Sedan versions of small hatchbacks seldom look as good as their tailgated stablemates, but Subaru’s just-announced Impreza four-door does.
To my eyes, anyway. Where four-door versions of cars like the Toyota Echo look just plain dorky (even the hatchback’s designer disowned the American-penned sedan) , the new Subaru looks neat, well-thought-out and less bland than the five-door.
Subaru is selling naturally-aspirated versions of the new Impreza four-door at prices starting a shade under $27,000.
The potent turbocharged WRX will follow – Subaru is expected to announce NZ specification and prices by the end of this week.
It’s selling Impreza four doors in 2.0R and 2.0R Sport versions with a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearboxes, the latter with a manual shift mode. All have permanent four-wheel drive.
Both models are powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder DOHC Boxer engine developing 110kW at 6400rpm and 196Nm of peak torque at 3200rpm.
All models have a five-star crashworthiness rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) along with the maximum four-star pedestrian ANCAP safety rating.
Electronic stability control and six airbags, including curtain airbags, are standard on all models.
The base model Impreza 2.0R sedan gets 16-inch alloy wheels, six airbags including side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Brake Assist, and of course a 5-star ANCAP Safety Rating.
The 2.0R Sport sedan has17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust system with chrome tail piper covers, a mesh sports grille, boot lid spoiler and a sports body kit.
It also has sports seats, rear privacy glass and different cloth trim, a six-disc CD player with 10 speakers, climate-control air-conditioning and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls and a leather gearshift.
For the first time, an Impreza sedan also gets a split/fold rear seatback for even greater cargo carrying flexibility.
Though I might find the Impreza hatch bland and somewhat anonymous, but the folks who actually shell out their cash to buy new cars have taken to it like a duck to water.
Subaru New Zealand’s Graeme Woodlands says Impreza sales have climbed by more than 10 percent since the new model arrived here a year ago.
“We can only see that improving with the addition of the naturally-aspirated sedan versions. We expect the Impreza 2.0R Sport sedan to be the more popular model like its hatch sibling.”
Prices are: Impreza 2.0R manual, $26,990; Impreza 2.0R automatic, $27,990; Impreza 2.0R Sport manual, $31,990; Impreza 2.0R Sport automatic, $32,990.