Subaru Impreza 2.0i X 2013 Review

November 29th, 2013 by Darren Cottingham

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. Continue reading “Subaru Impreza 2.0i X 2013 Review” »

Subaru Impreza 2.0i-SL Sedan 2012 Review

June 29th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

In the last few years Subaru has managed to turn around the ugliness of Imprezas of yore and fortunately they no longer make you want to stab your eyes with chopsticks like the bug-eyed version 7 did back in 2000. On the whole, this new Impreza 2.0i-SLsedan is not a bad looking car, except that from some angles the chunky arches look out of proportion with the rest of the dimensions.

On this top-of-the-line SL those arches are filled with 17-inch wheels wrapped in 205/50 R17 tyres. These are driven by Subaru’s excellent Symmetrical All-wheel Drive which features active torque splitting to make sure the right amount of power is going to all wheels. In the WRX STI this is useful in any conditions, but with the Impreza SL’s Continue reading “Subaru Impreza 2.0i-SL Sedan 2012 Review” »

Unique Legacy For Rural Use

May 1st, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Subaru has unveiled a new New Zealand-bound Legacy variant at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition.

The Model Year 2013 car features a new grille, front bumpers, and sporty sills with chrome-type highlights, exclusive 18-inch wheels and ride height raised 60 mm.

Interior detail changes include black metal-type centre panel, centre console and steering switch panel, while the electronic park brake and SI-Drive switches are relocated for easier use.

“This new Legacy variant will be ideal for kiwi rural roads,” said Wallis Dumper, the Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand. “We have a huge percentage of unsealed surfaces and the extra ride height adds to its capability in regional and rural areas.

“Another key aspect of this new Legacy variant is that the hip point is 70 mm higher than the current sedan, making entry and exit easier, which should really suit some of those traditional Calais and Fairmont drivers who you witness climbing out of their “gravel-rashed” vehicles in most rural communities.”

“Only three markets in the world – Australia, China and New Zealand – are getting this new variant, recognising some of the unique road conditions experienced in these countries.”

“It is still an enlightening statistic that a lot of our rural roads are unsealed, about a third in fact”.

“Obviously our All Wheel Drive Legacy is a great choice for these conditions and the new variant with its extra ground clearance makes an even stronger case, plus it provides a suitable environment for the farming executive of today”.

“We see its main market to be in rural areas, but it will also be ideal for those with tricky driveways, those who travel with trailers, boats and caravans, or just those who want a sedan where you can sit a bit higher.

“The new variant will initially be available in New Zealand with a 3.6 litre engine with potential for the smaller 2.5-litre engine at a later date.”

Pricing and release dates will be advised later.

Mr Dumper added: “While other Legacy in the range will retain their existing ride height, some of the other enhancements in the new variant will be shared by other Legacy in the MY13 line-up when it goes on sale later this year.

“This new variant gives us another opportunity to bring something different to market and judging by the success of our other recent offerings, including XV and Impreza; we can see a lot of potential.”

Getting Shirty

April 23rd, 2012 by Tim Grimley

Thanks to the demise of the summer season and its entourage of evening sporting activities, my social programme has recently relocated to the pubs and bars of the Auckland region. And being no stranger to the brewer’s craft, this is a situation that sits very comfortably with both me and my rapidly expanding waistline. Given that my circle of friends consists largely of drunks – they would be alcoholics if they could be bothered to go to meetings – I usually have to make little more effort than to sit back and wait for the text message or e-mail that informs me of the time and location of the next bacchanalian extravaganza.

But every so often I find myself facing a slightly perplexing social conundrum. Rather than simply diving into the nearest dive for the purposes of inspecting the bottom of several pint glasses, someone will get delusions of grandeur and insist we visit a flash restaurant or some other achingly fashionable venue where one is compelled to wear a collared shirt.

And being a man in his 30’s, I have absolutely no idea how I should do this.

Untucked I suspect

Not so many years ago, there was only one way to wear a shirt – untucked and with only as many buttons done up as it took to stop my dad beating me into tidying myself up. But now, on the few occasions where pre-social preening is necessary, I sometimes find myself standing in front of a mirror wondering if it wouldn’t look a darn sight more presentable if I stuffed all the excess material into the waistband of my Levi’s.

I accept that this has the potential to be a slippery slope and before too long I won’t be seen in public wearing anything except tweed trousers with a waistband at approximately nipple height, but even this would be better than turning into one of those social retards who desperately cling onto their youth despite it clearly being left behind in years that began with ‘nineteen ninety’.

And because the current Mrs Grimley has started one of her regular pining sessions for a Subaru Impreza WRX, this puts me on difficult ground.

As a petite, attractive, blonde lady-creature, this choice of vehicle holds absolutely no problems for her – pretty women in fast cars are essentially wheeled Viagra – but for me it’s the stuff of nightmares. The WRX Impreza should have been one of the great working man’s heroes; it has a devastating combination of power, pace and handling all of which comes wrapped up in a package that won’t give your bank manager angina. But thanks to a good proportion of the owners being people who are unsure how to operate a baseball cap and still follow their mothers’ edict of buying clothes to grow in to, it is essentially a car for tossers.

