top Safety Pick Awards

With the Top Safety pick list now consisting of 131 models, the latest additions to the ranks of safest cars on the highway include the Lexus ES and the Subaru XV Crosstrek. These three cars all achieved top marks across the boards in crash safety making them all models to keep an eye on for a jump in sales.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has yet to begin large-scale tests with the brand new small overlap front crash test, so none of these four cars were subjected to this latest trial, but it is expected that they will pass as shown by their early admittance to the list.

A Bolster For Small Cars

The results of the testing shows quite clearly that leaps and bounds have been made in the industry to improve the overall crash safety ratings of small cars. While smaller cars have traditionally been thought of as more unsafe during a crash, advancements in technology and new physics studies during safety measures have shown that this is no longer the case.

This bodes well for many Japanese automakers, especially for Subaru who has made it to the list for only the second time (the Impreza WRX) showing that their new line and direction is going to be a lucrative one. With 31 compact cars now on the Top Safety list, it’s clear that the era of the compact car is here.

Further, both versions of the Lexus ES (Lexus ES 300h and Lexus ES 350) made it to the list showing that both hybrid and non-hybrid versions of cars are being given equal consideration, something that was not always the case in the past.

All in all, it looks to be a telling sign of the times as Japanese car makers like Subaru and Lexus are all set to reap the rewards of a safety-conscious industry. Expect them to keep reaping these rewards as sales bolstered by consumer confidence rise over the next few quarters.

New Impreza Sales Exceed Target by 2.8 Times

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Subaru stated April 3rd that sales of the new Subaru Impreza have exceeded projections by 2.8 times since it was announced November 30th, 2011. Despite a sales target of 2,200 units a month, the new Impreza has managed to shift 8,800 units per month over the last four months.

Now regular readers will recall that I have my suspicions about the regularity with which new model sales exceed makers’ expectations — conveniently generating positive headlines like this one. So who knows… maybe the new Impreza is a genuine success, or perhaps this is all just a marketing con.

Anyway the breakdown of the popularity of different models and options is interesting:

  • 74.7% of customers choose the Sport (5-door hatchback), with only 25.3% choosing the G4 (4-door sedan)
  • The most popular model is the 1.6-L (29.6%), followed by the 2.0i EyeSight (at 21.5%) and 2.0i-S EyeSight (at 20.1%)
  • Being Subarus, most buyers (62.2%) opt for 4W.

“EyeSight” is Subaru’s proprietary pre-crash safety system that is also offered on the Legacy in Japan. This EyeSight feature is one of the main attractions driving sales for this new Impreza. Other draws for customers according to Subaru are the way the car drives, and the interior and exterior styling.

Sources: (Japanese-language)

Subaru Teases With New Impreza Sport / Impreza G4 Site

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Subaru Japan has set up a new website to give a tantalizing glimpse of the all-new Impreza model that will have its official unveiling on November 30th in Japan.

The new Impreza will comprise two models: The 5-door hatchback Impreza Sport, and the 4-door sedan Impreza G4 (G=genuine, 4 =  four door).

And… errmm… that’s it! Apart from some marketing guff there is really nothing more of interest here.

I guess this is why they call it a teaser. Click on the images below to see more details.

Subaru Impreza Sport teaser

Subaru Impreza G4 teaser

Sources: Subaru, MyCom (both Japanese)

Subaru Impreza WRX A-Line Helps People With A Disability and a Need For Speed

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Don’t let your disability stop you. That is Subaru’s message to disabled drivers who are fed up with the normal selection of minivans and boring sedans. Revealed at staidly-titled 38th Home Car and Rehabilitation Exhibition at Tokyo’s Big Sight, Subaru’s Impreza WRX A-Line for disabled drivers demonstrates how this major manufacturer wants to change the perception that disabled drivers should have practical, but somewhat boring, cars.

That is not to say that the Impreza WRX is not practical, but with a 300PS, 350 NM turbocharged engine driving all four wheels, it will surely blow the competition away. The A-Line may have an automatic gearbox and 5 horses less than its brethren, but it should still be able to hit 60 in just a little over 5 seconds. There is no information on how the modifications have influenced this performance. Needless to say, this is a fast car.

The modifications are all provided by Fujiauto, so they are available as dealer options in Japan, rather than aftermarket custom modifications. The driver uses a lever mounted to the left of the steering wheel to operate the brake and accelerator, which allows the car to be driven by people who do not have the use of their legs. Similar to the yoke in a plane, pulling back on the lever results in acceleration, and pushing forward will cause the car to brake. The gear shift (red button switch) and indicator buttons (black) are also found on this lever, so that everything apart from the steering is done with the left hand. The white button in the photo allows the driver to lock the brakes to prevent the car from rolling back when moving off on a steep hill.

The upgrade costs 205,000 Yen on top of the price of the vehicle itself (a 3.885 million Yen  fully-speced car in this case), but buyers in Japan are eligible for various tax breaks which can bring down the price slightly. If you have the money for a car of this price, then the cost of the upgrade to have a very cool set of wheels is surely worth it.

Source: Response (Japanese)