Diehard Subaru loyalists will be pleased with the familiar talk of boxer engines and all-wheel drive in this new Impreza. They will find a car that takes the ingredients of its predecessor but improves it: it’s better to drive, has a more modern interior, gets lots of safety equipment, should prove to be reliable and will still go farther than all of its rivals off road.
But even the hardiest Subaru fan – and especially the wider public – will find little emotional interest or objective positives in the new Impreza. When looked at against the rest of the class, the Impreza does little to move the game on at all. The Golf is more comfortable, the Focus is better to drive and the Octavia is more practical. All are more efficient and offer more recommendable overall packages.
Then there’s the price. At £24,995, the Impreza is in Octavia vRS and Golf 1.5 TSI territory, while a high CO2 output will deter any potential company car buyers. It remains to be seen what finance deals Subaru might offer, but they’ll have to be extremely competitive to give it a fighting chance in this class. The new Impreza is certainly an improvement, but it remains a niche choice.
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Subaru Impreza 2.0i SE Lineartronic
Price £24,995 Engine 4cyl, 1995cc, petrol Power 154bhp at 6000rpm Torque 145lb ft at 4000rpm Gearbox CVT 0-62mph 9.8sec Top speed 127mph Official economy 42.8mpg CO2, tax band 152g/km, 29%
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