2008-, News&Reviews

Don’t Expect an All-New Subaru WRX Until 2020

Despite Subaru completely overhauling the Impreza for 2017, it appears the WRX will stick around on its current platform for another few years. That’s the word from Motoring in Australia, who spoke with an senior engineer from Subaru about a WRX replacement. For those that can’t wait, the good news is that a WRX refresh is coming for 2018, which should carry the car for another few years.

It should be no surprise that a full WRX redesign is a few years off. Although the fourth generation Impreza was released in 2011, the current WRX has only been on sale since the 2015 model year. Given an average five-year cycle, we can most likely expect a redesign for 2020. It’s not clear how extensive the refresh will be or if the STI will finally drop the ancient EJ-series 2.5-liter turbochargedflat four engine for the more modern FA-series 2.0-liter turbocharged flat four engine found in the regular WRX.

Rumors have been swirling for years of what else a full-redesign may encompass. The current model was rumored to have an electric turbocharger that obviously never appeared. There have been other rumors of a switch to a hybrid powertrain. While that may work when the WRX finally uses the updated Impreza platform, don’t expect to see hybrid power in the refreshed model. Subaru says the time it would take to engineer such a system would be too great to have it available for 2018. The new Impreza’s platform is designed to fit a hybrid system, so don’t rule out the possibility of a WRX hybrid.

Related Video:


2008-, News&Reviews

2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI Pair Updated Looks With Performance Upgrades

For 2018, Subaru has given the WRX and WRX STI a mild refresh on the outside, and a few significant tweaks under the skin. Starting with the exterior, the lower grille openings on both models have been enlarged and given a bit of extra black trim for a more aggressive look. In fact, the change is a bit reminiscent of the dearly departed Mitsubishi Evo, with the black trim of the lower center grille extending to the bottom of the bumper. The WRX Limited and all STI models also get turning LED headlights, and the STI gets bigger 19-inch wheels.

The interior also features subtle tweaks including a larger screen in the instrument panel for all models, as well as thicker door glass and foam in the windshield header to the make the car quieter. Both models also now come with roof rack mounting brackets, a new rear armrest with cupholders, and, according to Subaru, improved interior materials. And the WRX and STI are also now available with eight-way power adjustable Recaro seats. The Recaros are standard on the top trim STI, optional on the standard STI, and available in the new Performance Package for WRX models.

This brings us to perhaps the biggest update, that aforementioned WRX Performance Package. In addition to the Recaro seats, it comes with upgraded brake pads covered in bright red calipers. The package also eliminates the moonroof, which hardcore enthusiasts know will save weight up high.

The STI gets a notable brake upgrade. New Brembo brakes feature six-piston calipers at the front, and two-piston units at the back, and they’re all painted a vivid yellow hue. Those calipers act on bigger, drilled rotors using equally enlarged brake pads. Subaru also retuned the car’s Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD). Both the WRX and STI also have retuned suspension all around.

If this all sounds great to you, you should be able to pick one up at your local Subaru dealer this spring.

Related Video:


2008-, Featured, News&Reviews

Subaru’s 2017 Forester is Still One of The Best Crossover SUVs You Can Buy

My very first car was a 1998 Subaru Forester that my brother handed down to me.

It wasn’t the sexiest car in the world, but it sure was reliable. I drove it from New York to North Carolina and back again for four years with 80,000 miles already logged, and it always got the job done.

So when the opportunity to try the newest Subaru Forester presented itself, I had to get behind the wheel and see if it still presented the same level of comfort, reliability, and driving ease as its nearly 20-year-old predecessor.

The Forester is arguably Subaru’s most important car. The crossover was Subaru’s best-selling vehicle in the US last year and still holds that title in 2016 so far.

As always with the Forester, the Subaru’s main perk is that it’s a practical and sturdy ride with all-wheel drive. But the 2017 model comes with some semi-autonomous features that take it to the next level. These kinds of steady improvements are important considering how competitive the crossover segment is, with players like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4.

Here’s what it’s like to drive Subaru’s latest Forester:

Behold, the 2017 Subaru Forester. The car arrived on a relatively rainy weekend, but I had the chance to take it on a longer trip to Fort Lee Historic Park in New Jersey once the sun came out.

