The Subaru brand is known for its performance cars and the Impreza has stood among these vehicles. The latest Impreza features several new improvements to its predecessors such as a rounded hatchback instead of the previous four-door box-shaped saloon. Other design elements stir away from the extreme styling of the previous generations.
The latest Impreza, the WRX STi, comes with the 300bhp 2.5-litre turbocharger engine. This is the only engine available and is the same one offered by the previous generation. The continuation of its use proves the engine is reliable, but the newest variation provides more power compared to the previous one. Thanks to its power upgrade, the STi can reach a 62mph sprint after just 5.2 seconds.
The latest Impreza is also able to gain traction on wet roads, letting you reach the car’s optimum power even at the most difficult conditions. The turbo also enables the car to pull after low revs, allowing the engine to continue working to maintain the right pace. The STi also employs an Si-Drive system that allows the driver to use three engine response programmes. The Super-Sharp mode offers the best throttle response. You can control any of these modes through the switch found by the gear lever.
The Subaru maintains its stellar reputation for handling with the Impreza. This vehicle is able to cut into corners through enough grip. Ride is also smooth, even when you have to drive over bumps and potholes. Even on uneven surfaces, the Impreza provides all around comfort for passengers. The sports seats’ bucket style contributes to this asset.
The Impreza WRX STi offers full equipment: from a six-disc CD autochanger, climate control, cruise control, Alcantara/leather front bucket seats, extended wheelarches, 17-inch wheels, an integrated rear bumper diffuser, and a roof spoiler. You can also get electronic brakeforce distribution, Xenon headlights, Brembo high performance brakes, and Multi-mode Driver Control Centre Differential as part of the standard equipment. Go for the 330S version as it offers upgrades such as 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, keyless entry and a push button as start, high performance exhaust, bucket sports seats, and even a DVD player.
Although the Impreza’s ride handles uneven surfaces well, drivers will have difficulty maintaining a smooth and quick ride. Acceleration tends to be brutal and snappy from the gearbox. Going any faster also highlights the cabin’s lack of quality: noise emits from rattles and squeaks.
Acceleration also gets difficult when going through smooth shifts. The six-speed manual gearbox’s tight action tends to make this endeavor tiring. And although the Impreza corners well into turns, the steering is too light and not accurate in response when going on more difficult roads. The body also isn’t as agile as the Mitsubishi Evo X; it isn’t too stiff either when there’s a need to suddenly shift direction. Competitors offer better sophistication in terms of handling and their bodies more equipped for certain road conditions or direction changes.
The Impreza was able to score four out of five stars on the adult, child, and pedestrian safety test of NCAP. The six standard airbags also come with electronic brakeforce distribution, Isofix child mountings at the rear, and emergency brake assist to assure all around passenger safety.
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