All Subaru Imprezas are all-wheel-drive cars. All-wheel-drive isn't an option on specific Impreza variants; it's not reserved exclusively for low-volume sporting
examples. Every Impreza sends its power to all four wheels.
Uniquely Subaru feel
Fun to hustle
|THE BAD |
They forgot to style the outside
They forgot to style the inside
A number of chintzy bits
Not a great CVT
Overall lack of refinement
Second, the Impreza can be purchased in hatchback form. In North America, you can't buy a hatchback version of the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Sentra, or Dodge Dart.
There are issues that come hand in hand with these benefits. All-wheel-drive adds cost, and an all-wheel-drive configuration also adds weight, which increases fuel consumption and curbs acceleration. There's a thick centre hump which severely reduces rear seat space for the middle passenger. Meanwhile, extinguishing the trunk in favour of a hatch adds $900 to the Impreza's price in Canada.
Yet, by arriving to a front-wheel-drive sedan-oriented fight with an all-wheel-drive hatchback, Subaru secures for the Impreza a large number of sales before we've even gotten down to the nitty-gritty.
It is nevertheless challenging to ascertain whether the Impreza that Subaru loaned us last week, a 2.0i Touring model, would be competitive sans AWD. In that case, the Impreza would be a completely different beast; a less expensive package overall. Rear-driven BRZ aside, it wouldn't be a proper Subaru.
Ignore the hypothetical, then, and judge the fourth-generation Impreza on merit, if you can. Bland on so many levels, the 2014 Subaru Impreza manages to be an incredibly unique car, a proxy Saab in a Saab-free era. For better and for worse.