Subaru Compact Cars

2018 Subaru Outback

2018 Subaru Outback

Is it a capable alternative to the SUV status quo?

Subaru has been doing remarkably well lately, posting impressive growth and sales numbers over the past several years. Helping to fuel that success is a strong stable of vehicles that cover a broad range of segments, including a few that manage to straddle the line between segments and still offer the benefits of both. The Outback is one such vehicle. Framed as the “World’s First Sport Utility Wagon,” the Outback nameplate has been around since 1994 and is currently the brand’s top-selling model, bringing all the capability and utility of a crossover, but in a wagon body style that’s a little closer to a traditional passenger car. It’s a nice combo, and to keep it feeling fresh, Subaru unveiled a mid-cycle update for the Outback at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, giving it new styling, an updated interior, more technology for safety and convenience, and a few bits and pieces that lend it a more premium feel.

The appeal for something like this is clear, and on paper, it looks like it should do well amongst buyers looking for a non-SUV that fits their particular active lifestyle. But does the 2018 Outback have what it takes to steal sales from folks more inclined to get a crossover? Read on for details.

Update 6/23/2017: The 2018 Subaru Outback is currently in preparation to roll into dealers in the coming weeks, and we now have full pricing information. Compared to the outgoing model, the Outback gets a mild price increase that ranges between $250 and $495, depending on the trim level. The base model officially starts out at $25,895. Check out the prices section below for full details on model and option pricing.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Subaru Outback.

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2018 Subaru WRX

2018 Subaru WRX

A mid-cycle update brings improved suspension and other little bits of happiness

The Subaru WRX is one of those sporty sedan rally cars that every enthusiast should drive at least once in their life. It went through a generational shift for the 2015 model year that made it even better, bringing new exterior looks, a longer A-Pillar, LED exterior lighting, a roomier interior, better outward visibility, and a new 2.0-liter four-banger that was 0.5-liters smaller than the outgoing unit but offered three extra ponies and 14 extra pound-feet which really helped to offset the 50+ pound weight gain than came with the new-gen model. It’s only been a couple of years since the new-gen model hit showrooms, and Subie has been busy putting together some minor revisions for the 2018 model year. There’s no power gain to speak of, unfortunately, but there is some minor exterior styling updates, improved suspension setup, updated manual transmission, and a new optional Performance pack – the latter of which you really want to know about if you’re hoping to ride off into the sunset with a new WRX.

So, while there isn’t a lot of big news in the aesthetics department, the mechanical bits under the metal got some serious reworking, and it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Plus there are upgraded interior materials, a new rear-seat armrest (with cup holders,) and a few updates to help cut down on unwanted noise bleed through from the road For those of you into technology, the infotainment display has grown up a bit as well, with the screen size in base trims growing by 1.5 inches while the screen in the Premium trim grows by 0.8 inches.

For a mid-cycle update, there’s actually quite a bit to talk about when it comes to the WRX. Oh, and before I forget, the WRX STI also got some significant updates, so if you’re looking to get your hands on one of those, our man Jonathan Lopez has all of the details in his full review of that 300-horsepower beast here. Anyway, let’s scroll down and see what the 2018 Subaru WRX has to offer!

Update: 4/20/2017: Subaru has announced pricing for the 2018 Subaru WRX. Check out the prices section below to learn just how much it’ll cost you to roll out in a brand-new Subie!

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX.

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2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek

2018 Subaru XV Crosstrek

The jacked-up Impreza is ready to roll into dealers

When crossovers and SUVs got their second wind on the market, automakers jumped on the opportunity to open the gates and flood each and every segment of the market with as many models as possible. But, some automakers have taken an interesting approach where they take a car body and throw it on a jacked-up chassis and suspension – a quick way to create new models without spending heaps of cash on research and design. The new Subaru XV is one of these models and, like the 2016 Subaru XV Concept, it sports the body of the 2017 Subaru Impreza five-door with a raised suspension; just enough to make it appealing to the masses who, predominantly, love these high-riding people-haulers a lot more than they probably should. The big news, however, is that the new XV is built upon Subie’s revamped Global platform that brings extra rigidity and strength to the table. There’s also a revamped suspension system, revised interior, and 80-percent of the parts used in that 2.0-liter Boxer engine have been revamped to deliver more power and better fuel economy in an overall lighter package.

