2014 Impreza New Car Test Drive
The Subaru Impreza is dashing and stylish and inexpensive to operate. Its rigid structure, low-mounted boxer four-cylinder engine and on-demand all-wheel drive follow faithfully in the Subaru tradition. Indeed, this fourth-generation Impreza boasts all-weather capability and premium-brand engineering. Yet it's wrapped in well-styled good looks and features frugal fuel economy.
All Imprezas are powered by a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which delivers a 36 mpg Highway/27 mpg City on the EPA cycle, making the Impreza is the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive car in America. In fact, Impreza rivals some of the best front-wheel-drive compacts for fuel efficiency.
Impreza comes in four- and five-door models, the latter offering wagon-like utility and nice proportions.
Changes since this fourth-generation model was launched as a 2012 model have been confined to equipment upgrades. Bluetooth and iPod capability became standard on all models for 2013, and a rear-vision camera was added to the optional navigation system. 2014 Impreza Limited models come with the rearview camera. Aha infotainment smartphone integration is included with navigation; and all 2014 Imprezas ride more quietly thanks to increased sound insulation.
Additionally, the 2014 Subaru Impreza has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating. And the Impreza is designated a Partial-Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) in all 50 states.
Subaru has long established itself as a builder of rugged small cars. According to the company, 95 percent of Subarus sold in the past 10 years are still on the road. In addition, the Impreza delivers efficiency, value and appeal.
The 2014 Subaru Impreza 2.0i comes in sedan and 5-door models, and in five trim levels, all with a 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve flat-opposed four-cylinder engine. At the base level the standard transmission is a 5-speed manual. A CVT (continuously variable transmission), which drives like an automatic, is included in some trim levels. (All prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
The Impreza 2.0i sedan ($17,895) comes with cloth upholstery; air conditioning with air filtration; height-adjustable driver's seat; 60/40 fold-down rear seats; four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio with radio data system, iPod connectivity, USB port and 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming; two 12V outlets; power door locks; power mirrors; power windows with driver's auto up/down; rear window defroster; rear-seat heater ducts; remote fuel door release; tilt/telescope steering wheel; dual overhead map lights; dual visor vanity lights; ECO fuel-economy gauge; automatic-off headlights; trunk light; variable intermittent wipers; 15-inch steel wheels with 195/65 R15 all-season tires; green tinted glass; and roof-mounted antenna. The 2.0i 5-door ($18,395) includes all the above plus cargo tie-down hooks, grocery-bag hooks, rear window wiper/washer, rear roof spoiler.
Impreza 2.0i Premium sedan ($19,795) and 5-door ($20,295) upgrade to 16×6.5-inch alloy wheels, 205/55 R16 all-season tires, six-speaker audio, body-color exterior mirrors, adjustable center armrest, chrome interior door handles, cruise control with steering wheel switches, illuminated ignition switch, rear stabilizer bar, and cargo cover (5-door). CVT models add a six-speed manual mode controlled by paddle shifters.
An All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer) is standard with the 5-speed transmission but optional ($500) with the CVT. The all-weather equipment can also be packaged with 17-inch wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and a moonroof ($2,000). Or you can bundle the rims and leather bits with navigation ($2,300), which includes a 6.1-inch LCD screen, voice activation, SiriusXM satellite radio and NavTraffic (subscription required), rear-view camera, and (new for 2014) Subaru's Aha smartphone integration.
Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium is available with the manual transmission ($20,795) or CVT ($21,795), but only in the 5-door body style. Sport Premium includes unique fabric upholstery, fog lights, black roof rails, body-color rocker spoilers, and 17×7 grey-finish alloy wheels shod with 205/50 R17 all-season tires. The All-Weather Package is included regardless of which transmission is ordered.
Impreza 2.0i Limited sedan ($22,195) and 5-door ($22,695) come standard with the CVT and upgrade to leather-trimmed upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, rear-seat armrest, 6-speaker premium audio with 4.3-inch display, the All-Weather Package, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, chrome exterior accents, and fog lights. New for 2014 is a rearview camera that uses the audio display screen. Limited deletes the Sport model's roof rails and rocker panel extensions, and rides on unique bright-finished 17-inch alloy wheels.
Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited ($23,195), strictly a 5-door with the CVT, combines all the interior luxury features of the Limited with the rugged exterior style of the Sport Premium.
Options for Limited and Sport Limited: moonroof ($1,000), and moonroof plus navigation ($2,100). Dealers, however, offer a long list of accessories for all models.
Safety features on all models include the mandated airbags plus a driver's knee airbag, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), VDC electronic stability control, TCS traction control, brake assist, brake override system, hill-hold start, all-wheel drive, mandated internal trunk lease, child-restraint anchorage system, mandated tire pressure monitor, whiplash-preventive front seats, 24-hour roadside assistance.