MOTOR MATTERS NEW ON WHEELS BY CONNIE KEANE
The Impreza is the most versatile lineup of all the models that Subaru offers to buyers. The 2010 Subaru Impreza has three trims; four-door and five-door models; two engine variants to select from; plus two different versions of its special brand of all-wheel drive.
Really gotta give Subaru its “props” in the all-wheel drive department. In 1997, Subaru was the first automaker in the U.S. to sell AWD as standard equipment on every single model in its lineup. But long before that Subaru was way ahead in developing its AWD fundamentals. The automaker makes note that it introduced four-wheel-drive passenger vehicles more than 30 years ago to the marketplace, following up in the late 1980s with the introduction of automatic full-time AWD.
It’s no surprise that Subaru is the specialist in all-wheel drive technology. Subaru has perfected the development of its AWD system to specifically fit the operating commands of the type of transmission system it is linked to.
Drivers who want the manual-equipped Impreza will get an AWD configuration that splits the power 50:50 front to rear continuously. The automatic transmission has an electronically managed AWD system that sends power to the wheels that need traction based on the driver’s acceleration and braking.
The Impreza line features the 2.5, Outback Sport, and the 2.5GT. Impreza’s base engine is the 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual transmission or an available four-speed automatic. The 2.5L Boxer four generates 170 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine powers the entire lineup, with the exception of one model.
The Impreza 2.5GT is the only model to be fitted with a turbocharger with intercooler 2.5-liter, Boxer four-cylinder engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Subaru’s turbo compact model produces 224 horsepower and 226 lb.-ft. of torque and has EPA fuel economy estimates of 19 miles per gallon city and 24 mpg highway.
The 170-hp four-cylinder gets EPA postings of 20/27 mpg on the manual transmission and 20/26 mpg on the automatic version.
My tester was a five-door model that looked like a cross between a sedan and a wagon. The automaker calls the Outback Sport the most flexible of its Impreza models. Subaru says it lays claim to the Outback Sport as establishing the framework of vehicles in 1994 that led to the development of today’s cherished Crossover Utility Vehicle market.
The Outback Sport tester had a base of $19,995. A four-speed automatic transmission with SportShift option ($1,000), Sirius satellite radio ($427) and destination charge ($695) brought the out-the-door price to $22,117.
The Outback Sport is distinguished from the other Impreza models with a two-tone appearance, side moldings, plus front and rear bumper underguards. The two-tone qualities are subtle — my tester had a Steel Silver Metallic/Spark Silver Metallic exterior.
Standard on the 2010 Impreza Outback Sport is the All-Weather Package that includes dual-mode heated seats, heated sideview mirrors and a de-icer for the windshield wiper. The Outback Sport also separates itself from the rest of the Impreza line with 17-inch wheels and tires that sit on a raised heavy-duty suspension. It also comes standard with stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes and six airbags.
On the inside the Impreza is sturdy with durable fabric materials and high-grade plastics that don’t impress as being cheap or chintzy. The lineup, with its all-wheel drive strengths, makes it worth a drive. — Connie Keane, Motor Matters
Next Bonus Wheels: 2010 Nissan Versa
2010 SUBARU IMPREZA OUTBACK SPORT
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger AWD compact CUV
BASE PRICE___________________ $19,995 (as tested: $22,117)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ 16-valve 4-cylinder w/SMPFI
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 170 at 6000 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 170 at 4400 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 4-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 103.1 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 180.3 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) 34.8 ft.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,174 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 16.9 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010