As was the case with the first XV model that hit the market in 2013, the XV is essentially an Impreza with jacked up suspension, but this time around, Subaru has gone the distance to make the XV safer, stronger, more powerful, and nicer inside and out. When it comes to strength and safety, we’re not exactly talking small numbers either – the new XV, according to Subaru, offers an increase in torsional rigidity of 70 percent and a decrease in body roll of 50 percent compared to the outgoing model. But, before we get too far into that, let’s a stroll down the page talk more about the “all-new” Subaru XV.

Update 6/15/2017: Subaru has announced a full pricing schedule for the XV Crosstrek. Check out the Prices section below to learn all about it.

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2017 Subaru Impreza

2017 Subaru Impreza

New platform and direct injection for Subaru’s sporty compact

Previewed by a concept car introduced at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, the next-generation Subaru Impreza has been unveiled in production form at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

The brand’s new four-door compact rides on the Subaru Global Platform, a new architecture that will underpin all of the company’s upcoming models. Much like the previous generation, the new Impreza offers a five-door hatchback version, which was also unveiled at the New York Auto Show.

The fifth-gen model has been redesigned inside and out, receiving a revised boxer engine with slightly more horsepower and enhanced fuel economy. More significant improvements were made in the safety department thanks to a stiffer body, plus updated or added driver-assist features. Keep reading to find out more.

Updated 10/19/2016: Subaru announced prices for the 2017 Impreza sedan which arrive at dealerships later this year. 5-speed manual models will be available in early 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Impreza.

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2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue – Driven

2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue – Driven

Subaru adds blue paint, making us red with lust

The Subaru BRZ and its corporate cousins, the Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S, have been around since 2013. Relatively little changes have taken place since then, excluding 2016 being Scion’s last year in existence. However, Subaru has spiced things up with the Series.HyperBlue edition. It’s a play off the Series.Blue edition Subaru offered for 2015, but adds this can’t-miss-it HyperBlue color, black wheels, black badging, and black mirror caps. Beyond the color, a handful of blue accents in the cabin, and its super limited 500-unit production run, this BRZ retains all parts found in the standard car.

Nevertheless, the BRZ Series.HyperBlue is worth looking at. I had the chance to do that a while back when Subaru delivered one to my driveway for a week. It came packing the excellent six-speed manual transmission mated to the standard 2.0-liter flat-four cylinder and rear-wheel drive.

It didn’t take long to find a couple updates Subaru gave the entire BRZ line for 2016, namely the updated 6.2-inch Starlink infotainment system. No longer does it look like an aftermarket head unit, but rather a more integrated and better-conceived design. A frameless rearview mirror also adds a touch of class.

So what’s it like to live with the 2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2016 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited – Driven

2016 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited – Driven

Our last look at the fourth-generation Impreza Sport

The Impreza has been around since the early 1990s and has made a name for itself in both everyday driving and motorsports. The compact sedan and its hatchback sibling offer room for five, decent cargo room, and most iconically, AWD with power from Subaru’s horizontally opposed Boxer four-cylinder. That recipe has held true through the deceases as improvements in design, safety, and efficiency helped attract customers.

The fourth generation Impreza debuted in the U.S. for the 2012 model year and brought a new 2.0-liter flat-four. Sadly, Subaru’s quest for higher EPA ratings was fully recognized in the new car. Power and torque were down over the outgoing 2.5-liter while fuel economy rose. Likewise, the old four-speed automatic was ditched in favor of a fun-sucking CVT.

Now as the 2017 model year approaches, the Impreza sedan and Impreza Sport hatchback are slotted for replacement. Yep, the fifth generation car has arrived and is ready to relegate the fourth-gen to the pre-owned section. But before that officially happens, we decided to take a final look at the fourth generation car, the 2016 model year, before it headed off in the sunset.

Our tester, an Impreza 2.0i Sport Limited, came with a slew of options and features which pushed the price towards the upper $20,000 region. Still, the Impreza came with high-end features like automatic climate control, SirusXM radio, leather seats, and optional equipment like the seven-inch infotainment screen and Subaru’s EyeSight Driver-Assist System. Though the driving characteristics stray towards the dull side, the Impreza Sport Limited can undoubtedly be a well-equipped car.

