Subaru Impreza 2.0i X 2013 Review

Subaru Impreza 2.0i X 2013 Review

With almost all the current Impreza X stock snapped up, you’ll be hunting around the dealerships if you want to get one without waiting a few months for the next shipment. Subaru only brought 250 of the entry-level Imprezas into New Zealand and it certainly resonated with the buying public, because at a shade over thirty grand, the Impreza brings a lot to the party.

subaru-impreza-x-2013-rear-quartersubaru-impreza-x-2013-interiorThe thorn in the side of the Impreza X, though, is the entry level Volkswagen Golf TSI. Subaru cannot continue to solely trade on its rally-bred heritage and all-wheel drive competence to entice buyers now that there’s a Euro to be had for similar money.

That said, $31,990 buys you a lot of features. Five years ago we would have stepped in a car like this with its obviously low-end interior and expected no bells, whistles or other melodic implements. Today you get a very impressive set of standard equipment including dual zone climate control, Bluetooth compatibility, leather steering wheel and gear shift boot, reversing camera, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a well-featured trip computer. It’s just missing the convenience of automatic lights and wipers.

The Impreza X is an entirely different beast to the Golf technically. While VW has been bestowing smaller turbocharged engines upon its models, Subaru has stayed with a trusty two-litre boxer motor with 110kW and 196Nm. It puts the power to the axles via Subaru’s CVT system called Subaru Lineartronic Transmission (SLT). While this is one of the better CVT systems on the market, the VW’s seven-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox is far more engaging and nicer to drive with less of the unintended surge you can sometimes get with a CVT gearbox at certain revs on seemingly specific gradients.

subaru-impreza-x-2013-trip-computerThis isn’t a comparison article, though – you can read about the Golf TSI here. The Impreza is a chunky-looking medium-sized hatchback that rides on 16-inch wheels. This keeps the comfort levels high without compromising cornering ability much. Push it through the bends and the Impreza scrubs off speed through safe understeer. The chassis feels quite balanced and the steering is solid, although it would be nicer through the turns if it had slightly less lock-to-lock.


Given it’s got a 2-litre engine, the 6.8 litres/100km combined figure is to be expected, and isn’t unachievable if you’re predominantly driving around sensibly on flattish terrain. It’s helped by the stop/start technology. If you have to push the engine it sounds a little harsh in the upper revs.

subaru-impreza-x-2013-sideThe Impreza has impressive safety features such as seven airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Control System, ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution which adds up to a 5-star ANCAP crash rating.

The interior is typical of a cheaper Subaru. There’s a lot of hard, black plastic, and the seats are nothing special. The driving position is excellent and visibility is good. In the back, legroom is average for a car this size. Split folding rear seats allow you to get in sizable loads which makes this hatchback quite practical.

Does the Impreza X have the X factor? Well, it’s probably the best car in the Subaru range in terms of price vs. performance. While the Impreza is losing sales to its crossover relative, the XV, there’s still a place for it, and that’s been quickly recognised by the 250 people that snapped up the first wave. I got out of an Outback 2.5i to pick up the Impreza X, and into a Legacy GT Spec B after dropping it back. This reconfirmed to me that if you have to weigh up what you get for your money, the Impreza X is a super-sharp deal.

Price: $31,990


  • Lots of gear for a base model vehicle
  • Four-wheel drive feels competent and would be useful rurally


  • Strong competition from the Golf
  • Will you be able to even buy one given the demand?


Symmetrical All Wheel Drive
2.0-litre horizontally-opposed Boxer engine
110kW Power @ 6200rpm
196Nm Torque @ 4200rpm
Choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or Lineartronic™ SLT

Fuel Efficiency

Automatic Stop Start
Fuel consumption (ADR 81/02)4 – combined 6.8 l/100km (SLT)
Fuel consumption (ADR 81/02)4 – urban 8.9 l/100km (SLT)
Fuel consumption (ADR 81/02)4 – extra urban 5.6 l/100km (SLT)
CO2 emissions (ADR 81/02) combined 157 g/km (SLT)
Emission standards EURO5


Single CD player that is MP3/WMA/iPod compatible2
USB Connection
Auxiliary Jack
Voice command recognition
Bluetooth® wireless technology
Multi-Function Display unit
Immobiliser security system


5-star ANCAP occupant safety rating
Vehicle Dynamics Control system
ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
SRS3 airbags (7)
Ring-shaped safety cell to help protect occupants
Rear reversing camera


16″ alloy wheels
Air-conditioning – dual zone climate control
Fog lights
Leather steering wheel/gear shift (resin handbrake)
Paddle gear shift (CVT)
Rear privacy glass
Rear spoiler
Steering wheel MFD, Bluetooth1, audio and cruise controls
Striking front grille


60/40 split folding rear seats
Front centre tray
Door pockets with integrated bottle holders – front and rear
Pull-out cargo tie down points
Rear centre arm rest with cupholders


Transmission Automatic
6-speed manual transmission
Gear ratio 1st 3.581
Gear ratio 2nd
Gear ratio 3rd
Gear ratio 4th
Gear ratio 5th
Gear ratio 6th 0.570
Gear ratio reverse 3.667
Final reduction gear ratio 3.700


Engine Type Horizontally-opposed Boxer 4-cylinder, petrol engine
Bore x stroke 84.0mm x 90.0mm
Capacity 1995cc
Compression ratio 10.5 : 1
Valve mechanism DOHC with Dual AVCS
Fuel tank capacity 55 litres
Fuel system Multi point sequential injection
Fuel requirement 91-98RON
Cyinders 4


Performance @ Automatic
Maximum power output (DIN) 110kW@6200rpm
Maximum torque (DIN) 196Nm@4200rpm
Electronic Throttle Control system (ETC) Drive-by-wire
Fuel consumption (ADR 81/02)^ – combined 6.8 l/100km
Fuel consumption (ADR 81/02)^ – urban 8.9 l/100km
Fuel consumption (ADR 81/02)^ – extra urban 5.6 l/100km
CO2 emissions (ADR 81/02) combined 157 g/km
Emission standards EURO5

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Symmetrical All Wheel Drive Automatic
Centre Differential with a Viscous Limited Slip Differential
Active Torque Split Yes


Steering Automatic
Steering Engine speed sensitive power assisted rack and pinion
Minimum turning circle (kerb to kerb) 10.6m


Suspension Automatic
Front McPherson strut type, independent suspension
Rear Double wishbone type, independent suspension


Brakes Automatic
Front Ventilated disc brake
Rear Solid disc brake
Brake booster type Tandem
ABS 4-channel, 4-sensor ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution


Wheels and Tyres Automatic
Tyre manufacturer Yokohama
Tyres (width, profile, size, load index and speed rating) 205/55 R16 91V
Rim size 16×6.5J
Wheels 16″
Spare wheel Spacesaver steel wheel


Measurement Automatic
Overall length 4580mm
Overall width 1740mm
Overall height 1465mm
Wheel base 2645mm
Front track 1510mm
Rear track 1515mm
Minimum ground clearance~ 145mm
Cargo volume – rear seat up 340 litres
Cargo volume – rear seat down 771 litres
Seating capacity 5
Tare mass> 1335kg
Kerb weight 1375kg


Towing Automatic
With trailer brakes 1200kg
Without trailer brakes 650kg
Maximum tow ball down load 120kg

Words and photos: (interior photos: Subaru NZ)

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