2014 SUBARU IMPREZA
ALL-WHEEL DRIVE SUBARU IMPREZA RETURNS TO UK – MORE AFFORDABLE AND MORE CAPABLE THAN EVER
- Unrivalled stability – Impreza becomes the only C-segment vehicle to offer All-Wheel Drive as standard across the range
- Highly-efficient 1.6-litre Boxer engine and choice of transmissions
- Boxer engine and lightweight body delivers low centre of gravity and high levels of driving stability
- Generous standard equipment ensures best value for money in the sector
- New Auto Start-Stop system boosts fuel savings in congested traffic
- Priced from £17,495 (on-the-road)
Since its global introduction in 1992, the Impreza nomenclature has arguably become Subaru’s most iconic. Core to the car’s road-going abilities and its appeal to motorists are the brand’s high-tech Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system and Subaru’s hallmark four-cylinder horizontally-opposed Boxer engines.
With the launch of the previous gen Impreza in 2008, the model range was split from the high performance turbo model which became known simply as WRX STI. Now, after a short hiatus, the Impreza returns to the UK this summer in the form of an all-new model that is more capable and more affordable than ever.
Demand from interested customers for Subaru UK to bring the new C-segment challenger to these shores has been consistent since the new generation model was first launched in Japan in 2012. Changes to the exchange rate between sterling and the Japanese Yen has now made this a realistic proposition, and the new Subaru Impreza now takes its place as the entry level model in the Subaru range, but one crucially with the same hallmarks and technology found in larger, higher spec models.
The new Subaru Impreza therefore retains its famed technical attributes, featuring a new-generation 1.6-litre Boxer petrol engine, the latest version of Subaru’s advanced All-Wheel Drive system as standard and an impressive range of safety and fuel-efficiency aids. The Impreza is unique in the UK’s C-segment for offering All-Wheel drive as standard across the range.
Engineered to deliver on Subaru’s promise to deliver ‘Confidence in Motion’, the Impreza also sets out to provide an engaging driving experience. The car’s lightweight body, low centre of gravity and AWD powertrain give drivers a high degree of grip and agility while offering a controlled and compliant ride and increased active and passive safety, at all speeds and in all conditions.
Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of Subaru UK, comments: “The new Subaru Impreza will offer motorists something unique in the C-segment – as a package, the Impreza combines confidence-inspiring stability, accomplished ride quality and a generous level of standard equipment for the price
.. The offer of permanent AWD in this segment is unusual, however we are confident the car will find fans throughout the UK, whether they live in rural or urban areas given its clear safety and dynamic benefits.”
The new 1.6-litre Impreza RC is priced from £17,495 (on-the-road) for five-speed manual models, and from £18,995 for models fitted with Subaru’s Lineartronic transmission.
Exterior design emphasises All-Wheel Drive character
The Impreza was engineered to offer excellent stability on the road and a high level of practicality for buyers – the design reflects these qualities, with a sleek, compact body, sharp and stylish lines and Subaru’s hallmark hawk-eye headlights and hexagonal grille.
With a drivetrain offering unrivalled stability, the Impreza’s prominent wheel arches further emphasise its All-Wheel Drive character and sporty handling characteristics. Intelligent packaging means that front and rear overhangs are short, benefiting the Impreza’s compact and dynamic stance and adding an additional 25mm to the wheelbase (to 2,645mm). Compared to the previous-generation Impreza, the A-pillar is moved 200mm closer to the front of the car allowing a sleeker, more aerodynamic shape, while allowing a more spacious cabin.
The Impreza’s confident face incorporates hawk-eye headlights and hexagonal grille – now a feature common across the Subaru range – and sharp creases running the length of the bonnet, further expressing a sense of stability. In profile, a solid line along the length of the car running parallel to the windows, chunky rear bumpers, and a more clearly-defined C-pillar compared to earlier incarnations of the car, work together to give the Impreza a purposeful, lean-forward stance.
The new Impreza is available in a range of three complimentary body colours – Satin White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic and Quartz Blue Pearl.