At a time when most cars are getting bigger, Subaru still has a loyal following with its small crossover.

Subaru’s Forester made its US debut in 1998 with the model pictured here. It was one of the first compact crossover SUVs to hit the market at the time. It’s actually pretty remarkable how little the size of of the compact SUV has changed, though it’s lost its original boxy shape.

For a crossover, the Subaru Forester has always offered a ton of interior space, especially in the trunk…

… And that still holds true today.

As a pleasant surprise, the 2017 Forester still comes with a beautiful, big rear window.

This is probably a strange thing to harp on, but one of my favorite features of my 1998 Forester was how much visibility it got in the rear. It had a perfect line of sight for long trips involving heavy highway maneuvering, and that feature hasn’t changed.

From a design standpoint, the 2017 Subaru Forester offers the same creature comforts that many Subaru loyalists have come to know and love, with some added improvements.

Interestingly enough, the 1998 Subaru Forester started under $20,000 for the base model. Nineteen years later, the 2017 Subaru Forester begins at $22,595 — a pretty small price increase. But the Touring Version that I drove starts at $31,295 because it’s available with features like a touchscreen infotainment system and semi-autonomous driving aids.

The original Subaru’s seats were covered in this grey-and-blue cloth material that can only be described as insanely ’90s. Because I drove the premium version of Subaru’s Forester, the seats was decked out in plush, brown leather.

Here’s another look at the backseat’s set-up.

All versions of the Forester come with a center console that offers a neat and clear app selection. There’s also a digital clock above the console that will transform to show you how much gas you have left when your car is shutting down.

Subaru’s STARLINK connected infotainment system is also standard. It’s not the most detailed map you’ll ever see, but it’s easy to see your route and the relevant information when you’re glancing down quickly while driving. It also gives solid directions. For example, it will tell you “turn at the next light” instead of tossing out a road name you may not be familiar with.

The Touring line comes with features like adaptive cruise control, an alert system that will ping you if it detects lane drift, emergency braking, blind spot detection, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. It also comes with steering responsive, LED headlights.

I appreciated how fine-tuned the Rear Cross Traffic Alert was on the Forester — it didn’t beep unless you were truly getting close to an object behind you. Subaru altered its Rear Cross Traffic Alert for this model so the colored cameras provide a longer field of vision, and it’s definitely an improvement. The camera view is crystal clear, and the different colored brackets provided accurate assessments of spacing.

I was also a big fan of the key fob that will automatically unlock the door for you when you approach the car. With keyless access you simply put the fob in the center console and push the start button to get the car going.

But the blind spot detection feature was lacking. It’s supposed to light up if a vehicle is driving in your blind spot. But I drove the car on the highway and didn’t really notice it, so it’s certainly a minimalist feature that’s easy to miss.

You can control a lot of the car’s functions using the steering wheel alone, from changing the volume to entering cruise control. There’s also paddle shifters if you want to enter manual mode. All of these controls were easy to access and adjust on the highway without spending too much time looking down.

And as a fun bonus feature, the Touring line comes with a heated steering wheel, which is the first for a Forester.

For fun, here’s a look at the original Subaru Forester center console. Feel free to revel at my cassette tape adapter hook-up. You won’t be seeing a cigarette lighter in the new model…

Overall, my experience driving the Subaru Forester was pleasant. It had great pick-up on the highway and the braking was consistently smooth.

The car offers the perfect amount of lift around the road, and it’s easy to control when changing lanes.

Its compact size and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert system made parallel parking this car a breeze.

Overall, the 2017 Subaru Forester remains a solid bang for your buck option if you’re looking for a sturdy crossover.


2008-, Car Technology, Featured, News&Reviews

Subaru recalls 26,000 Imprezas for Backup Camera Gremlins

Sure, you may not need a backup camera, but if it’s not working when it’s supposed to, it’s still a pain.

Subaru issued a recall for 26,564 examples of the 2017 Impreza in both sedan and hatchback guise. The vehicles in question have production dates between Sept. 12, 2016 and Feb. 23, 2017.

The issue isn’t actually related to any mechanical part of the vehicle — instead, it comes from Harman’s infotainment unit, which underpins Subaru’s Starlink system. The backup camera display might not show up properly.

