Just the right amount of sporty
Let me get this out of the way first: my memories of the old generation of the Subaru Impreza were more about the high-performance versions that are the WRX and STI than the basic models. And my only recent road test (other than as a passenger riding with a colleague) essentially had to do with the Impreza WRX 265, a definitely more dynamic ride.
So you can imagine how, in my head, I was getting ready for a week driving of a sports car. Then I sat down in the Impreza Sport, and for a few minutes there, I was pretty disappointed. I have to say that the automatic transmission equipping my tester, as well as my inclination for sporty cars, kept me somewhat from appreciating the true capabilities of the little car.
Thankfully, I had a few days to get used to it, and any initial impression was turned on its head. Obviously you can’t mistake the Impreza for any type of high-performance vehicle, but it got the job done with more enthusiasm than I expected.
I know that the styling of the new generation of the Impreza wasn’t unanimously applauded when it was first launched. But we’ve had the chance to get used to it since then, and I can’t help but admit that I found my five-door version to be quite attractive.
In fact, looking back, it’s safe to say that this is the best-looking Subaru Impreza to date, featuring dynamic tail lights and an athletic stance. I do have to clarify that the sport version I tested had inherited side skirts for extra flair, and I think they should be offered on all versions by default.
And, oh joy, whatever the folks at Subaru may think, my little Impreza featured a teeny-tiny spoiler as opposed to the hideous airplane wing still adorning the STI. In short, the small, stylish, dynamic and sophisticated Subaru Impreza might not turn any heads, but you can’t help but admire its European personality.
Same story inside, where the respectable ergonomics, decent comfort level and well-adapted seats create an overall sporty feel. On the other hand the temperature settings are rather vague, but on the whole, you’ve got everything you need to ensure easy, straightforward cabin access.