Smart interior design with a wide field of vision
In developing the Impreza’s cabin – much of which is shared with its sister car, the Subaru XV – the design team’s goal was to create a comfortable, safe and ergonomically efficient environment, underpinned by highly durable materials and excellent build quality.
While the vertical central stack of instruments and controls provides a sense of solidity – a spine down the centre of the cabin – the dashboard itself is designed around a series of horizontal shapes to highlight the cabin’s width and enhance the impression of spaciousness. A wider field of vision – the result of redesigned A-pillars – and a 60mm lower window-line further improve passengers’ field of vision and the feeling of space.
The smart design of the interior is supported by high quality, highly durable materials throughout the cabin – including a soft-touch dashboard, metal-look fascia trim and part leather on the seats – further improving the feeling of luxury, quality and comfort.
The dashboard and steering wheel feature clear switches and controls, with a Multi-Function Display (MFD) screen positioned atop the central console enabling an easy line of vision for the driver. The MFD screen provides a wide range of driver information including average, overall and trip fuel economy, real time information on the All-Wheel Drive system, date and time and heating and ventilation.
Facing the driver, the new instrument cluster features a large LCD monitor, providing all the information most crucial to driving at a glance. The driver can easily toggle through the various menus – or change the settings – using switches on the steering column immediately to the left of the steering wheel.
New Impreza’s seats combine part leather with white stitching on the bolsters with hard wearing smart black fabric on the main seat cushions. These have been designed to look smart in the cabin while being easy to clean, shrugging off the inevitable spillages that occur inside a family vehicle.
The Subaru Impreza’s short front and rear overhangs, long 2,645mm wheelbase and intelligent packaging are key elements in delivering generous interior space for all passengers.
The Impreza has been designed to be as user-friendly as possible for owners, with its five-door layout providing easy access to its spacious cabin. Compared to the previous Impreza, the latest model features 125mm longer front doors – a result of the A-pillar moving forward – and higher hip points for all occupants, making it easier for passengers to get in and out of the car.
New Impreza’s 25mm longer wheelbase has also created more legroom for rear occupants. Up from 851mm to 900mm, the Impreza compares favourably with its nearest rivals. The rear of the front seat backs also feature a prominent inverted curve shape for increase passenger comfort and room.
Subaru has provided ample storage space for small objects throughout the cabin, as well as door pockets designed to hold one-litre bottles, a central console tray and a large console box.
The Impreza offers a high degree of cargo versatility for the segment, the result of Subaru engineers’ focus on reducing the number of ‘steps’ for owners to overcome when loading the car. As well as 60:40 split-folding rear seats, the reshaped roof structure at the back of the car allows a taller boot aperture, making it easier to access the cargo area and load heavier or taller items such as luggage, bikes or pushchairs.
The Impreza benefits from a cargo capacity of 380 litres with the rear seats upright, and 1,270 litres with rear seats folded flat. The well-shaped boot provides enough space for three golf bags, while small hooks built in to the side of the boot allow users to hang shopping bags without items rolling around the boot. There is also a 15-litre underfloor storage area.
High levels of active and passive safety
The Impreza is one of the most stable cars in the C-segment, a result of its advanced Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system and Subaru’s electronic stability programme, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), as standard. The result is not only a highly stable, confidence-inspiring drive, but also improved hazard avoidance.
The VDC system found in the Impreza features an emergency brake-assist function, which ensures maximum braking power during emergency stops, and a brake override control system, eliminating the risk of unintended acceleration by ensuring that braking always takes precedence if both brake and throttle pedals are pressed at the same time.
A visual representation of VDC is found on the Multi-Function Display on the dashboard, which indicates the effect of the system by changing the colour of the wheels of the vehicle depicted on the display. When VDC is triggered – as a result of over steer, understeer or the activation of the traction control system – the corresponding wheel, or wheels, shown on the MFD changes colour, from green to yellow or red, giving occupants a real sense of the additional protection provided by the system.