It could be a black screen due to a memory error during the initial boot-up, or the screen might freeze if too much is happening at the same time. Either way, when putting the car in reverse, the camera might not show up on the screen when it’s supposed to, which can technically increase the risk of an injury or collision.

After discovering reports of a blank screen when putting the car in reverse, Subaru collected failed parts and sent them back to Harman, which investigated the issue and told the automaker how to fix it. Thankfully, the fix is easy — Subaru will fix the issue with a simple software reflash, which should take about an hour at any dealership.

Subaru notified dealers of the issue on February 24, and it will eventually mail out notifications to owners via first-class mail. The schedule for owner notification has not yet been established, however.


2008-, Featured, News&Reviews

Why You Should Buy the All-New 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

The perfect car for outdoor lovers just got even better.

Do you like camping, skiing, biking, and [fill in any other outdoor activity here]? Do you want a car that’s affordable and economical, but still has room for all your stuff and your dogs? Do you need a car that can handle a rough dirt road and winter weather? Do you need a car that’s as good squeezing into a tight parking spot as it is on the open road? You need Subaru’s newly updated, already-excellent Crosstrek.

Based on the new Impreza, the Crosstrek benefits from that model’s increased torsional rigidity: that stiffer body delivers an improved ride, better handling, and even reduces noise, vibration, and harshness.

The outgoing Crosstrek was already one of the safest cars on the road, but the new platform is even safer. Subaru claims the car’s ability to absorb energy in a crash is up 40 percent over its predecessor—and that’s if you actually run into something. Helping you avoid doing that is a center of gravity that’s dropped 0.2 inches (a low center of gravity is a Subaru hallmark, courtesy of its unique opposed-cylinder engines), which should provide a small handling advantage. Subaru’s EyeSight driver aid technology will also be optional: it brings automated pre-collision braking to the car.

Also aiding handling is a new method for mounting the anti-roll bar, which is said to reduce body roll by a significant 50 percent. You’ll feel that, just like you’ll feel the quicker new steering rack, which moves from a 14:1 ratio to a faster 13:1. Steering speed will be further boosted by Subaru’s confusingly titled Active Torque Vectoring system. That doesn’t actually vector any torque, but it does grab a little front brake on the inside wheel when you’re turning, making the car change direction a little quicker.

Gone is the option for a manual gearbox. All Crosstreks will now be fitted with Subaru’s excellent Continuously Variable Transmission, which shifts between seven preset ratios to mimic the feel of a traditional automatic. That change will actually benefit the Crosstrek’s ability in dirt. Subaru’s X-Mode terrain response system is fitted as standard and can be turned on at low speeds. Not only is it capable of mimicking some of the advantages of locking differentials, to maximize traction, but it also operates in low gear ratios, to mimic some of the advantages of a low-range transfer case. That means the Crosstrek will never be as good as a Jeep Wrangler off-road, but it should now stand a much lower chance of getting stuck.

The new Crosstrek retains the outgoing model’s 8.7 inches of ground clearance. That figure is identical to the Subaru Forester and Outback, but the shorter, lighter, smaller Crosstrek should benefit from sharper approach, departure, and breakover angles, again improving its ability on rough dirt roads.

Unlike the new Impreza, roof rails are standard on the Crosstrek, making it easier to carry boards, bikes, and other cargo on your roof. Engine options, and the subsequent fuel economy figures for the U.S. version of this new Crosstrek haven’t yet been released, but those rails and the increased ride height will come at the expense of miles per gallon, in comparison to the regular Impreza.

My favorite example of what makes Subarus so good is their excellent outward visibility. Not only is the company totally ignoring the current trend for very slim greenhouses and tiny windows in favor of tall, spacious, airy cabins, but the engine design, with its horizontal cylinders, also improves the center of gravity and leads to a lower hood—again maximizing your vision. Good vision equips Subaru drivers with the necessary tools to drive safer, faster, and to enjoy the view.

Weight is another thing Subaru just gets right. At an estimated 3,200 pounds, the new Crosstrek will be 300 to 400 pounds lighter than something like the Toyota RAV4. That again benefits everything from handling to braking to fuel economy to even safety.

