What is it?
The understated family hatch you see before you is the fifth-generation Subaru Impreza. Twenty years ago, that nameplate might’ve been one to make you sit up and pay attention - particularly if you were an ardent follower of the World Rally Championship at the time.
Now, though, the Impreza isn’t quite as exciting. There are two reasons for this: namely, because the coveted WRX performance models have been established as a model line in their own right (not to mention one that’s about to leave the UK for good, supposedly), and also because Subaru has been placing safety at the forefront of its vehicle development programme for some time now.
Not that that’s at all a bad thing. After all, this new Impreza comes with a full five-star Euro NCAP rating, thanks in no small part to its ‘Eyesight’ suite of driver aides. This includes features such as pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist.
In addition to the comprehensive range of safety kit, the Impreza also gets Subaru’s symmetrical four-wheel drive to help the car’s on-road surefootedness, while the all-new Subaru Global Platform aims to improve dynamic feel. Suspension, meanwhile, consists of MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone arrangement at the rear.
At the car’s nose, you’ll find Subaru’s naturally aspirated four-cylinder boxer engine in 2.0-litre guise (a smaller 1.6-litre unit is also available). Its 154bhp and 145lb ft of torque are sent to all four wheels via a ‘Lineartronic’ continuously variable transmission (CVT).