What Changed for 2009:
- The Impreza was completely redesigned for 2008
- WRX model gets more powerful, 265-hp turbocharged engine
- New 2.5GT model with 224-hp turbo engine
- All versions available as 5-door wagon/hatchback; 2.5i and Outback Sport also offered in 4-door sedan form
- All models have six standard air bags
- 2.5i model adds all-disc brakes and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)
- Hottest-of-all STI model holds 305-hp turbo engine
Although the compact Impreza has been available in the U.S. since the early 1990s, it didn't receive much attention until the 2002 introduction of the turbocharged WRX version
, a model that had been available in Europe and Japan for several years. The all-wheel-drive (AWD) Impreza had long been a strong contender in the World Rally Championship, a form of racing that was largely unknown in the U.S. but immensely popular in other parts of the world. In 2004, Subaru added the WRX STI
, an even more powerful version of the WRX. Both WRX and STI models became immensely popular with enthusiasts. Subaru
also sold a version of the Impreza called the Outback Sport, which mimicked the larger Legacy
-based Outback with a raised suspension, 2-tone paint, and SUV-like trim details.
The 2008 Impreza was completely redesigned. One of Subaru's goals was to shift emphasis from the WRX to the 2.5i in order to increase the Impreza's market position against stalwarts like the Honda Civic
, Toyota Corolla
and Nissan Sentra
, Subaru reports. The redesigned Impreza features more mainstream styling and a bigger interior, and remains the only model in its class to offer standard AWD, Subaru claims. During the 2008 model year, Subaru reintroduced the STI hatchback with a 305-hp engine and 6-speed gearbox.Model Lineup
The 2009 Subaru Impreza is offered in 2.5i, WRX and Outback Sport trim levels; 2.5i and WRX are available as either a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback, while the Outback Sport comes only as a 5-door. The 2.5i model includes air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; CD player; cruise control; and, added for 2009, Incline Start Assist and all-disc brakes with brake assist. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC-Subaru's name for electronic stability control) also becomes standard for 2009. A Premium package adds alloy wheels; upgraded stereo with 6-disc CD changer; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio/cruise controls; and a moonroof. A navigation system and satellite radio are also available as an option bundle. The Outback Sport comes similarly equipped to the 2.5i with Premium package, adding larger (17-inch) wheels, increased ground clearance, 2-tone paint, heated front seats and mirrors, and foglamps; however, the navigation system and satellite radio are not available.
In addition to the 224-hp turbo engine, the Impreza 2.5GT includes a 4-speed automatic transmission; 17-inch alloy wheels; larger-diameter front disc brakes; a sport-tuned suspension; and an integral hood scoop. Also included are automatic climate control and electro-luminescent gauges. Offered only with 5-speed manual shift, the 265-hp WRX comes with an STI-type grille, and a newly WRX-tuned suspension with higher-rate springs. The WRX's Aero package includes a front lip spoiler, side ground effects, under-spoilers, and a trunk or rear gate spoiler. Checkered carbon black upholstery contains an embroidered WRX logo. A WRX Premium package adds an upgraded stereo, heated front seats and mirrors, a moonroof, and a wiper de-icer grid; the navigation system/satellite radio bundle is also available on the WRX.Powertrain
Subaru Impreza 2.5i and Outback Sport models are powered by a 2.5-liter, horizontally opposed (or "boxer") 4-cylinder engine that produces 170 hp at 6000 rpm and 170 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm. EPA fuel-economy estimates for both the 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions are 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway. A turbocharged 2.5-liter engine powers the 2.5GT, developing 224 hp. The 2009 WRX is powered by another version of the 2.5-liter turbo that puts out 265 hp at 5200 rpm and 226 lb.-ft. of torque at 2800 rpm. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway with the 5-speed manual transmission, 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the 4-speed automatic transmission. All versions of the 2009 Subaru Impreza feature standard AWD.
During the 2008 model year, Subaru revived the STI edition, which features a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that produces 305 hp at 6000 rpm and 290 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. Offered only in 5-door hatchback form, the STI comes only with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Cast alloy wheels hold 18-inch tires.Safety
Standard safety equipment for all 2009 Subaru Impreza models now includes all-disc anti-lock brakes as well as front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags and two-row side curtain air bags. Vehicle Dynamics Control is now standard on all models.
The Subaru Impreza has received perfect 5-star ratings for both driver and front passenger in frontal crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA
). In the side-impact test, the Impreza scored 5 stars for front-seat occupants and 4 stars for back-seaters. The rollover rating was 4 stars.Technology
The 2009 Subaru Impreza is the only car in its class to offer standard AWD, Subaru says. It's also one of the few cars in its class with a standard stability-enhancement system.