Safe, easy to drive, extremely practical, and surprising capable, the Crosstrek is an ideal car for any driver who doesn’t need the larger interior dimensions of the Forester or Outback. Subarus aren’t the sexiest cars on the market, but what they lack in headline horsepower figures or sexy styling, they make up for with the kind of smart design features you’ll benefit from every time you drive. These are excellent, intelligently designed cars that somehow manage to be incredibly affordable. Like the outgoing model, expect this new Crosstrek to benefit from cheap lease deals.


2008-, Featured, News&Reviews

2017 Subaru: Engineering And Reliability Are Hallmarks

Subaru brand enthusiasts have been compared to VW and Jeep fans for their endearing commitment (whether to aesthetic or engineering, performance or reliability). All are desirable traits for a modern brand that pins its modesty on its ability to go just about anywhere.


2017 Subaru BRZ

BRZ: Subaru’s rear-wheel-drive coupe enjoys the introduction of new LED headlights and taillights, a distinctive aluminum rear wing and brash 10-spoke wheels to help emphasize its sporty attitude. This sportiness (and the RWD) make the BRZ an oddity among the AWD Subaru lineup. What is not odd is the BRZ’s young attitude and the 2.0-liter flat-four that gets a slew of new composition with new heads, valves, and cams along with reworked intake and exhaust manifolds.

Underpinnings are often overlooked, but with BRZ’s tiny weight prone to rough rides, Subaru has added revised springs to a stiffer structure, new dampers and a hefty rear anti-roll bar. Look for a new Performance package (for manual transmissions) that includes Brembo brake calipers, Sachs dampers and larger front and rear brake rotors.

2017 Subaru Forester

Forester: The new Forester offers a base 2.5-liter flat-four powerplant with a special emphasis on Subaru’s claimed 2-mpg city fuel economy improvement. When you are running all four wheels, anything that can be done to help mpg is appreciated. In addition, Subaru has enhanced the new Forester with a driver-assist technology suite called EyeSight, which includes lane-keeping assist and optional reverse automatic braking. While the Forester gets lighter, it manages to do it while adding insulation beneath the floor, improved door seals and thicker panel glass to reduce noise.

Impreza: The 2017 Impreza is available as a four-door sedan or hatchback. Some may whine about the loss of the manual transmission variant, but the CVT automatic, with the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, easily offsets any fun factor lost. Look for the 2017 to offer enhanced roll resistance, stability and ride quality.

This year’s fresh Impreza, the first to be perched atop the new global platform, delivers a lower and longer shape. Not new is the expected 2.0-liter flat-four with direct injection and 152 horsepower. Subaru will now offer a 2.0i Sport model with a stiffened suspension and big 18-inch rims.


Minor changes: Crosstrek, Legacy, Outback, WRX STI


1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Featured, History, Top 5

Our 5 Favorite WRX STI Models

Subaru Tecnica International (STI) began as the motorsports division for Subaru in 1988. Amidst growing success in the World Rally Championship (WRC), the first STI model emerged in 1994, and its rally-proven performance has influenced the Subaru lineup ever since. The first Subaru Impreza WRX STI had 10 more horsepower than the standard WRX, stiffer suspension, and better brakes. In the 20 years since then, STI models have remained true to the first car’s winning formula of affordability, durability and high performance. Now that Subaru is poised to launch the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite rally-bred STIs over the years to honor the occasion.

1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STI

Widely known as the ultimate STI halo car, Subaru unleashed the Impreza 22B STI in 1998. It was intended to be a road-going version of the racer that won the 1997 FIA WRC title, Subaru’s third consecutive victory in the series. The year also intersected with the 40th anniversary of the Subaru brand.

The 22B featured a 2.2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine modified from the regular 2.0-liter STI powertrain, with power ramped up to 280 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. Subaru made the track wider with new wheels and tires, added flared fenders and rocker sill extensions to the bodywork, and increased the inclination of the rear-wing’s main plane by 17 degrees to produce more aerodynamic downforce. A twin-plate ceramic-disc clutch and close-ratio gears in the transmission made effective use of the increased power to help the car record a seriously swift 4.3-second sprint from 0-60 mph. Power peaked at a lofty 6000 rpm, and the engine would happily rev to its 7900-rpm redline.