Clearly if you’re young you can get away with this – if you aren’t dressing or acting in some way like a victim of an overenthusiastic lobotomy then there is something wrong with you – but by what stage does this get out of jail expire? I’d love to have a WRX as a plaything and weekend driving tool, but ideally I don’t want to end up looking like a tool as well.

If anyone has an answer to this dilemma, I’d love to hear from you. The only solution I’ve come up with so far is to simply sell up and relocate to west Auckland where the culture is much more accepting of gentlemen with a penchant for performance. Although on the plus side it should sort out the shirt issue too. ‘In’ or ‘out’ really doesn’t matter; anything goes as long as it appears to have been stolen from a lumberjack.

New Subaru Impreza Arrives in New Zealand

April 3rd, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

Subaru’s all new fourth generation Symmetrical All Wheel Drive Impreza has arrived in New Zealand

Both hatch and sedan offer large improvements in fuel efficiency and emissions, and introduce multiple new features including, fuel-saving Auto Stop Start, a new generation horizontally opposed Boxer engine, interactive Multi-Function Display computer options and a choice of Subaru Lineartronic™ Transmission (SLT) and six-speed manual gearboxes.

The Impreza is priced from $34,990 for the 2.0i manual sedan and hatch.

New Impreza is the most efficient generation of Subaru’s small car to date and with its unique Subaru Lineartronic (CVT style) transmission it consumes just 6.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres in the combined cycle, a massive 22 per cent better than the superseded Impreza automatic. The six speed manual consumes just 7.1 l/100 km (combined), which is 20 per cent better than the outgoing five speed manual model.

Emission reductions are even more impressive – Impreza with SLT produces just 157 grams of CO2 per km, 24 per cent ahead of the outgoing four-speed automatic. The manual produces 164 g/km – a 21 per cent improvement.

Inside, soft touch surfaces, high-grade switchgear and generous occupant space distinguish Impreza, which also offers the option of a premium Multi-Function Display, with a vast array of information at the driver’s fingertips.

The Impreza line-up comprises of four models. The 2.0i comes with the choice of Lineartronic (SLT) or six-speed manual transmission, Auto Start Stop, paddle shift (SLT-only), steering wheel audio and cruise controls, climate control air conditioning, Bluetooth*wireless technology, USB connection, Multi-Function Display (fuel efficiency, temperature and clock), body coloured wing mirrors and door handles.

The Impreza 2.0i-L adds premium Multi-Function Display with reversing camera, dual zone climate control air conditioning, chrome front grill, 16-inch alloy wheels, centre console box with sliding armrest, leather trim steering wheel/gear shift, rear privacy glass and front fog lights.

The Impreza 2.0i-S adds (to 2.0i-L specification): upgraded speedometer, upholstery and trim; alloy pedals, chrome-type front fog light surrounds, chrome-type door handle inserts, indicators in wing-mirrors, chrome-type fog light surround and rear garnish (sedan-only), side skirts and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The range topping 2.0i-SL has in addition to the “S” model factory fitted satellite navigation, electric sunroof, leather trim and power driver’s seat.

“Our all-new Impreza will attract new customers to the brand with its focus on improved exterior styling and interior space, comfort and design,” said Wallis Dumper, the Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand.

“Additionally, it’s more fuel efficient, environmentally friendly and better equipped.

“Impreza sends the strongest possible message that Subaru’s new design direction is a winner on so many fronts, from technology to quality, comfort, efficiency and style.

“Combine those factors with Subaru’s All Wheel Drive, safety, durability, engineering and retained value, and you can see that Subaru is firmly committed to growth combined with quality products.
“The all-new Impreza is surprisingly spacious internally so those driving previous generation Legacy and Outback models that are after a comparable sized car internally will be pleasantly surprised given the generous space on offer in these new models.

“Impreza appeals to people with both an urban lifestyle and a spirit of adventure. Factor in the choice of sedan and hatch variants with advanced new engine and transmission options, and you emerge with a truly modern, stylish and economical package.

“Fuji Heavy Industries have done a great job on producing a cabin with panoramic views and a sense of space housed in its small car dimensions. This is a fantastic feat when you consider the level of structural strength and safety inherent in Impreza’s design.

“The quality of interior materials, including the soft-touch dashboard treatment, reflects FHI’s commitment to raising the bar.

“The designers are also encouraging greater awareness of economical driving styles via the information shown in the Multi-Function Display, particularly the premium version in Impreza 2.0i-L and 2.0i-S and 2.0i-SL.

“We are delighted by the significant advances represented by new Impreza and that’s already been reflected in the level of showroom interest since details started emerging last year. Based on that feedback we see a bright future for a car that is a cornerstone of our range.”

Subaru offers an All Wheel Drive option to customers considering European cars with similar economy but in a complete 2.0 litre value package. This car presents a great alternative to the 1.6 or 1.8 litre front wheel drive only cars and comes with the added value of Japanese reliability.

Impreza highlights include an auto stop start fuel saving feature with the engine restarting in as little as 0.35 seconds. Fuel economy is 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle with just 157 grams of CO2 per km for the SLT model.

The Lineartronic SLT transmission with steering wheel paddle shift is smoother and 10 per cent more fuel efficient than the superseded four-speed automatic while the six speed manual has a short stroke gear lever for easy shifting, producing great efficiency.

The new third generation Boxer motor produces 110 Kilowatts at 6200 rpm and 196 Newton metres at 4200 rpm. The long-stroke design delivers approximately 10 per cent better fuel economy due to engine changes alone.

A dual active valve control system provides performance and efficiency gains, with an 18 per cent reduction in piston weight, 20 per cent reduction in connecting rod weight for major low and mid-range torque improvements. The motor is Euro 5 compliant.

Impreza’s body is about 10 kgs lighter, but its bending stiffness has been increased by around 25 per cent. The stylish hawk eye headlights provide a greater spread of light.

The sedan will have particular appeal to those in want of a sleek styled car that has leg room for passengers but still leaves space in the garage. The hatch features the benefits of more utility space.
Impreza’s extended wheelbase has resulted in a spacious widebody cabin for a small car with ultra low noise vibration and harshness to enhance comfort. And there is high quality, soft touch materials used on the dashboard and door trims.

A wide field of vision is a significant safety benefit and the large cargo area is not compromised by child restraints which attach to the rear seat backs.

New Impreza has a five star ANCAP crash test rating, with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee SRS airbag. A reversing camera is standard on 2.0i-L, 2.0i-S and 2.0i-SL models.

Impreza’s body and chassis structure are strengthened at critical points to reduce the likelihood of occupant injury in heavy impacts. Together with precise steering, this delivers a sense of stability.
Subaru’s new design direction, reflected in Impreza, includes excellent field of vision from the cabin, aided by pillars located further forward and door mounted wing mirrors, reducing blind spots.

Subaru to split next-gen WRX from Impreza model line

July 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Subaru revealed its new shape 2012 Impreza earlier this year in standard trim, it looked good but fairly conservative. Despite this, WRX fans everywhere began imagining it with a full wide-body kit and big gold rims. But for the next WRX it’s not going to work like that, according to reports, the next WRX will be built as an entirely separate model line.

Due for release in 2014 the new WRX will apparently become a sports coupe with an entirely different body design to the new Impreza. The two models will continue to share a platform but the upcoming WRX will have a shortened wheelbase for improved handling dynamics, and other extra goodies.

A Subaru source said in a recent interview, “The first thing you must understand about our all-new WRX is that we have developed it from the ground up to win in motorsports events. That’s why we have focused so heavily on weight issues, not to mention a shorter wheelbase that permits faster, more precise turn-in. Marry that to our proven AWD system, and we think we have a winner.”

Subaru is planning a return to WRC rallying so when the hardcore STI variant of the WRX is released a future WRC rally car will be based on it. Continue reading “Subaru to split next-gen WRX from Impreza model line” »

Subaru plans to release four new models by 2016

July 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Subaru is going big and has announced plans to build and release four new models over the next five years. The biggest launch will be the much-anticipated sports coupe that’s in development in conjunction with Toyota. A new hybrid model is also expected.

Subaru has also revealed what it calls the ‘Motion-V plan’, which aims to generate global sales of 900,000 units per year by 2016. This will be a huge increase on the 633,000 sales the Japanese company has forecast for the current fiscal year.

Subaru’s new range will be lead out in the second quarter of 2012 with the global launch of the as-yet unnamed sports coupe, that’s nicknamed the Toyobaru. Toyota has released images and more details for its own ‘FT-86′ version of the vehicle, while Subaru has revealed very few details or photos of its concept. Continue reading “Subaru plans to release four new models by 2016” »

Subaru breaks out XV concept vehicle at Shanghai show

April 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

For any Subaru fans out there wanting a glimpse of the future for their favoured brand – here’s the new XV Concept. The covers have just been pulled off this latest crossover concept at the Auto Shanghai 2011 motor show.

What exactly is it? It’s a compact crossover vehicle based on the same platform as the upcoming 2012 Subaru Impreza. Keen enthusiasts will already know that a high-riding Impreza XV variant already sells in some markets globally.

Features of the concept vehicle’s design include popped out wheel arches, full length glass roof, integrated roof rails and lower body cladding – all features that suggest a focus on practicality and off road ability. Flashing it up is Subaru’s latest hexagonal grille, hawk-eye headlights, 19-inch light alloy rims with clear blue centre caps and a matte ‘Electro Yellowgreen’ finish.

No surprises under the XV’s bonnet with Subaru’s 2.0-litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine turning all four wheels through a symmetrical AWD system. Power is shifted through a CVT transmission.

In the cabin, light leather treatment contrasts with the darker tones of other cabin features. There’s a large touch panel multi-function display in the center console for easy navigation and audio control while displaying vehicle information. Continue reading “Subaru breaks out XV concept vehicle at Shanghai show” »

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