Passive safety is a strong point for the Subaru Impreza, with a high proportion of high-tensile steel employed throughout the new body to improve body stiffness and collision safety. The bonnet and bulkhead are engineered to protect pedestrians in the event of a collision without sacrificing body rigidity, with the base of the A-pillar reinforced to meet stringent North American safety standards (particularly the small front overlap test).
The new Impreza employs a higher proportion of ultra high-tensile steel than the model previously on sale in the UK, with the proportion of 590 MPa steel rising from 30% to 35% of the body. This greater proportion of high-tensile steel reinforces the A-pillar, front crash structure, roof rails and floor. Previously not featured in the Impreza, 5% of the body is now made up of stronger 980 MPa steel to further reinforce the side sills and B-pillars.
From the driver’s seat, a wide field of vision also improves safety, with narrow A- and B-pillars minimising the number of blind spots, and 20% larger door mirrors aiding side-to-side vision. Visibility in the dark is also improved by expanding the area illuminated by the headlamps for a better forward field of vision at night.
The car is also fitted with eight airbags (front, knee and curtain / side airbags) for maximum occupant protection, as well as a retracting brake pedal and collapsible steering column to provide the driver with greater protection in the event of a frontal impact.
Smooth power delivery from new 1.6-litre Boxer engine
Continuing the pattern laid down by its predecessors, the new Impreza is equipped with a four-cylinder horizontally-opposed Boxer engine. As well as providing smooth power delivery, with fewer engine vibrations due to its inherent balance, by being positioned lower in the engine bay this layout ensures a lower centre of gravity than is typical for most engine configurations – ultimately resulting in superior road-holding and balance.
Replacing the existing ‘EJ’ 1.6-litre engine, the new model will be sold in the UK with a new naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre (1,600cc) ‘FB’ Boxer petrol engine, producing 114ps @ 5,600rpm and 150Nm @ 4,000rpm. This particular engine allows for eager throttle response and provides the best compromise between performance and fuel efficiency.
To improve the fuel efficiency and smooth power delivery of the engine, Subaru’s engineers focused their efforts on cutting mechanical friction throughout the unit. Compared to the 1.6-litre engine found in the previous model, the engine found in the latest Impreza features low-tension piston rings and lighter pistons and connecting rods to reduce inertia. A longer stroke results in a more compact combustion chamber, resulting in a more uniform mixture of air and fuel, and therefore more efficient combustion.
Further improving the environmental efficiency of the Impreza, the engine also features separate cooling circuits for the cylinder block and cylinder head, allowing it to warm-up more quickly to reduce friction and improve fuel economy. An Active Valve Control System helps keep engine friction even lower by opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves with optimal timing, while a maintenance-free chain-type camshaft drive belt further improves efficiency and smoothness. The new 1.6-litre engine complies with Euro 6 emissions standards.
Buyers can choose between a five-speed manual or chain-driven Lineartronic (CVT) transmissions. The manual transmission is carried over from the previous-generation Impreza, however gear ratios have been lengthened slightly – without compromising acceleration or performance – to reduce fuel consumption.
The Lineartronic transmission introduced at the launch of the Impreza was a new, compact and lightweight design which reduces engine friction further and improves fuel efficiency by 5% over the five-speed manual gearbox. Because it adopts chain rather than belt drive, it also provides one of the widest ratios of any similar unit on the market. Chain drive also enabled Subaru to incorporate Auto-stop start, further increasing fuel efficiency.
A powerful starter motor and ‘In-rush Current Reduction’ (ICR) ensure the Auto Start-Stop is as unobtrusive as possible. The ICR stabilises the power supply when the engine cuts out when stationary, ensuring that the dashboard instruments and displays never flicker. When equipped with Lineartronic, Auto Start-Stop restarts the engine in just 0.2 seconds. The Auto Start-stop system can be turned off manually via a switch on the lower dashboard.
Fitted with manual transmission, the new Impreza will accelerate from 0-60mph in 12.3 seconds, and on to a top speed of 114mph. The Impreza returns fuel economy of 44.1mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 147g/km, improving to 46.3mpg and 140g/km when fitted with Lineartronic.
Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard across the range
Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical AWD system ensures greater safety and a high level of on-road stability in all conditions.
