Subaru's full-time all-wheel drive has something to do with it, as does the automatic Impreza's four rather widely spaced ratios. Interestingly, the much larger Legacy—and even Outback—beat the Impreza for fuel economy, if you get their continuously variable (CVT) automatic, which isn't offered in the Impreza family.
Given Subaru's messaging (and the brand's reputation for having socially and environmentally conscious followers), you might assume that this brand has especially green vehicles, that's not the case—or at least not in the case of the Impreza. The standard Impreza manages just 20 mpg city, 27 highway in EPA tests, with the automatic version a mile per gallon lower yet on the highway.
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