Subaru Impreza (Sedan) 1.5R 4Dr Review
The budget Boxer

Story & pictures by Phillip Chan
16 Dec 2008

What does a plate of mixed vegetable rice, Arsenal F.C star Cesc Fabregas and a basic Japanese sedan have in common?



Alright, maybe you’re not a soccer nut or your diet consists of Russian Borsch and potatoes, but surely you know what the basic Japanese sedan is famous for. That’s right, class - the answer to the above question is "value for money".

We’re talking about the 1.5R manual version here, and it’s about to be put to the test.

Now, many Singaporeans have certain stereotypes concerning the various manufacturers. Honda produces powerful performance engines, Toyota produces bulletproof and reliable engines, and Mitsubishi's designs look sporty…you get the drift.

How about Subaru then? Often associated to performance vehicles thanks to the reputation of the WRX variants and the Legacy GT, it has a wider range than one would expect, and caters to the entry-level crowd as well.

Some people say first impressions count, but some say looks grow on you. In this case, I’d have to go with the latter. The basic Impreza does seem a bit sedated and tame as compared to its predecessor, with its flowing grill and headlamps. But the more you gaze steadfastly at it, the more it gets cultured to the eye - and honestly, a black coloured model would not look out of place even at a hotel lobby.

The rear does bear a slight semblance to a certain parallel imported Toyota model, but the usefulness of the boot is not to be questioned. As demonstrated by my trusty camera bag, it has loads of space available for more luggages, maybe a golf club or a guitar even. Opening the boot is a straightforward affair as the lever is located below the driver’s seat on the right hand side. No fancy electronics or buttons, but something simple and fuss free.

Interior-wise, there are no real surprises. The general layout does nothing to change the stereotype that Japanese cars tend to be predictable and stoic, which is actually a good thing. The people who would purchase a bread-and-butter sedan such as this tend to be indifferent to factors such as design, performance and gadgets and view a car as a means of transport and are more concerned with convenience and reliability. The Impreza 1.5 fulfills it all: easy to use air-condition dials, basic sound system, 2 SRS airbags, comfortable seats and good space for the rear passengers.

Now, gripe time. The hand brake is way too close to the driver and I felt myself knocking against it more than once. The gear knob feels a bit tall too, but those are about as far as one can "fault-find" with this surprisingly well built carriage.  

Sell Fast With Ease - Oneshift

With Oneshift, you get:
  Best value for your car    A peace of mind when selling    Fast sale from start to end


Best offer with no obligations.
Start Now!

I agree to the collection, use and disclosure of my personal data by Carousell and/or such other third party (as may be necessary) and to be contacted (via email, phone call and/or text message) for any purposes in connection with the application of and transaction of the vehicle, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and Carousell's Privacy Policy.

Prompt and Fast. Service officer Muhd Yazid was very helpful in guiding the sales, and when urgent assistance is required! Kudos to officer for being able to address all queries.

Arof Bin Yaacob - 2 months ago

It was very smooth and fast deal. Definitely will use one shift again to buy or sell car.

Lorrin - 3 months ago

Great and prompt service as always!

Nair - 3 months ago

Very satisfied by the service and convenience. Ii sold my car in 2 days.

Tan Wee Ann - 3 months ago

Very happy with the ease and smooth experience!

Minarni - 3 months ago

Excellent service. No hassle. Fast and reliable. Absolutely recommended.

Radzaly Bin Mohd Noor - 3 months ago

Excellent. It gives me better money for my scrap vehicle. Thank you guys

Jefri Sidik Soerdi - 3 months ago

The entire experience from registering my car on OneShift to the handing over to the dealer was very pleasant. The process at OneShift was efficient and transparent. Special thanks to RenAi from OneShift who was very detailed and helpful.

Charmaine Ang - 3 months ago

Great experience. Mr Pan the car dealer from Car Enthusiast is very helpful and friendly. Attitude towards client is awesome..

YEO CHOON WEI - 3 months ago

Good response and support from Angie at One Shift when I wanted to sell off my old Camry which was due to be scrapped in early February. Would recommend this platform for those wanting to buy or sell their cars.

Bahl Alok - 3 months ago


Engine Capacity 1498cc
Engine Type Flat 4
Compression Ratio 10.1:1
Bore x Stroke (77.7 x 79)mm
Power 107bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 142Nm @ 3200rpm
Power to Weight 81.7 bhp per ton


Acceleration 14s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 175 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.3 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 5 -speed Manual
Drive Type F4


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4580 x 1740 x 1475) mm
Wheelbase 2620 mm
Turning Circle 5.3 metres
Kerb Weight 1310 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 60 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs