Electric power steering should make the Impreza feel more responsive, along with a reconfigured, all-independent suspension that shares some pieces with the bigger Legacy sedan and wagon.
The power steering also does its part to push the Impreza closer to the loftier fuel-economy numbers of the Elantra, Focus and Chevy Cruze. Subaru touts a 27/36-mpg estimated EPA rating, which it predicts will be the best figures delivered by any all-wheel-drive vehicle sold today, while also marking a 30-percent improvement over today's car, which checks in at 20/27 mpg with the larger 2.5-liter flat four and a five-speed manual.The new Impreza's wheelbase is almost an inch longer, while the overall length is the same. More space inside the cabin comes from trimmed-down door panels, but no real gains in overall width. Subaru says in front, a steeper windshield and bigger doors help entry and exit; the added length gives rear-seat passengers a couple inches more knee room, and helps the five-door get a flat load floor.
Base, Premium, Sport Premium, Limited and Sport Limited versions are in the works. All versions have power windows, locks and mirrors; telescoping/tilting steering wheel; keyless entry; and a split/folding rear seat. Moving up the trim lines add features like larger wheels and tires; Bluetooth; iPod controls and a USB port; and heated front seats.
Option packages will include a navigation system with texting capability and real-time traffic, leather seating, HD Radio and a power sunroof.
We'll have more on the new Impreza before it goes on sale in the fall.