Impreza had such a fantastic makeover last year that not much needed to change for 2013. Its strongest selling point is that every model, regardless of trim comes with standard all-wheel drive. This is ideal for anyone living somewhere that experiences a lot of snow or rain. Every 2013 Subaru Impreza is powered by a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but a continuously variable automatic transmission is available. This fuel-efficient engine offers 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Although it does take 9.6 seconds to reach 60 mph, when you factor in the weight added to the vehicle by the all-wheel drive system, it is understandable why it is a little slow. Equipped with the continuously variable transmission, fuel economy is 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. The numbers drop slightly with the manual transmission. Ride quality is fantastic. Impreza is composed and confident on the road, and offers responsive steering and secure handling. The biggest flaw comes from the continuously variable transmission, which can be a little noisy due to a touchy throttle. It also has a tendency to unnecessarily increase engine speed.
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• Audio - The audio systems in Impreza are disappointing to say the least. The standard four-speaker system does come with a CD player, auxiliary input jack, and iPod connectivity, but sound quality is poor. Even the upgraded six-speaker system is nothing to get excited over.
• Navigation - A navigation system is available as part of a package that includes a touchscreen infotainment interface. Unfortunately, the touchscreen tends to be a little finicky and some features are locked while driving, even if you have a passenger working the controls.
• Rearview Camera - An optional rearview camera allows you to see what is behind you when the vehicle is put in reverse.
The 2013 Subaru Impreza was built with safety in mind. It was awarded top safety scores by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in roof, front, and side-impact protection. Also, when braking was put to the test, the Premium trim took only 123 feet to stop from 60 mph, which falls in line with others in this class. A few of the many safety features to appreciate include:
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Child seat anchors
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Emergency braking assist
• Stability control
• Rear door safety locks
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Rear-center three-point belt
• Perimeter alarm shock sensor
• Antitheft alarm
• Emergency interior trunk release
• Daytime running lamps
• Traction control
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
The exterior styling is simple yet elegant. It is available as a hatchback or sedan and comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, but 16 and 17-inch alloy ones are available. It offers graceful lines and wraparound tail lamps, as well as integrated front fog lights on higher trims. One of the coolest things about Impreza is that you can customize and literally turn it into quite a sporty looking car with the vast number of exterior options. There are a variety of spoilers, body side molding kits, splashguards, corner moldings, and grilles to choose from.
Although the cabin is practical, some buyers may be turned off by conservative styling. There is nothing really exciting about the interior, even on the higher trims. That being said, you could not ask for a better layout on the dash. The gauges are easy to read and controls are readily at your fingertips. As for comfort and space, Impreza more than satisfies. Both rows offer plenty of leg and headroom and the front seats are quite comfortable.
There is a generous amount of cargo space to appreciate in the 2013 Subaru Impreza. The trunk offers 12 cubic feet in the sedan, but an impressive 22.5 cubes in the hatchback.