Joel Helmes reviews the Subaru Impreza.
So you have just over $30,000 to spend on a car?
I don’t envy you because the choices out there are immense.
Having a close look at the latest model Impreza however may just settle the issue in one go.
Here you have a car that really does deliver everything.
Firstly there’s no compromise on safety because it comes with a 5 star ANCAP rating.
The Subaru Imprezas green credentials are also unquestionable because it’s been given a 5 star Green Vehicle Guide rating.
Fuel economy, at a combined 6.8 litres per 100, is not that far off hybrid and turbo diesel territory.
Yet while it sounds a touch safe and boring the Impreza is also a car that has some spirit, and that of course is what you would expect from Subaru.
Under the bonnet is a 2.0 litre four cylinder boxer petrol engine which delivers 110kW and 196Nm, just enough for a car of this size.
Acceleration down low is a little on the flat side but given enough encouragement the Subaru Impreza gets along quite well.
The steering is magnificent.
Ride, handling and brakes are all very good.
Don’t forget as well you get the peace of mind of all-wheel drive in an Impreza.
The engine’s stop/start system is generally quite driver friendly and if you don’t like your engine “conking out” at the traffic lights you can easily turn it off.
While the CVT auto provides smooth shifting on the go I was a little unimpressed with the time it takes to move from reverse to drive, this was a trait evidenced in my recent drive of the Subaru XV as well (you can check out that review here).
The external styling of the 2012 Impreza is “non-offensive” and generally very pleasing to the eye, especially when fitted with the 17” alloy wheels on the “S” version.
Inside the cabin of the Impreza is essentially the same as the XV and that means a very good mix of quality materials and a little bit of hard plastic.
My test car had the $4000 options package which includes leather seats, sunroof and a rear reversing camera.
Other observations inside the cabin of the Subaru Impreza include good sized storage spots, relatively good leg room, well placed cruise control and climate control info screens and an overall nicely laid out cockpit.
The boot space is good.
Summing it up there’s nothing about the Impreza that will get anyone off side, it’s efficient, safe, nicely built, comfortable, a pleasure to drive and comes with plenty of little extra’s.
The Subaru Impreza range starts at just $23,990, the “S” will set you back $31,490, the price as tested was $35,490.
In all it was one of my favourite cars this year and if you’re looking for a good value buy that delivers on all fronts I can’t recommend it highly enough.
NUTS & BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 Litre horizontal four cylinder petrol – 110kW and 196Nm.
Transmission: 6 speed CVT auto.
Safety: 5 Star ANCAP Rated.
Warranty: 3 years,
Economy: Urban – 8.9 L, Extra urban – 5.6L, Combined 6.8L
Price: from $31,490