[quote_box_right]Up: Comfortable, quiet, and everything is where it should be.
Down: The WRX hasn’t gotten the make over yet.
Neutral: Still the best AWD in the industry![/quote_box_right]Most Subaru fans would cringe if they saw me walk past three mean looking STis and straight to any other model but I had a job to do. I was there to drive the STi’s more reserved and polite twin brother, the 2013 Subaru Impreza Premium PZEV. The goal of the test drive was to prove just how good of a car the foundation of Subaru’s rally inspired giant was. So I tip-toed past the hood scooped guard dogs and got the keys to the Impreza.
The first thing I noticed was the styling. It’s no secret that the Impreza’s of old were known for being a bit, well, ugly. But the 2013 model really shows off how far Subaru has come in regards to styling. Coming in both a 4-door and a 5-door hatchback, this new Impreza sports flared fenders, bigger wheels, more rigid body panels, and by far the best grille/bumper combo to date. You can tell that this is a car that wants to be seen, and that you want to look at.
Once I got into the driver’s seat Vince Byers, my Schulte Subaru expert for the day, took me for a detailed tour of the cabin. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The seats where very comfortable and the entire interior felt like it was made of higher quality materials than other cars in its class. There also wasn’t an overabundance of buttons (which SFAR hates) and all the important stuff was in the driver’s line of sight. And, since I was in the Premium model, I had all of the bells and whistles like heated seats, Bluetooth connectivity, powered sunroof, and the flappy paddle gearbox which I really enjoyed later on.
While driving the Impreza I found that my favorite thing about this car is how much Subaru hasn’t changed. This is one of the few companies that still sticks to their roots and applies “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” economics. Subaru’s AWD system is still symmetrical with the same amount of power to all of the tires all of the time. This enables confident driving in every single type of weather condition. They have also kept their flat-4 Boxer engine because they know it’s balanced and they know it works. With one of the lowest centers of gravity, being inherently balanced, and proven reliable over the last 40 some years, a Subaru engine is an engineering marvel.
When I pulled onto the interstate, I noticed that this car had quite a bit of get-up-and-go if I downshifted correctly. I know it’s no Ferrari but if I needed to quickly pass someone on the highway I was very comfortable doing so. It was also extremely quiet and chatting with Vince was easy to do while going 75 mph. Quick lane changes were also smooth, and dare I say fun, due to that symmetrical AWD.
Since it’s introduction in 1993, the Subaru Impreza has been, and still remains, a great car. It’s quiet, comfortable, confident, and most importantly, fun to drive. Subaru’s are different than Hondas and Toyotas because they have that something special. It is hard to explain but any Subaru driver will tell you the exact same thing. If you’re looking for one to ask here’s a hint; they’re probably out camping and wearing khaki shorts.