Subaru has developed a loyal following, with the brand’s ‘boxer’ engines and symmetrical all-wheel-drive helping differentiate it from the herd.
The third generation Impreza offers practical and comfortable family motoring with high levels of safety, attributes that should ensure popularity with used buyers too.
Launched in late 2007 in five-door hatch guise only, sedan versions were released twelve months on. Naturally aspirated models came in three specifications – the entry level R, mid-range RX and premium RS. The sporty turbo-charged WRX (not reviewed here) rounded out the range. There was an equipment upgrade in 2010.
Safety features were above average with six airbags, antilock brakes, electronic brake distribution and stability control standard on all variants. Enhanced grip levels thanks to constant all-wheel-drive are reassuring particularly on wet tarmac and gravel roads. A five-star ANCAP crash rating boosts credentials too.
Impreza is easy to drive with light controls and steering, stable sure-footed road holding and good ride comfort, superior to its predecessor. Body roll through corners is apparent though.
Performance from the 2.0-litre ‘flat-four’ engine is adequate, though low down grunt will be found wanting. The engine needs to be worked to give its best. It’s heavier on fuel than some competitors and premium fuel is recommended. The five-speed manual is the better gearbox choice as the optional auto was a little off the pace with only four speeds.
Check for proper servicing including the timing belt, due at 125,000km or five years. Engine oil use, up to a litre per 2000km, is considered ‘normal’. Check manual and auto gearbox operation, for worn or shuddering clutches, and general suspension wear too. Parts and service costs can be a bit higher than average. A spacesaver spare is standard fit.
Under the pump
Impreza will use between 7.0 litres and 11.9 litres of premium 95 fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to CD's online car price guide or our Car review Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.