Manual-transmission models feature a centre differential incorporating a viscous limited-slip differential (LSD), with a basic 50/50 per cent front/rear torque split. To improve traction on low-grip surfaces, this system can detect any slip in front or rear wheels and adjust the torque distribution to the front or rear accordingly. This particular Symmetrical AWD system is unique to the Impreza, as it does not use any of the electronic controls in other Subaru systems – meaning drivers can enjoy a highly linear mechanical system.
Lineartronic CVT models, fitted with an electronically-controlled Multi-Plate Transfer clutch, control and distribute torque to the rear wheels. A standard 60/40 front/rear torque split can be adjusted, with more torque sent to the rear wheels if the system detects slipping front wheels.
Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control Concept
In developing the Impreza, engineers introduced a new technology for the vehicle’s chassis and suspension system – the Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control Concept (Subaru DC3) – to achieve the perfect balance between body and suspension stiffness.
Subaru’s intended audience for the car appreciates accurate, linear steering response, a high level of steering stability and a sophisticated ride. With DC3, engineers created a suspension system that can absorb imperfections and undulations in the road surface, without compromising agility.
The new Impreza’s all-round independent suspension ensures a high level of refinement and driving agility on all roads, the car absorbing impacts from poor road surfaces while allowing a linear, predictable response to steering inputs. A wide anti-roll bar improves the Impreza’s stability on undulating road surfaces, while vibrations throughout the cabin are kept to a minimum thanks to a highly-rigid cross-member. Engineers have increased the stiffness of sub-frame bushings throughout the car and adopted highly-responsive valves for front and rear shock absorbers to help soak up smaller imperfections in the road surface.
The result is a suspension system that facilitiates high grip levels and feels reassuringly firm without ever becoming uncomfortable, while the electrically-assisted power steering system remains uncorrupted by poor road surfaces, resulting in linear, confidence-inspiring handling.
Generous standard specification for all models
In RC specification, the only trim level available in the UK, customers benefit from generous standard equipment to improve convenience. The result is a package of standard-fit equipment that ensures the Impreza offers buyers true value for money – no other car in the UK’s C-segment offers this level of equipment at such a price.
Standard equipment includes automatic on/off headlamps and rain-sensing windscreen wipers, front fog lamps, power-folding heated door mirrors with LED turn signals, windscreen wiper de-icer system, 16-inch alloy wheels, tyre repair kit and daytime running lights.
For greater comfort, every Impreza is equipped with dual-zone air-conditioning, rear passenger heating and ventilation ducts, heated front seats, 60/40 split-fold rear seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, two 12V power outlets, USB and aux-in jacks, and a reversing camera.
Optional, dock-fit equipment includes leather seating and a Pioneer satellite navigation system.
Auto on/off headlamps
Front fog lamps
Rear fog lamps
Daytime running lights
UV protection glass – windscreen, front and rear side windows
Power-fold heated door mirrors
Integrated door-mirror LED turn signal
16-inch aluminium alloy wheels
Leather-wrapped gear knob
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Heated front seats
Six-way manually adjustable driver seat
60 / 40 split-fold rear seats
Remote central locking
Vanity mirrors, driver and passenger
Two front cup holders
Centre console storage box
Two 12V power outlets
Tyre mobility kit
Dual-zone automatic air conditioning
Windscreen wiper de-icer
Automatic rain-sensing windscreen wipers
Multi-Function Display (4.5in. display)
Tilt-adjustable telescopic steering wheel
Auto start-stop system with OFF switch
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Safety and security
Front SRS airbags
Front side SRS airbags
Curtain SRS airbags
Knee SRS airbags
Height-adjustable front seatbelt anchors
Emergency brake assist system
ISOFIX child seat anchors
Child-proof rear door locks
Thatcham Category 1 security system
Rear-vision camera system
Hill Start Assist
Six-speaker audio system
One-port CD player
Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
Bluetooth hands-free system
USB and auxiliary input jack
Dual-range transmission (manual only)
Vehicle Dynamics Control system
Pioneer Satellite Navigation
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