Subaru Impreza 2.0R-S 4Dr LP Edition Review
Trading on conventionality

Story by Justin Lee, pictures by Azfar Hashim
18 Aug 2009

Forget the rallying associations - the 2.0-litre Impreza sedan equipped with a manual gearbox has its work cut out if it wants to be a credible rival against its more established competitor, such as the Honda Civic 2.0

Subaru Impreza Sedan

Subaru can be argued to be the Citroën of the East. It is a carmaker that marches to its own drumbeat, be it in terms of exterior design or engine configuration. Never attaining the level of success like Honda and Toyota, it is therefore more of a bit player in the market than a major one. Take the Impreza for example - it does not have the same drawing power as a Corolla has.

But buyers of Subarus do not seem to put much emphasis on the traits that the more mainstream players have, such as quality and reliability. Rather, they buy the cars for the experience of owning something distinctly unconventional, and the notion of owning something that has somewhat tenuous links to the brand's rather illustrious rally car championships involvement (often played up in advertisements).

However, there is only so much that can be trumpeted about symmetrical all-wheel drive systems and the benefits of having a boxer engine which gives a car a lower centre of gravity and better stability. Not to mention the brand's unenviable reputation for petrol guzzling cars (discounting the R1/R2 kei-car twins) which is brought about inadvertently from the heavy four-wheel drive hardware installed. So much for being different...

It can be noted though that in recent times, Subaru seems to have toned down its quirks by a fair bit - which could be an effort on the carmaker's part to cater to a wider buying audience. The exterior design of its cars, for one, is now more mainstream and less challenging. There is also the jettisoning of the frameless windows which have become synonymous with the brand.

All this can be seen from the current Impreza. But does losing some of the quirks and becoming a little bit more ordinary mean that Subaru has lost part of its allure? After all, trading on unconventionality was a key part of the attraction for the brand - so where does this put the 2.0-litre Impreza sedan?

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Engine Capacity 1994cc
Engine Type Flat 4
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Bore x Stroke (92.0 x 75.0)mm
Power 150bhp @ 6400rpm
Torque 196Nm @ 3200rpm
Power to Weight 111.5 bhp per ton


Acceleration 9.6s (0-100 km/h)
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.9 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 1345 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 60 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs