Subaru Impreza 1.6i-S 4D Review
Imprezzing a New Generation

Text and Photos: Jonathan Tan
26 Aug 2012

Introduction, Styling

It wasn’t too long ago, in and around 2005, that Subaru Imprezas were enjoying immense popularity as the car of choice for the racer-boy set. This refers to the young (20-something) sports car loving (rally-racing enthusiast) male (or female) who desired a sporty (in outward appearance) yet economically functional car. Myself included in this description. To own one that bore close semblance to the brand’s iconic Impreza WRX sports sedan made car shopping an easy choice.

Perhaps the most iconic Subaru Impreza would have to be its the second generation model which Subaru had introduced as a ‘New Age’ design. A curvier, modern headlight design saw the second generation model garner a wider appeal. Subsequent facelifts saw the introduction of Subaru’s new design language, marked by a ‘winged jet intake’ front grille design. This particular design might have been regarded by some as controversial, but in Singapore, it was arguably the Subaru design that developed a cult following, to become one of Singapore’s most popular models back in 2005.

The third-generation Subaru Impreza that followed had developed a less aggressively muscular profile in favour of a sleeker, more streamlined appearance. And this fourth generation model possessed a greater degree of urbanity about it.

As the ‘entry-level’ model in the Subaru lineup, the Impreza compact sedan can be considered the brand’s bread-and-butter model, and is expected to account for the bulk of sales. However, given how oppressively expensive Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) are, it remains a tall order for the 1.6-litre Subaru Impreza 1.6i Sport to fill up the order books.


Forget defined lines and muscular haunches, the new Impreza has evolved to look gentler, cultured (for want of a better word), and perhaps even sophisticated to appeal to a wider group of audiences. After all, die-hard racer-boy types will probably cast their covetous glances at the Subaru BRZ instead of calculating the extent of modifications for the regular base Impreza to morph it up to par.   

Styled progressively, the Impreza’s exterior will inspire comparisons to the Subaru XV that was launched earlier this year. Built on the same platform, the main differences lie in the XV’s rear lights and significantly higher ride height.

On the outside, the new Impreza will appeal by way of its pronounced front grille and headlight design that lends a measure of class that Subaru has been successfully incorporated into this new Impreza. Clean styling with sleek lines on the bonnet further enhances the city slicker impression one would get from the Impreza. It may have swapped any outward dynamism for a more cultured persona, but that transition has been successfully achieved. 

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