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2015 Subaru Impreza

Overview
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2015 Subaru Impreza Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.3

If you want all-wheel drive (AWD) in your budget-priced compact sedan or hatchback, the 2015 Subaru Impreza is just about your only choice. With all-wheel drive standard on all models, and a starting price well below $20,000, the Subaru Impreza is the lowest-priced AWD car you can buy. This year, not only is Subaru's EyeSight active cruise and collision-avoidance technology available, but enthusiasts will rejoice to find all-new versions of the turbocharged, high-performance Impreza WRX and WRX STI in the Impreza lineup. It's all good news, but note that even though the Impreza is a lot of car for the money, front-wheel-drive competitors like the Mazda Mazda3, Kia Forte and Chevrolet Cruze cost less.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you live where winter is more than an abstract concept, then the 2015 Subaru Impreza is an obvious compact-car choice. With good fuel economy to match its all-weather traction, you can get a lot of car for a reasonable price, even in high-performance WRX models.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you ignore the AWD advantage of the Impreza, there are better compact sedans out there. The Mazda3, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Elantra all get better fuel economy, are at least as fun to drive, and have much better audio and navigation systems.

What's New for 2015

The new Impreza WRX joins the family this year, adopting the same sedan body as the rest of the Impreza lineup. Elsewhere, Subaru's excellent EyeSight driver-assist technology is available, and a rearview camera is standard equipment.

Driving the Impreza
Driving Impressions

Subaru has spent the past couple decades making its name synonymous with its patented Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, offering it as standard on every car wearing the Subaru badge, except...

... for the BRZ. This AWD system is always engaged, sending power to wherever it's needed most and providing excellent traction on dry and wet pavement. Connected to the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and while it may not be everyone's favorite, it returns excellent fuel-economy numbers in spite of the added weight and complexity of the AWD system. If you need more punch, the WRX and WRX STI add turbocharged power to the mix, pumping up performance considerably, while maintaining good if not great fuel economy. Downsides to the WRX models are a harsher ride and a definite increase in on-road and engine noise.

FUEL ECONOMY
It's hard to find a gasoline-powered AWD car with good fuel economy, but the 2015 Subaru Impreza manages this trick quite nicely. While not a class leader, it's definitely competitive, offering up to 37 mpg on the highway.

TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
On the other end of the performance spectrum are the high-performance 2015 Impreza WRX and STI models. With 268 horsepower and 305 horsepower, respectively, the WRX and STI bring a blast of driving fun to this compact sedan.

2015 Subaru Impreza Details
Interior

Some will appreciate the straightforward design of the 2015 Subaru Impreza. Others will just think it looks plain. Either way, the Impreza's interior is easy to use, with the controls nicely labeled and handy. The exception would be the buttons for the front-seat heaters hidden below the driver's-side armrest. There's decent room for four adults inside, and cargo space is also generous, especially in hatchback models. If cloth isn't your thing, the interior can be dressed in leather. Impreza WRX and STI models get unique seats and trim to match their sporting intentions.

Exterior
2015 Subaru Impreza photo

The Subaru Impreza gets a new nose and tail this year, but not so different that you'd notice without putting it side-by-side with last year's car. That's okay though, as we've grown to like the conservatively attractive shape of the sedan. The 5-door hatchback's humpback shape takes a little getting used to, but the available cargo racks are undeniably handy. The big news is the new WRX and STI models, which now boast a more aggressive version of the Impreza sedan's body. It's a big improvement, and we like the addition of the hood scoop, big tailpipes and aggressive wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The non-turbo 2015 Subaru Impreza comes in 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited trim levels. The base Impreza 2.0i comes 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. Moving up the ladder gets you the automatic transmission, leather seating, larger wheels, heated front seats, automatic climate control and an upgraded audio system. The wagon-only 2.0i Sport Premium and Sport Limited include 17-inch wheels and fog lights. WRX and STI models get stiffer suspensions and better brakes.

Optional Equipment

The CVT automatic transmission is available on all models, and we strongly recommend it for the fuel savings. Other options include a power moonroof, voice-activated navigation system with 6.1-inch touch screen, a cold-weather package with a de-icer for the windshield wipers, keyless entry and heated seats. Other cold-environment accessories include a battery warmer and engine-block heater. The WRX and STI performance models can be upgraded with satellite radio, short-throw shifter and turbo-boost gauge.

Under the Hood

Standard issue on 2015 Subaru Imprezas is a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine connected to a 5-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission. It's a good little engine, as long as you're not in a big hurry. The 2015 WRX gets a turbocharged version of that engine, putting out 268 horsepower, and can come with either a 6-speed manual or a version of the CVT automatic that's in the standard Impreza. If that's still not enough, the 2.5-liter, 305 horsepower 4-cylinder STI should do the trick. All three engines use what's known as a "boxer" layout, in which the cylinders are horizontally opposed, two on each side. The design lowers the center of gravity, which improves handling.

2.0-liter flat-4
148 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (sedan, manual), 25/34 mpg ( wagon, manual), 28/37 mpg (sedan & wagon, automatic), 27/36 mpg (Sport, automatic)

2.0-liter turbocharged flat-4
268 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (manual), 19/25 mpg (automatic)

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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