Subaru's Impreza has been given a midlife freshen up, debuting a set of styling upgrades and a new infotainment system, along with the introduction of the Japanese manufacturer's EyeSight system to the range.
The 2015 Impreza's styling has been tweaked to bring it into line with the new Legacy and Outback's styling direction. Up front, Subaru's stylists have given the car a new bumper and grille, as well as slightly revised headlamps, while the bootlid houses a new spoiler. To keep drag and wind noise low, Subaru has redesigned the Impreza's side mirrors. The Impreza has also been fitted with extra sound deadening and thicker side windows.
The new Impreza is also available with Subaru's EyeSight system, which includes auto-emergency braking, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. The suite of active safety features that EyeSight offers is similar to those offered by the Ford's Focus, and the latest VW Golf.
EyeSight isn't the only technology update. Inside, a 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system combining iPod connectivity with music streaming services like Pandora is standard on the base 2.0i Impreza, while limited-spec models come with a multi touch 7-inch system that includes voice controls and SMS functionality. All Imprezas are fitted standard with a reversing camera.
Despite all of its new tech and interior updates, Subaru's 2.0-liter boxer carries over from the outgoing model. Producing 148 hp (110 kW) and 145 lb.ft (197 Nm) of torque, the EPA estimates its combined fuel economy at 31 mpg (7.6 l/100km). To help with economy, Subaru has fitted low-rolling resistance tires, and an "eco gauge" to encourage miserly driving. Quicker electric power steering also contributes to low fuel consumption.
The boxer engine is coupled with an updated CVT gearbox, which has been tuned to provide a "more natural stepped shift pattern." Upper-spec cars allow drivers to shift six preset ratios, while the base Impreza's 5-speed manual gearbox carries over from the outgoing car.
As with all Subarus (except the rear-drive BRZ), the Impreza is all-wheel drive. Manual cars have their torque distributed through a viscous-coupling center differential, while CVT cars have their power distributed by an electronically managed, continuously variable transfer clutch.
Subaru has not announced pricing for the 2015 Impreza, but don't expect the starting price to deviate too far from the current US$17,895.