The Price is Right

2021 Subaru Impreza keeps its standard AWD, goes up just $100 in price

The 2021 Subaru Impreza continues to come standard with all-wheel drive.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

For the 2021 model year, the Subaru Impreza will continue to be the only compact passenger car in America with standard all-wheel drive (AWD). The 2021 Subaru Impreza will also only cost $100 more than the 2020 model despite a performance upgrade.

Subaru has priced the base model Impreza to start at $18,795. It is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Subaru has made a continuously variable transmission (CVT) available on all trim levels but a five-speed manual is standard on this model.

The base model has a good list of standard features including a 6.5-inch infotinament touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, power windows with auto up/down for driver and front passenger, tilt and telescoping steering column, keyless entry, power door locks, 4.2-inch driver information screen, tire pressure monitoring system, rear seat reminder technology and EyeSigh Driver Assist Technology. The five-door version of the Impreza starts at $19,295.

Upgrading to the Impreza Premium ($22,195 for sedan, $22,695 for five-door) will get you all the features of the base model along with a standard CVT, steering wheel with paddle shifters, fog lights, All-Weather Package (heated front seats, windshield, and exterior mirrors), and roof rails. New for 2021, the Impreza Premium includes SI-Drive performance management system.

Impreza Premium
The popular Impreza Premium trim, priced at $22,195 for sedan and $22,695 for 5-door includes all features from the Base model with Lineartronic CVT and adds 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters. The Premium also adds the STARLINK 6.5-inch Multimedia Plus, STARLINK Safety and Security features, fog lights and the All-Weather Package with heated front seats, windshield and exterior mirrors. The 5-door models are equipped with roof rails as standard.

New for 2021, the Impreza Premium includes SI-Drive performance management system, which allows the driver to maximize engine performance, control, and efficiency and includes two selectable drive modes. Buyers can add an option package ($1,970) to their Impreza Premium that includes a power moonroof, blind spot detection with lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry, push-button start, and six-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

Impreza Sport is also available in sedan ($23,595) and five-door ($22,995) body types. It has unique suspension tuning, 18-inch machine-finish alloy wheels, and active torque vectoring. The Sport hatchback comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission but the sedan comes with the CVT and SI-Drive performance. Buyers can upgrade to the CVT in the five-door model. Both styles include a 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen, keyless entry, push-button start, aluminum pedals, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift handle, and CVT shift boot.

Buyers can add an option package ($2,470) to the Impreza Sport that includes a power moonroof, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, a Harmon Kardon amplifier and speakers, and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

Upping the ante, the Impreza Limited is priced from $25,895 for sedan and $26,395 five-door. The model builds on the Premium and Sport models. It offers standard LED headlights and daytime running lights, a leather-trimmed interior with double-stitched door armrests and instrument panel, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, keyless entry, and push-button start. Subaru's SI-Drive performance management system is standard.

In addition to its roster of standard EyeSight safety tech, Subaru adds reverse automatic braking, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and steering responsive headlights to the standard equipment list.

An option package ($2,350) includes navigation, Harmon Kardon premium audio, and a power moonroof is available.

The 2021 Impreza arrives at Subaru dealerships in October. All prices are reported without the standard $925 destination charge that applies in most states.

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NXP Semiconductors has two chip plants in Texas that were effected by Winter Storm Uri.

Photo courtesy of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

The effects of Winter Storm Uri are still being felt across Texas and it's impacting the auto industry. Reporting by Reuters tells that chipmakers, like Samsung Electronics, are still weeks away from resuming normal operations in Texas.

Traditionally, this sort of production slowdown wouldn't much impact the industry. There would typically be enough dealership and inventory and automaker back stock to make up for many, if not all of the shortages for a short period of time. However, COVID-19 has put a strain on the chipmaking industry and is already slowing production, limiting sales, and hurting automaker bottom lines.

There's also been increased demand for semiconductor chips as sales of laptops, gaming consoles, and other entertainment and exercise equipment soared as coronavirus-related lockdowns changed lifestyles globally.

