Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Business

The Daily Drivers: Redesigned Subaru Impreza sports practical improvements

Subaru has redesigned the compact end of its lineup for 2012, with both the previously bland Impreza sedan and hatchback getting reboots that have resulted in increased interior room and fuel efficiency. We drove the five-door hatchback, which we think is the more appealing and practical model.

Appearance: Sensible has seemed like the operative word for Subaru, and it's evident here. There's nothing that will wow you about this hatchback's redesign. The look is more chiseled, with fender flares, silver-tone grille and fog lights giving it a slightly athletic feel. (Peter thinks the Impreza looks more like a station wagon than some of its compact hatchback competition.) Black roof rails and 17-inch aluminum wheels with gray finish complement the design.

Performance: The ride, like the car itself, is solid and well-balanced. With the redesign, Subaru traded HP for MPG: The new Impreza's engine is a 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder that produces 148 horsepower (down 22 from the previous model), and our tester had the continuously variable transmission (CVT). The MPG shot up to 27 city, 36 highway (from 20/27), impressive especially for an all-wheel drive. We found the engine adequate for commuting, but you'll likely wish for more power for interstate merging. The CVT makes for better gas mileage, but it also creates more noise since the engine revs are constant. Paddle shifters can offset the transmission drone, but the gear ratios are preset, so don't expect too much shifting input. (Regular readers know we're not big fans of CVTs.) A 5-speed manual transmission is standard for lower trims (CVT is optional), but the MPG goes down to 25/34.

Interior: One of the best in the compact segment: It's roomy — front and rear — and there's plenty of head- and legroom. Like all the Subarus we've driven, the seats (the tester had leather) stand out for being comfortable, supportive and well-bolstered. Subaru could give a master class in seat design. Elsewhere, the interior is uncluttered, with intuitive controls within easy reach and lots of storage nooks. The dashboard gauges are backlit and easy to read. Even the plastic is of quality, with a soft-touch feel on the dash, doors and console. There's a sliding armrest, which is always a nice touch, especially for shorter drivers. For a hatchback, there's good visibility. Our tester had USB, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, but not navigation, which is optional. The cargo area is spacious. Put down the easy-folding rear seats and you get generous room — 52.5 cubic feet — that's perfect for those weekend runs to the home-improvement or warehouse stores.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Wagon: I like the hatchback's more traditional look.

AWD: Always helpful in rainy Florida.

Doors: They open wide.

Lyra Solochek

Safety: Named 2012 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Ride: All-wheel drive, suspension, dynamic control and low center of gravity make for a controlled feel.

Cabin: Open and spacious with good visibility.

The bottom line: Subaru has quietly improved the Impreza, which often can get overlooked in the sea of compact cars. That's a shame. It's not flashy, but the hatchback model is practical and comfortable. And there's all-wheel drive.









     
       
Comments
Tech Data sending a record 700 employees to march in Pride Parade

Tech Data sending a record 700 employees to march in Pride Parade

Among the marching bands and twirlers at Saturday’s St. Pete Pride Parade, one major sponsor, Tech Data, is sending by far a record number of employees — more than 700 at last count — to march in Florida’s largest gay pride parade.The parade, which d...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A valet at this South Tampa Publix will park your car as you shop

A valet at this South Tampa Publix will park your car as you shop

TAMPA — Publix shoppers in South Tampa who hate circling the lot for parking can now toss their keys to a valet.The Publix at Dale Mabry and Neptune started testing a free valet service last week that could expand to more stores. Spokesman Brian West...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sign to report employees not speaking English at doughnut shop creates a stir

Sign to report employees not speaking English at doughnut shop creates a stir

A sign asking customers at a Dunkin’ Donuts store in Baltimore to report employees who were heard not speaking English has set off a controversy.The sign, according tothe Baltimore Sun, would offer coupons to customers who reported workers at a dough...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida Bankers Association recognizes Bill Klich with award

Florida Bankers Association recognizes Bill Klich with award

Former Tampa Bay banking executive Bill Klich was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Bankers Association last week at an annual meeting in Palm Coast.Klich, 73, has a strong reputation with more than four decades of commercial ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Jeff Vinik-backed construction material firm headed to Port Tampa Bay

Jeff Vinik-backed construction material firm headed to Port Tampa Bay

TAMPA — With $3 billion in construction on the boards, Water Street Tampa will need a lot of concrete, so a company whose largest investor is Jeff Vinik is moving to Port Tampa Bay to begin importing fly ash, a component of concrete.Spartan Materials...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Drugs at your doorstep: CVS will deliver prescriptions to your home

Drugs at your doorstep: CVS will deliver prescriptions to your home

CVS Health will make prescription deliveries nationwide to accommodate the heightened expectations of convenience from consumers. The nation’s second-largest drugstore chain says it also will make home deliveries of other items, like allergy medicine...
Updated: 7 hours ago
St. Petersburg residents will see higher water, sanitation bills

St. Petersburg residents will see higher water, sanitation bills

ST. PETERSBURG — Residents can expect their water and sanitation bills to increase between $7 and $11 starting in October.That represents an average of a 7-percent increase. Customers who use an average of 4,000 gallons a month, including reclaimed w...
Published: 06/19/18
Spectrum’s new service will eventually increase the cost for TV

Spectrum’s new service will eventually increase the cost for TV

Spectrum’s new all-digital service is set to bring more high definition, faster internet speeds and expanded on-demand offerings — but it also comes with higher costs for some of its TV customers in Tampa Bay. Each TV that receives service from Spect...
Published: 06/19/18
Medical manufacturer to add 116 jobs in Pasco County expansion

Medical manufacturer to add 116 jobs in Pasco County expansion

NEW PORT RICHEY — TouchPoint Medical, an engineering and manufacturer of high-tech hospital equipment, plans to put its global headquarters into a 125,000-square-foot industrial and corporate office building in Pasco County.Tuesday morning, county co...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pasco Business Digest for June 22

Pasco Business Digest for June 22

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITALS RECEIVE AWARD: Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and Medical Center of Trinity were recipients of Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals t...
Updated: 11 hours ago