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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 99 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.0/10

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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Highest Mileage, Least Expensive AWD Car

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good Fuel Economy, Good snow car with proper tires"

Cons: "CVT gear change lag, Stock tires are worthless"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have 33,000 miles on my 2013 Impreza Sport Premium. I read some reviews where people complain about not getting the EPA mileage. I have owned this car long enough to know that you can get 36 mpg at highway speeds, but not at freeway speeds. My experience is that at 55 to 60 mph I get 36+ mpg. At 70 mph I am down to about 33-34 mpg. It drops rapidly from there, at 75 mph I am lucky to get 31 mpg. All of this is at basically sea level. At altitude, the mileage suffers a little more. The only downsides to this car are: The CVT takes a little while to change from Reverse to Drive, which can be annoying when backing out into traffic and you would like to go forward RIGHT NOW! Also, the stock tires are helpless in the snow. I could barely manage in the snow with the stock tires. I have equipped it with Nokian WR G3 tires and now it is a snow beast -- As a Subaru should be."

2015 Sport Limited Impreza Wagon

By on Tuesday, November 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable, AWD, nice features"

Cons: "MPG, +it's not the over-sized go-kart I'm used to"

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

"I've owned this car for only 3 weeks but it's really great. I bought it CPO from the dealership - it was a service loaner for 6 months and had 3,900 miles on it when I took possession. I would highly recommend anyone searching for a good deal on a "used" car consider a former service loaner. It's been my experience that most people who take their car to the dealership for service have a healthy respect for the loaner car, and my car has only 1 scratch on it. It is otherwise perfect and was maintained by the dealership for the entirety of its short life. Plus, CPO cars come with the remainder of the new car warranty, AND a longer powertrain warranty: 7 years/100,000 miles. Being the Sport Limited edition, my car has every available feature except for Nav and EyeSight, so those I won't be reviewing. I will say, EyeSight for 2015 is subject to a recall and I *thought* I would never want the Nav since I use Google maps. However, I learned after I bought the car that you can install an app on your phone to remotely lock and unlock the car but it only works if you have the Nav system. Bummer for me! FYI: I traded in my MINI Cooper S for the Subie, so that's my baseline when reviewing the Impreza features. Pros: -Super comfortable. The leather seats are very plush in front and in back. The heated seats work quickly and come back on in the same setting when I turn the car off/on. Passengers in the backseat seem to have enough leg room and the rear hidden armrest with cup holders is really great. -The automatic CVT is incredibly smooth. I never feel the car shift. The suspension must also be great because I hardly feel potholes and speedbumps that used to jostle the MINI like an earthquake. The MIL can't stop saying "It's so smooth!" -Media controls are on the steering console which is very convenient. The car has a USB connection that allows you to control playback on your phone from the steering console (which is basically my favorite feature). It also has Aux, which is convenient for playing music or audiobooks from other apps. I've found in some scenarios if I'm playing an audiobook from an app via the Aux and plug my phone into the USB to charge, it will stop playing via the Aux and switch to the USB. Switching the source keeps my book playing but it's weird, especially since you can't just plug in the USB to access other apps. -Road noise, there's hardly any. I read somewhere that in 2015 Subaru made some design or material changes that reduced road noise and they seem to have worked. -Back up cameras are standard for every single car manufactured in 2015 or later and the Subie's is nice. My only complaint is that you cannot use the media controls if you are in reverse. You can still adjust volume from the steering console but not via the knob on the dash. -Keyless entry/driving. I don't have to put the key into an ignition, I only need the key to be in the car to drive. All I have to do to unlock the car is put my hand on the handle and if the key is in proximity it will unlock for me. Same to lock, but there's a bit of a lag and sometimes I have to try multiple times to get it to lock. The fob, however, works every time. -Free badges! The badge of ownership is pretty cool, and genius marketing. I got my free badges so everyone knows this is my 1st Subaru (even though it's really my 5th Subaru, having been raised in a Subie family. :) ) Cons: -It's a little slow. Again, compared to my super-charged MINI. I'm used to faster acceleration at higher RPMs and the Subie just does not deliver, I didn't really expect it to, but it's still a con given the mpg. -Gas mileage is not as good as expected. I commute 20 miles round trip to work 5 days a week. 80% of that is highway driving at 50-70 mph and I consistently get between 25-28 mpg. I don't do much town driving, but I'm not even hitting the low end of the advertised mpg. - -Where to mount my phone? Can't use a CD slot mount because it will block the media display, which I use. Can't use a cup holder mount because it's in the center console and I won't be able to see it. Can't use a vent mount because the vents are a little floppy and the mount won't stay in place. I refuse to mount anything to the dash or window of a car for fear of ruining the materials... Luckily, I found a company that manufactures a mount specifically for this model of car that clips into the dash without destroying anything, but it's about $70 worth of equipment and having to search so hard for a solution was a major PITA. Overall, great car. I'll update on reliability in a few years. ;)"

15 people out of 38 found this review helpful

My first car is a Subaru

By on Friday, October 23, 2015

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

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good Electric Steering, Subaru Quality"

Cons: "Loud Highway noise, outdated stereo"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Originally I was going for the Mazda 3 Speed. However the legroom at the back is just unacceptable compare to the competition. I carry my friends around so I make sure every single seat in my compact car is comfortable for a 30 minute drive. The interior of mitsubishi lancer is too dated, too many people own a honda civic here in Canada,toyota's are boring even with the redesign, and nissan's are unreliable in terms of interior problems. The 2014 subaru impreza is certainly an alternative to the Mazda 3 hatchback if you're looking for better practicality. I do a lot of city driving and living above sea level so my mileage is a bit poor going 21-22 mpg city and 26-32 mpg highway. The first thing I did when I bought the car was getting the all-season mats and upgraded the stereo(non-touch screen) to a Kenwood ddx392 to make this the perfect car. One problem I have so far is the weird high mpg numbers even with my eco driving style, and one of the fan's fins broke. But they replaced it for free under warranty. Oh, everyone at work thought I own a sporty car for some reason.(hatch-back with factory spoiler)"

4 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great car for the money!

By on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Safety, All wheel drive, value, fuel economy"

Cons: "too much plastic interior"

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

"Solid, reliable, roomy, all wheel drive, and safety led me to purchase. All wheel drive with 2WD fuel economy, best compact car out there in my opinion!"

18 people out of 40 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle Ever Owned

By on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, responsive, LOVE the AWD"

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

"I really like this car. It's fun and responsive to drive and feels solid against the road. It fits tight and I've found nothing negative about it. The freeway acceleration when needed and solid swerve handling has kept me out of a couple accidents. For a small car I love the additional wagon space for city hauling of stuff. I'm sold on Subaru."

13 people out of 23 found this review helpful

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