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2013 Subaru Impreza

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2013 Subaru Impreza Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.7

The 2013 Subaru Impreza is a versatile and fuel-efficient line of compact sedans and hatchbacks that have standard all-wheel drive for superior traction and starting prices under $20,000. The Impreza lineup could be called bi-polar. Regular models earn high marks for fuel economy that reaches up to 36 mpg on the highway, while the performance-oriented WRX and WRX STI stand out for their powerful engines and competition successes. Whether you want to save fuel or burn rubber, the 2013 Impreza lineup offers impressive bang for the buck, though you can find even higher value and/or fuel efficiency in front-wheel-drive-only compacts such as the Chevrolet Cruze, Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Impreza is a good choice for those seeking practicality, reliability, good fuel economy and the all-weather traction benefits of all-wheel drive. Those seeking a bargain performance car can find it in the WRX or the even more potent - but pricier - WRX STI.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If all-wheel-drive isn't a big factor in your buying decision, there are other compact sedans and hatchbacks that offer more features for less money. Also, the Impreza's simple interior borders on plain, and the WRX STI's ride is more than just firm and will be downright uncomfortable for some.

What's New for 2013

After a revamp for 2012 the Subaru Impreza receives only minor changes for 2013. Base 2.0i models have an upgraded audio unit with Bluetooth, and Premium, Limited and Sport Limited models with navigation receive a rear-view camera. WRX and STI models are unchanged except for a new color choice.

Driving the Impreza
Driving Impressions

Subaru's calling card has long been the sophisticated all-wheel-drive system that is standard in almost all its cars. The system puts power to wheels according to need and greatly helps...

... the car maintain control on varying road surfaces. Drivers who live in locales where it snows love these cars for their surefootedness. The new engine and continuously-variable transmission (CVT) introduced for 2012 models carry over for 2013 Imprezas. The CVT improves fuel economy commendably, but makes acceleration feel a bit leisurely. WRX and STI models retain their turbocharged engines and are available only with manual transmissions. The WRX is fast; the STI is even faster and has additional settings to adjust the center differential for optimum power distribution to the wheels. The STI's extra dose of power and handling come at the expense of ride comfort, and you might want to get a good chiropractor if you plan to travel long distances in it. The WRX better blends performance and ride comfort, though its shifter feels a bit rubbery.

FUEL ECONOMY
High fuel economy and all-wheel drive rarely go hand in hand, but the Subaru Impreza offers both. Models with CVT automatic transmissions are rated at up to 36 mpg on the highway.

TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
The high-performance 4-cylinder engines in the Impreza WRX and STI models create much more power than the engine in other Impreza models. The result is blistering acceleration and passing power.

2013 Subaru Impreza Details
Interior

Simple and easy-to-use would be the best way of describing the Impreza's interior. Plain may be another. Everything here is functional, and most operations are easy to accomplish, except for the buttons for heating the front seats on models so equipped - they are awkwardly located below the driver's-side armrest. Impreza models can be made more cozy with leather-trimmed upholstery. Passenger room is good for four adults and cargo space is especially generous in 5-door hatchback models, which can swallow more than 52 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats folded.

Exterior

The new sheetmetal that arrived with last year's revamp could be called "polite," with not many attributes to ruffle feathers. Among the most prominent features are the "hawk eye" headlights and prominent wheel arches. The 5-door hatchback versions are graced with a gently sloping roof and available cargo racks. WRX and STI models retain the previous generation's body styles and further stand out with aggressive features, including a hood-mounted air intake, deep side sills, trunk-mounted wings on sedans and four exhaust pipes.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Three major trim levels are available on the 2013 Subaru Impreza: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, and 2.0i Limited. Base models are equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, power windows and doors, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, keyless entry and 4-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary and USB inputs and Bluetooth audio streaming. Higher-trim models include the automatic transmission, leather seating, larger wheels, heated front seats, automatic climate control and a 6-speaker audio system with HD Radio for receiving digital broadcasts. Two well-equipped wagon-only versions, the 2.0i Sport Premium and Sport Limited, have 17-inch wheels and fog lights. WRX and STI models have more powerful engines and stiffer suspensions, and the WRX STI has Brembo high-performance brakes.

Optional Equipment

Options for the Impreza include a CVT automatic transmission on models not already so equipped, power moonroof, voice-activated navigation system with 6.1-inch touch screen, cold-weather package with de-icer and heated seats. Other cold-environment accessories include a battery warmer and engine-block heater. WRX and STI performance models can be upgraded with satellite radio, short-throw shifter and turbo-boost gauge.

Under the Hood

All 2013 Subaru Impreza models except the WRX and STI use a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine connected to a 5-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission. The CVT in all but base models has paddle shifters for manual shifting. At 148 horsepower, the engine is adequate to get the car up to speed, but not in a great hurry. WRX and STI models use a larger, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that has been turbocharged to make 265 or 305 horsepower, respectively; these are fast cars. The WRX has a 5-speed manual transmission and the STI a 6-speed manual. The Subaru engines are of a type known as "boxer," in which the cylinders are arranged horizontally and opposed to each other, with the pistons moving somewhat as a boxer punching. These engines have a low center of gravity, which enhances handling, and are also known for ruggedness, durability and performance. Impreza models with the 2.0-liter engine can run on regular unleaded, while WRX and STI models require premium unleaded of 91-octane or higher.

