Monday, March 6, 2017

Used Car Review - Subaru Impreza (2012-2016)

This unnoticed model gets a finale review.

2012-2016 Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza would always be remembered in this set-up: color blue body, gold rims, a huge spoiler, and an aggressive grille that is always driven in the harshest conditions that's shown on TV. What you don't know that there's a road friendly version which doesn't have the things (except for the color option) mentioned above which costs less and for the Japanese, available front wheel drive while the rest gets all wheel drive versions.

A regular version of the Impreza isn't available in the Philippine market until the third generation in 2008, prior to this date most models which were made available are the WRX and WRX STI. Despite the price tag, it became a hit for Motor Image Pilipinas and was common in the affluent areas of the metropolis. July 2012 saw the launch of the fourth generation Impreza but it is now trimmed to a choice of a sedan version, the hatchback is killed but resurrected as the XV while the WRX STI weren't given a redesign until 2014. Although its price hovers at the million peso range, it wasn't that a hit just like before.

At launch, Impreza models can be had with either a stick shift or a CVT, with the former option being killed in favor of a cheaper model in March 2014.

Value and Costs
Subaru models, with the exemption of its rally bred siblings, are known for their poor resale value, which is an advantage for the second hand car buyer. With a price range of P660,000-P980,000, this is a fine vehicle if you want something fun to drive yet uncommon among the city streets. Other similar sized vehicles of the same time period are sold in this range but they do not come with all wheel drive.

Compared to its Japanese rivals, maintaining one is somewhat pricier due to the presence of an all wheel drive system. A problem point of this vehicle is its air-conditioning system, which has a tendency to fail.

Exterior and Interior
While the front grille has an aggressive stance may look quiet for some, the rear has some resemblance over its XV brother. Sure, this is not the WRX STI model that you are staring at, but rather think of this as matured looking.

If you think that going for this vehicle will reward you with a special interior, think again. Although interior quality is excellent, it feels ordinary than before. Despite this, you get side airbags with curtain, cruise control, multi information display, HID headlamps, and an automatic climate control. Space is decent enough, which is a good thing.

Just like the model it replaced, it is powered by a 2.0 but now from a different engine family. The FB 2.0 4-cylinder with 148hp at 6,200rpm and 196Nm at 4,200rpm is all new, developed in 2010 (the EJ has been in use since 1989) and has seen usage in the Forester. Acceleration is decent enough, despite the conservative figures. Transmission options include a six speed manual or a continuously variable transmission.

Driving Impressions
Thanks to the ready all wheel drive, even when driving at high speeds on inclement weather, stability is there. As usual, handling is its forte especially that it is balanced when tackling corners and is stable when driven on a straight line. The suspension is tuned for fun driving, and that's a good thing. But for your usual city driving, this may prove too much.

Despite the fact that its exterior may not look flashy and the interior isn't that premium feeling, the Impreza's skills lies inside, with Subaru's famed all wheel drive system and a communicative chassis, it is still one standout. However, there are rivals that does these things well, even if they are powered with just two front wheels.

The Good:
  • Still fun to drive
  • Available all wheel drive
  • Feature loaded
The Bad:
  • Bland design inside and out
  • Fuel economy
  • Cabin quality not that premium feeling
The Pick: Any variant will do

Engine: 1,995cc FB20B I4 gasoline
Power: 148hp @ 6,200rpm
Torque: 196Nm @ 4,200rpm
Fuel Consumption: 7-10km/L (city), 10-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed manual (dropped in 2014), Continously Variable Transmission
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear double wishbone

Price (New): P1,128,000-P1,298,000
Price (Now): P660,000-P980,000
On Sale: 2012-2016
Rivals: Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, Mitsubishi Lancer EX, Nissan Sylphy, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Corolla Altis

Motor Image Greenhills - (02) 727-3687

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