Although the engine was perhaps the most distinctive feature of the 22B STI, Subaru did not overlook the car’s handling dynamics. Upgraded rack-and-pinion steering with a quicker ratio and a specially tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers were also part of the rally-based package. Bob Hall of Wheels magazine in Australia remarked that “nobody was quite ready for [the 22B’s] adhesion and cornering competence. In dynamics alone, the 22B comes very close to matching the classic Porsche 928 for chassis balance. It’s really that good.” High praise, indeed.

While the Impreza 22B STI’s performance set the formula for future generations of the WRX STI, the car’s looks were just as influential. The shape itself grew out of Prodrive’s Impreza RS, but the now-iconic livery of Sonic Blue Mica paint and 17-inch gold BBS wheels came from the original 555-sponsored Impreza rally cars of the mid-1990s. The trademark hood scoop and cherry-red STI badge continue to be visual signatures of the WRX STI even today. Subaru built just 424 units of the Impreza 22B STI, with 400 for Japan and the remainder for the export market.

2000 Subaru Impreza S201 STI

In April 2000, Subaru launched a 300-car run of a model inspired by the Electra One concept car. Called the S201 STI, the car set itself apart from the conventional WRX STI with a recalibrated engine computer, more turbo boost, a higher-capacity air-to-air intercooler and a larger, free-flowing exhaust, all of which pushed output to 300 hp.

The S201 STI also stood out in a crowd thanks to its bold body kit. A new front fascia included a wide lower grille opening and a much deeper bumper. New side skirts and a bi-level rear wing further transformed the exterior, while the car’s cabin featured a titanium shift lever, aluminum pedals and blue interior trim. The STI boffins also fitted the car with a hood scoop, a limited-slip front differential, height-adjustable suspension, red brake calipers, and 17-inch forged-aluminum RAYS wheels.

Though sold only in small numbers, the S201 is quite distinctive and is a seriously memorable version of the WRX STI.

2001 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Following the debut of the second-generation Impreza, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI launched in Japan in late 2000. The so-called “New Age” generation of STI proved to be quite popular worldwide, thanks to its excellent driving dynamics, standout looks, and everyday usability. It would also be the first STI to make it to U.S. shores, although when it arrived here in 2004, it had an engine different from the one with which the car had been introduced in Japan.

The second-gen Subaru Impreza WRX STI continued to use a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four engine, but it featured a significant bump in power. Upgrades to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder included lightweight hollow camshafts, variable valve timing, and electronic throttle control, which together helped increase power and response lower in the rpm range to compensate for turbo lag. To cope with the heat of increased performance, the STI contained an intercooler 30 percent larger than the unit used in the standard WRX, and a larger hood scoop directed air to it.

When all was said and done, the STI engine developed 280 horsepower and 274 lb-ft of torque, an impressive step above the 250 hp and 245 lb-ft by the engine of the standard WRX. In keeping with the car’s rally-bred performance, a close-ratio, six-speed gearbox was available as an option. A computer-controlled center differential varied torque distribution to the front and rear wheels, while Brembo brakes delivered fade-free stopping power.

When the U.S. model of this car arrived, it featured a 2.5-liter boxer engine that made a burly 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. This gave it the power to prevail over the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, which brought only 271 hp to the table with its 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four engine. Added power aside, the STI was also the better, more tractable day-to-day road car. As we said in a comparison test between the STI and a Mitsubishi Evo, “[The STI] is arguably more complete than any race-bred road car in history, and its owner needs to make very few sacrifices to enjoy it.”

2005 Subaru Impreza Prodrive RB320

As the builders of Subaru’s competition cars for the FIA World Rally Championship, the engineers at Britain-based Prodrive knew their way around a fast Subie. These Prodrive-built Impreza racers eventually racked up three championships in the WRC with Colin McRae, Richard Burns, and Petter Solberg behind the wheel.

Prodrive has also been behind numerous hot Subaru production models over the years, and in 2005, it brought to market the RB320, a specially prepared Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The high-performance RB320 had a Prodrive-engineered package for the boxer four-cylinder that produced 320 hp, plus an upgraded chassis setup for a lower ride height with Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers. All of this made for a truly special STI, not to mention an aggressive appearance thanks to its mesh grille and 18-inch black wheels.