2.0-liter boxer-4
148 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (sedan, manual), 25/33 ( wagon, manual), 27/36 mpg (automatic)

2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4
265 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
244 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg

2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4
305 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
290 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

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2013 Subaru Impreza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 104 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.1/10

Totally useful

By on Friday, June 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great useful all around car for the money"

Cons: "wind noise - heated seat controls bad placement"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

1 ½ cubic yards of mulch with still room for a passenger

"Our other car is 2013 Mercedes C300 AWD. Instead of taking over the 2012 Ben, I opted for a new Suby. Why pay expensive maintenance and premium gas? I wouldn't had consider this if not a hatchback and the limited edition-both well worth the extra price. Great value for the money. Unlike the Benz when I want any combination of heat/cold/defrost it is instant and I don't have to look at the controls.I easily can change the air and cabin filters. Handling is great. Hatchback hauls lots of stuff. 1 ½ cubic yards of mulch. Also my wife's real estate signs and I don't even have to put the rear seats down. Put on 4 Blizzak snow tires and in spring replaced with Michelins. This is my "common sense" answer to having a Miata.Now I may consider the new platform they are coming out with. Previous cars I have own Lexus, Volvos,Honda Accords."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

1 ½ cubic yards of mulch with still room for a passenger

Great AWD but a couple funky issues

By on Thursday, May 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "great price, fun to drive."

Cons: "no electric seat option, weird auto start"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"First: I got this new 2016 Impreza Sport Limited Hatchback for my girlfriend. I can't comment on the reliability as it's new, but based on her previous Outback I expect good reliability. The pros: I like the XM radio style better than my Ford Truck. I drove it 300 miles the first weekend and it's very comfortable. Reviews suggest the CVT makes the car drag, but it does have paddle shifters, and for a 4 cyl seems plenty powerful. The moon roof is nice. With the back seats down, it has a lot of cargo room. Very nice. The price: I did not have to talk to a car salesman as I requested an e-quote from the dealer. The price was about $700.00 under invoice or nearly $2500 under MSRP. Compared to similar cars I found this to be a very fair bottom line price since 1.49% financing was also available. The cons: If you auto start the car, it turns off when you open the door and you have to restart it once inside. The car is averaging 31.5 mpg on the highway, so not sure about the advertised 37 mpg. Granted, this was mostly at 70 mph. I've noticed the hands free phone is noisier than others when I'm talking to my girlfriend while she's driving. The funky: You would think that a sports limited would have auto electric seats, but not the Impreza. It is not an option in this vehicle (thus the 7 is for convenience), the seats are the old manual adjust. Personally, I think a Sports Limited model should come with mud-flaps, but that is an extra option. The door handle touch lock/unlock seems unnecessary. I'm not into push button starts, but that seems to be the new fad for many cars. All that being said, I still think it's a great purchase and highly recommend it. Still hoping gas mileage will improve a bit with break in."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

excellent value

By on Monday, May 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great value responsive on highways excellent milea"

Cons: "low to ground"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"this vehicle averages 39 mpg on long trips with good acceleration and gives you a feeling of being very solid body wise"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

safe, reliable fun to drive.

By on Sunday, February 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "priced right, comfortable to drive."

Cons: "a little noisy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this new. My wife drives it 375miles a week over mtns and twisting roads and she feels very confident in all kinds of weather. Snow tires in the winter and away she goes!"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Jack of All Trades, Master of Some

By on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "High Utility"

Cons: "Less fun than main competitor"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought a fully loaded wagon 1 year ago. I was torn between it and another Mazda3. Fortunately, Mazda made the decision for me by making the backseat too small for my two car seats and that stupid flimsy gimmicky useless heads up display speedometer. The Impreza isn't as sporty looking, nor does it handle as well as the Mazda3. However, its utilitarian features make it a better fit for me since I need the ability to get around a congested city and still need room for two small children. It was never intended for roadtrips, I have a CX-9 for those, but I had an unexpected emergency situation last week and I was able to fit my family of four plus baggage plus two extra disassembled carseats into the Impreza without even attempting to use the roof racks. It handles Ok. If you need fast acceleration (like when passing on a single lane road) you better floor it but it gets the job done. I've been able to drive on hilly roads in snow that I previously had avoid due to not being able to get up the hills on slick roads with no problem. It's gas mileage is far superior to the Mazda3 despite the AWD. It also handles bumps and rough roads smoothly. Although these factors trade off in the fun to drive category. The interior isn't flashy but it's not overly stark like a Toyota. It's noticeably quieter than the Mazda3 which I appreciate. The eyesight system takes getting used to but now I find myself missing it when I drive my other car. Zero repairs necessary in the first year other than some body work due to a minor fender bender (100% my fault, not the car's)."

26 people out of 31 found this review helpful

I'm forever a Subaru lover!!

By on Thursday, January 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "AWD, fun to drive, gas mileage, reliability"

Cons: "road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car in October of 2014. I was reluctant, but it is one of the best purchases I have made in my life. Subaru forever has my heart and respect. This car is fabulous for winter weather. The AWD is amazing. I just recently went ice skating in this car on the Interstate. I could feel this car pull me out of sliding. With about 6 cars along side of the road and a Ford truck going off the road in front of me. My car pulled itself out of sliding and prevented it from going in a ditch. It also practically eats snow for breakfast. I have never had a problem in the winter weather in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. I've actually helped pull a few small cars out of the snow. This car is very practical. It doesn't have fancy interior or exterior. It's a nice looking car enough. I have gotten many compliments on it, but it's not super flashy. It's very simple and I'm comfortable in it. I have never felt like I was too tall or too big to be in the small sedan. The leg room in the back is also great for adults. I've had people comment on how much leg room they actually have. I wish the standard package came with some specs that I got with the All Weather Package. Like: cruise control, dim rearview mirror, and bluetooth, but that's okay. I know subaru likes to go for more quality and practicality in the car itself than having more specs. I really like the handling in the car as well. I feel like the ride is nice. Sometimes there is some road noise, but it's not too bad. The acceleration is slow, but it's a 4 cylinder so not much to expect there. The MPG is really good for an AWD. I get about 33 MPG with regular driving."

18 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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