Wednesday, February 22, 2012

First Drive: Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza has been around since 1993 and is a very successful rally car. It is available as a 4-door sedan or as a 5-door hatchback. The 2011 Impreza was powered by a 2.5L H4 that produces 170 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The WRX and WRX STi versions come with a turbocharged 2.5L H4 engine. The Impreza WRX STi gets 304 hp out of a turbocharged I4 engine. The 2012 Impreza is powered by a 2.0L H4 engine that produces 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque is a available with a five-speed or six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. At the 2012 Houston Auto Show, Subaru allowed people to drive a third generation Impreza four-door sedan. This was the last of five cars I test drove at the 2012 Houston Auto Show.

The car was very roomy and comfortable. There is plenty of leg room and head room. The Impreza has improved on styling over the years. The first Impreza was an eye sore. The current Impreza has sleek lines. But the appeal of the Impreza comes from its driving capabilities.

The Impreza was very fun to drive. The Impreza I test drove came with a four-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. This was the first car I drove with paddle shifters. It takes some time to get familiar with the system. When I barely tap the accelerator, the Impreza moves. It is very quick for a compact car. The Impreza goes from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, but it felt quicker than that. It was very fun to drive.

Of the five cars I test drove at the 2012 Houston Auto Show, the Impreza was the most fun to drive. It was comfortable, quick, and exciting. For 2012, the Impreza will have a smaller engine and will be lest powerful than the 2011 Impreza. Subaru is sacrificing engine size and power for fuel economy. Yet Subaru claims that the new Impreza has a quicker 0 to 60 mph time than the previous generation. WRX and STi versions of the fourth-generation Impreza will be released in 2012. Motorweek named the 2012 Subaru Impreza its 2012 Driver's Choice Award for Best Compact Car. After driving the previous generation Impreza, I have to agree with Motorweek. I recommend that people should at least test drive a standard Impreza. You will have fun in this car.

Photo taken from a digital camera.
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