Built on Subaru’s latest underpinnings and using all-wheel drive as standard, the fifth-generation Impreza serves as a left field C-segment alternative to the likes of the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.
The new car is 10mm lower, 35mm wider and has a 25mm longer wheelbase than its predecessor, enabling cabin and boot space to grow for improved practicality. The boot can swallow 1280 litres of luggage with the rear seats down, which is 10 litres better than the old car and 70 better than the Astra can offer.
Both engines send drive through a CVT gearbox, marking the first time such a transmission has been used in an all-wheel drive application. The so-called Lineartronic 'box has been engineered with a damper to help smooth out power delivery and reduce the rev surge some CVTs cause. It&amp;rsquo;s said to improve fuel efficiency, although no economy figures have been revealed at this stage.
The new Impreza will go on sale later this year at a price that's expected to stay relatively close to the £18,995 of the outgoing car. If the price remains similar, it'll allow the new Impreza to undercut the £19,635 Focus, but it won't be low enough to beat the Astra and its £16,535 opener.