So let’s take a close look at the last iteration of the fourth generation Impreza Sport

Continue reading for the full driven review

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2017 Subaru Impreza 5-Door

2017 Subaru Impreza 5-Door

The new Impreza Hatchback looks to bring even stronger competition to the compact hatchback market

We got a look at the future of the Subaru Impreza 5-Door (or hatchback) when the 2015 Impreza 5-Door Concept debuted at the 2015 Tokyo Motor show. With it, we saw a pretty radical design all the way around, with sleek-looking headlights, an overly aggressive front fascia, and some dominate body lines on the side. Now, one year after, Subaru decided to bring both the Impreza Sedan and the Hatchback version at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Like the sedan, the 5-Door version is largely based on the design we saw when the Concept debuted in Tokyo.

When we first saw the concept, we weren’t sure how much of the design would actually make it to the production model, but luckily, at least some of it did. The new production model isn’t nearly as aggressive, but in Sport trim, as depicted in the images we have here, the car does have a bit of a bite to it. As always, the Impreza hatchback comes with Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system. But, more importantly, it also rides on the same global architecture as the sedan.

Along with the new global architecture, the Impreza Hatchback – like the sedan – also features an updated boxer engine that offers up more power than before, as well as some other new features to get excited about. Normally, Subaru releases wild looking concepts and follows up with boring production models, but when it comes to the new Impreza, Subaru didn’t disappoint as much as we expected. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the new 2017 Impreza Hatchback and see just how it compares to the outgoing model.

Updated 10-19-2016: Subaru has announced pricing for the 2017 Impreza five-door hatch. There is a small price increase ranging between $100 and $1,000 depending on trim level. Check out the Prices section below for all the juicy details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Impreza 5-Door.

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2016 Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition

2016 Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition

Subaru repeats history by releasing a Special Edition Crosstrek for the 2016 model year

The Subaru XV Crosstrek is essentially a raised and slightly bubbled version of the Subaru Impreza five-door hatchback. It initially debuted in 2011 at the Frankfurt Motor Show as the Subaru XV concept. Shortly after that, Subaru moved the XV concept into production. We didn’t see the XV Crosstrek in production form here in the U.S. until Subaru came to the New York Auto Show in 2012. The model quickly went on sale for the 2013 model year and has since become Subaru’s third-best selling model.

To celebrate the success of the Crosstrek, Subaru released the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Special Edition last year. It had minor modifications here and there to differentiate it from the rest of the pack and was limited to just 1,000 units. Now, just a few days before the Chicago Auto Show kicks off, Subaru has announced that it will be bringing another special edition version of the Crosstrek to the windy city.

The 2016 Subaru XV Crosstrek Special Edition will be limited to 1,500 examples, and like last year’s special edition model, it will be based on the 2.0i Premium. Once the special edition officially debuts, expect to see it hit showrooms at the end of this spring. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, though, we’ve only got a few days before we see the Special Edition Crosstrek in the metal, so let’s dive on in and preview what we’ll be seeing in Chicago.

Updated 02/12/2016: We added a series of new images (and one video) of the new Crosstrek Special Edition taken during its official unveiling at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Check them out in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition.

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2015 - 2016 Subaru Impreza

2015 - 2016 Subaru Impreza

Launched in 1992, the Impreza quickly became one of Subaru’s most iconic vehicles, mostly due to its successful early campaigns in the World Rally Championship. Kept in production for eight years until 2000, the first-generation Impreza was sold with a bevy of flat-four engines displacing from 1.5 to 2.5 liters and in three body styles, four-door coupe, sedan, and five-door hatchback. The second-gen model, also known as the "bugeye era" Impreza was built between 2000 and 2007, and it was the first to lack a coupe version. The third-generation model followed in 2007, with a refresh to occur for the 2012 model year. For the fourth-gen model, Subaru discontinued the 2.5-liter engine, leaving the Impreza with only a 2.0-liter four-banger mated to either a five-speed manual or a CVT. For the 2015 model year, Subaru prepared a refreshed front fascia, updated convenience features and minor drivetrain tweaks for improved fuel economy.

