Dec 312017
 

Sales figures affirm Subaru’s appeal to car buyers—December marked the seventy-third consecutive month of yearly month-over-month growth for the company. So what does Subaru offer that others don’t? Perhaps it’s the standard symmetrical all-wheel-drive (AWD)? Or the consistent high marks in consumer publications? Or could it be those Subaru ads about love? On a recent test drive for Latino Traffic Report, the Impreza 2.0i Sport sedan offered clues by living up to its name with impressive new technology and performance.

According to the automaker, 2017 was the ninth consecutive year of record sales for Subaru of America and the tenth consecutive year of sales increases, assisted in part by the Impreza’s popularity. For 2017, the manufacturer redesigned its stalwart compact sedan and hatchback, and to mark the occasion moved Impreza production to the United States, specifically, its Lafayette, IN plant.

On the outside, the Impreza sports Subaru’s new design DNA, namely, the hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights. Black cloth seats with red accent stitching, simulated carbon fiber trim, aluminum pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift handle, and a CVT shift boot, accentuated the interior on the this trim.

The compact segment excels at economy and fuel efficiency, but the Impreza did have fun-to-drive moments as well, assisted in part by 70-percent increased rigidity and a lower center of gravity.

The new and improved 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine with direct fuel injection that now produces 152 horses and 145 lb.–ft. of torque, also helped. It’s matched to a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a seven-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters. While I didn’t test it, I was happy to find that a five-speed manual is standard on the Base and Sport trim levels. The Impreza should achieve an EPA estimated fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. The Sport model I tested should achieve a little less. I averaged 29.8 mpg during the weeklong test drive.

Subaru ramps up its competitiveness with standard entertainment features like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Aha and Pandora, a multi-function display with fuel economy information, the Starlink multimedia system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth wireless capability, iPod control, and smartphone integration. Standard convenience features include a 60/40-split rear seat, cruise control, keyless access as well as an AM/FM stereo and single disc CD player. The test model added, heated front seats, push-button start and an 8.0-inch touchscreen for the Starlink multimedia system.

Standard safety features include, Vehicle Dynamics Control, symmetrical AWD, 24-hour roadside assistance, and a rear vision camera.
The test model also included the available four-way tire pressure monitoring system, a one-year subscription to STARLINK Safety Plus package, EyeSight driver assist technology ($2,945) with adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert as well as a moonroof and the Harman/Kardon audio system,

Available in four trim levels—Base, Premium, Sport and Limited—pricing for the 2018 Impreza starts at $19,355. The as-tested pricing came to $26,550.

Sí the Impreza offers a great value in the segment, starting with the standard symmetrical AWD.

No: Acceleration is a little sluggish and I would like more than eighteen presets for the radio.

Apr 262016
 
L to R: Mondo Guerra, Daisy Martinez, Pam Greer, and Ted Allen

L to R: Mondo Guerra, Daisy Martinez, Pam Greer, and Ted Allen

Latino Traffic Report encourages readers to help make a difference by simply enjoying a meal with family or friends during Dining Out For Life hosted by Subaru, a delicious event held on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Dining at one of the 3,000 participating restaurants in nearly 60 cities across North America and that restaurant will donate a generous portion of the day’s proceeds to fund HIV/AIDS care, prevention, education, testing, counseling and other essential services in their city.
Volunteer spokespeople include Ted Allen, host of Food Network’s Chopped, actor Pam Grier (Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown), designer Mondo Guerra, winner of Lifetime’s Project Runway All-Stars, and chef Daisy Martinez from Food Network’s Viva Daisy!  “The wonderful thing about Dining Out For Life is that all the funds are raised in your community stay in your community and, for me, that means a lot,” says Guerra. “When I was first diagnosed with HIV, my local AIDS service organization was the only support I had. Without this support, I would not be here today.”

Guerra in front of his Dining Out For Life-wrapped Subaru at Philly's Food Truck Pop Up.

Guerra in front of his Dining Out For Life-wrapped Subaru at Philly’s Food Truck Pop Up.

Dining Out For Life began in Philadelphia in 1991 and has since grown into an international event held in cities across North America – raising an average $4 million annually. The idea behind the single-day event is simple and effective: Dine Out, Fight AIDS. Each restaurant donates a percentage of the day’s food sales, which goes to local organizations to fund care, prevention, education, testing, counseling and other essential HIV/AIDs services.

“We have been the host sponsor of Dining Out For Life for a decade; however, the struggle to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues on. Subaru is proud to be part of an event that spreads awareness for such a worthy cause and also encourages people to support those who need it most in their local communities,” said Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing, Subaru of America, Inc.

Regions and cities celebrating Dining Out For Life include Albany, Anchorage, Asheville, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Birmingham/Mobile, Broward County, Fla., Buffalo, Charleston, Chattanooga, Chicago, Columbia, Denver/Boulder, Detroit, El Paso, Fort Collins/Northern Colorado, Grand Junction/Western Colorado, Grand Rapids, Houston, Indianapolis, Inland Empire, Jacksonville, Kalamazoo/Southwest Michigan, Kansas City, Key West, Las Vegas, Lexington, Louisville, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul/Greater Minneapolis, Nashville, New Haven, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York City, Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Northern Nevada, Orange County, Palm Beach County, Palm Springs, Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, Phoenix/Prescott, Portland, Ore., Raleigh, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Sonoma County, St. Louis, Tacoma/Olympia, Tampa Bay, Tulsa, Vancouver/Whistler, Vancouver Island and Washington, D.C.
Please note: While most cities will hold their event on Thursday, April 28, some have alternate dates. For more information on your area’s event, visit www.diningoutforlife.com and follow on Twitter: @DineOut4Life   #DiningOutForLife