Only 320 units of this high-performance car were built, and all were sold in Britain. The RB designation honored Richard Burns, who died of brain cancer in 2005 just four years after winning the WRC championship with Subaru and Prodrive.

2011 Subaru Cosworth Impreza CS400

Prodrive isn’t the only British racing company with links to Subaru, as Cosworth – the noted British builder of purebred racing engines – helped create the Cosworth Impreza CS400.

Cosworth had cast the aluminum blocks for Subaru’s rally engines, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to prepare a total engine package. The turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer-four under the hood of the regular WRX STI was thoroughly upgraded with new crankshaft bearings, steel connecting rods, stout pistons with a lower compression ratio, new head gaskets and fortified head studs. These modifications helped the engine withstand increase boost from the new turbocharger, and the further addition of free-flowing intake and exhaust helped produce 395 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, a bump of 90 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque over a U.S.-specification STI engine.

Cosworth also applied its magic touch to the WRX STI’s chassis. Eibach coil springs lowered the ride height by a half-inch, Bilstein dampers controlled the suspension action, and hard suspension bushings delivered sharper handling response. Heavy-duty, six-piston AP brake calipers produced stronger, crisper action from the front brake discs, and the 18-inch wheels were wrapped in super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tires.

The Cosworth Impreza CS400 was never sold in North America, but Autocar got to sample the car in Britain. After the CS400 reached 100 km/hr (62 mph) in a scant 3.7 seconds and reached the end of a quarter-mile right on the back bumper of an Audi RS6, the magazine proclaimed this car to be “the fastest, most powerful and most expensive Subaru Impreza that’s ever been offered for sale in the UK.” Cosworth limited production to 75 cars — but had it not, the $83,000 asking price would likely have limited sales anyway.


2008-, Featured, News&Reviews

Subaru Sees Impreza as Gateway to Young Buyers

Safety, reliability, all wheel drive could sell them on it

Subaru began airing commercials including “More,” shown, for the 2017 Impreza on national TV this month.

A puppy, a college-aged kid and the ability of a car to stop itself.

These are some of the images Subaru of America is using to reach millennials in its national ad campaign for the all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza. The company began airing three 60-second spots on national TV this month.

The campaign for the Impreza sedan and hatchback underpins Subaru’s goal of a 9 percent sales increase this calendar year and a ninth-straight year of record U.S. results. “Subaru is a much larger brand than the last time the Impreza launched four years ago,” said Alan Bethke, Subaru of America’s senior vice president of marketing.

He acknowledged the compact competes in a tough, high-volume segment filled to the brim with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze.

“But Subaru still has opportunity for growth,” he said.

The fifth-generation model is significant for the automaker, Bethke said. It’s the first Impreza to be built in the U.S., and the first Subaru to use the company’s strategic flexible underpinning, called the Subaru Global Platform.

But he says the Impreza is important for another reason: “It’s a gateway to young shoppers,” Bethke told Automotive News. The 25-30 age group is the single largest for Impreza sales.

Core brand attributes such as safety, vehicle longevity and all-wheel drive are found in the Impreza campaign, Bethke said, noting that these “appeal to millennials.

“Getting these buyers when they’re young is a great way to keep them in the Subaru family,” he said. 

The TV spots, dubbed “More,” “Moving Out” and “Rewind,” are similar to previous Subaru spots in that they each have an emotional pull based around a vehicle. 

Subaru worked with Minneapolis-based agency Carmichael Lynch on the ads. 

“Our relationship started in 2007, which in ad years is quite a long time, but we’ve had a lot of consistency with them,” he said, adding that the campaigns have become more refined and advanced. 

The automaker also rolled out a content-driven site called MeetAnOwner.com, designed to feature owners of various Subaru models of different ages, lifestyles and backgrounds to provide a reference point for nonowners. Bethke believes millennials find third-party reviews important when making purchases, and they rely heavily on word-of-mouth. 

In addition to the website, #MeetAnOwner will have a social media presence on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the automaker said. 

Sales of the Impreza, which began reaching dealers in late November, totaled 5,105 units in January in the U.S., a 17 percent increase from last year.