Unlike its predecessor, the revised Impreza moves closer to the larger Legacy in terms of styling. Updates also add technology improvements across the lineup, which each trim gaining new standard equipment. Read on for the full details.

Updated 09/11/2015: Subaru announced prices for the 2016 Impreza, which will arrive at Subaru retailers in late fall. The model was heavily revised for the 2015 model year, so this year it will remain unchanged. Prices will start from $18,295 - an increase of just $100 over last year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru Impreza.

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Latest Driven:

2015 Subaru Series.HyperBlue WRX STI

2015 Subaru Series.HyperBlue WRX STI

Subaru is no stranger to special-edition models that are based on the color of the vehicle, and now we introduce you to another limited-run Subaru, the WRX STI Series. HyperBlue. Can you guess where it gets its name?

That’s right, that North Carolina Tarheels blue hue coating this all-wheel-drive performance sedan is dubbed Hyper Blue. This rig joins the 2016 Subaru BRZ Series.HyperBlue to form a duo of models that Subaru will limit to a total of 1,200 units (500 BRZs and 700 WRX STIs).

Its flashy new paint job isn’t all the Series.HyperBlue WRX STI has going for it. It also has a few upgrades inside the cabin and a set of exclusive wheels to set it apart.

So, the big question is whether or not this limited-run WRX will actually be worth the extra money that Subaru will most certainly ask for it?

Updated 09/03/2015: Subaru announced prices for the special edition Series.HyperBlue WRX STI which will arrive at local dealerships this fall. It will be priced from $39,790, including $795 destination and delivery.

Continue reading my full review to get the answer to this and more.

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Subaru Recalls 32K Imprezas To Fix Airbag Problems

Subaru Recalls 32K Imprezas To Fix Airbag Problems

Subaru of America is recalling 32,400 2012 Subaru Impreza sedan and wagon models over concerns regarding faulty airbag deployment. The recall encompasses 2012 model year vehicles that were manufactured between April 21, 2011, and February 15, 2012. The recall does not include WRX or STI models, and is not connected with the Takata airbag recall affecting earlier Imprezas.

The issue is believed to stem from a malfunction in the occupancy detector’s capacitance sensor, which helps to identify when there is a passenger sitting in the seat. Basically, a variety of unanticipated conditions could prompt the detection system to deactivate when an adult is seated, preventing the airbag from deploying in a crash. These conditions include a passenger touching an electrically grounded part of the car (like the metal seat adjuster), using an electronic device (like a phone) plugged into the accessory power outlet, or sitting with damp clothes. It’s also reported that a cell phone left on the seat or a splash of water on the seat could trigger the failure. 

If the system is deactivated, the driver will receive an airbag warning light, while the passenger airbag indicator registers as being off.

Most occupancy detectors detect weight rather than electrical capacitance, and Subaru says the sensor, newly introduced for the 2012 model year, was not properly calibrated to filter out the above-stated conditions.

The recall was issued following a preliminary evaluation from the NHTSA in April, which was launched after 26 complaints from owners. Subaru says it has paid 25,000 warranty claims related to the issue since May.

Owners of all affected Impreza models should receive a mailed notification of the recall within the next 60 days, and can fix the issue by bringing their car to any Subaru dealership for the free installation of a modified sensor.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Subaru Launches "Dream Weekend" For The 2016 Impreza

Subaru Launches "Dream Weekend" For The 2016 Impreza

If there are two things for which Subaru is best known, it’s probably hippies and dogs. And a new ad campaign for the 2016 Subaru Impreza combines both elements for a stereotypical commercial with a fun-loving dog story being told with Willie Nelson playing in the background. It isn’t clear when or where “Dream Weekend” will be shown, but for right now, you can see the 60-second spot on Subaru’s YouTube channel.

Subaru chose Willie Nelson’s “I’ve Loved You All Over The World” as the music for this commercial, which shows an owner treating his almost-15-year-old dog to a bucket-list weekend. The commercial also helps kick off a dog-friendly social media initiative called #MakeADogsDay, where Subaru is hoping that fans will upload pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram showing their poochies being pampered.

As for the car in this car commercial, Subaru has yet to release any official details for the 2016 Impreza, but it doesn’t appear that many, if any, changes are in store for the compact hatchback and sedan, just a year after a mid-cycle refresh.

Continue reading for the full story.

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