Ford and General Motors have both said that their 2021 sales and profits will be hit hard by the shortage. Additional analysis by Reuters says that Toyota has enough inventory to last four months while Hyundai and Kia, which share common ownership, purchased a stockpile of chips when production was going full steam in late December and are thus far unaffected.

Samsung and NXP Semiconductors shut their factories in Texas last month when Winter Storm Uri took hold. Like Lone Star State households, Texas businesses lost access to electricity, natural gas, and water.

Samsung's logic chip plant is located in Austin. It began operating 2017 and makes chips using Samsung's 14-nanometer, 28-nm and 32-nm chip production technologies. The facility is Samsung's biggest logic chip production facility outside of South Korea, where the company is headquartered. The company also has a NAND flash chip facility in Austin.

NXP's plants are also in Austin where the company has its corporate headquarters. While there are nine other NXP offices in the U.S., there are no other manufacturing sites.

Edward Latson, CEO of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, told Reuters that chipmakers now have the power, water and gas they need to operate, but they need time to restart tools and clean the factories. He characterized the process as being slow and "very expensive".

The one month of lost production is most likely to hit automakers hardest five months down the road, in the third quarter.

Many analysts had been predicting an uptick in new vehicle sales for 2021 after car sales rallied in the fourth quarter of 2020. However, these chip shortages are deeply impacting those sales predictions.

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San Jose Hotel engineering manager Rocky Ontiveros, 60, wears a Texas mask on March 3, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott announced a new executive order that will end the statewide mask mandate and allow businesses to reopen at 100 percent capacity on March 10, 2021.

Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Reporting by Automotive News indicates that despite Texas Governor Greg Abbott's executive order lifting the mask mandate statewide and allowing businesses to begin operating at 100-percent capacity again, automakers aren't changing their tune.

This executive order rescinds most of the Governor's earlier executive orders related to COVID-19. The original orders were put in place as a response to rising COVID-19 cases, and related hospitalizations and deaths, in 2020.

The new order removes state regulations and allows private businesses and individuals to decide on their mask wearing protocol and habits. There are currently mask mandates in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

There are fallbacks in place. A release from the Governor's office states, "If COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a County Judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, County Judges may not impose jail time for not following COVID-19 orders nor may any penalties be imposed for failing to wear a face mask. If restrictions are imposed at a County level, those restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any type of entity."

Toyota

Toyota, which has a factory in San Antonio, Texas told a reporter with Automotive News that they are looking into the move but don't anticipate any immediate changes to their mask-wearing protocol. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. employs 2,542 people and makes the midsize Tacoma and full-size Tundra pickup trucks.

The automaker as has its North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas. That facility employs around 4,400 people, most of whom have been working remotely for the better part of a year.

"The early read is – no change for us," said Scott Vazin, Group Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Toyota Motor North America, when approached for comment by Automotive News.

Toyota assembly plants traditionally offers tours of its facility to the general public. Due to COVID-19, plant tours have been suspended at all Toyota manufacturing facilities including those in San Antonio; Jackson, Tennessee; Blue Spring, Mississippi; and Troy, Missouri.

General Motors

General Motors (GM) has a big footprint in Texas. The company employs 8,133 people in the Lone Star State and works with 297 suppliers in the state across 13 facilities. Additionally, as of 2020, there are 588 GM dealership franchises in Texas.

The company's Arlington Assembly plant is home to every new full-size SUV in GM's product lineup sold globally: the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Cadillac Escalade. GM Financial is headquartered in Fort Worth and one of GM's IT Innovation Centers is located in Austin. Assembly plants get much of their power from wind energy harvested from Cactus Flats and Hidalgo wind farms.

There are GM Financial centers in San Antonio, Arlington, and Sugar Land; a customer service center in Austin; a parts distribution site in Fort Worth; GM Financial headquarters in Fort Worth; a commercial lending office and the South Central Regional Office are in Irving.

Patrick Morrissey, Director, Corporate News Relations at GM, told Automotive News, "We'll keep our COVID safety protocols in place to ensure we continue to protect our employees."

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