On a Global Platform... The New Subaru Impreza


16 Jan 2017
 

We got a chance to misbehave with Subaru’s new Impreza at a top secret closed circuit… located around Margaret Drive, next to the construction site, behind the trees, to see what their new compact sedan brought to the table.

The Impreza is first car to be built on what Subaru terms as the Subaru Global Platform, which will also form the base for the next generation Legacy, XV and Forester; meaning that all their developmental efforts are now better focused on just one universal platform for all their cars across the board. According to the engineers, there is also the possibility for future development of hybrid Subarus, based on this new platform.

Well, is this a good thing? We do believe so. Subaru engineers who were present where keen to point out that the new car was approximately the same weight, but larger than the previous car. Structural rigidity, has increased by 70%, and for increased stability, there is now an anti-roll bar mounted directly on to the chassis.

Externally, the car does look larger than the outgoing model. Both hatch and sedan models sport flared out front wheel arches, C-shaped headlamps, and both sit 5mm lower than the previous car.

The interior benefits from newly designed instrument panels, and an 8 inch touch screen display. With a bigger car, interior space is also larger, with better legroom.

Our test car was the 2 litre model, good for 154Bhp and 196Nm of torque, mated to Subaru’s own Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

We tested the Impreza against the likes of the Mazda 3, Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf 1.4TSi. We certainly loved how the quick-reacting steering meant that directional changes could be made much quicker than the competition, and that their trademark all-wheel drive system cancelled most understeer around tight bends. The brakes did their job well, even when e-braking around a tight bend.

 

With a suspension set for comfort, the car does surprise being able to hold its poise as it gets flicked around, or even when being driven over the ‘rumble strip’. It actually beat the Audi hands down over here!

We did however find the car rather sluggish. The CVT transmission does not help the situation, taking off rather lazily, compared to the competition. Powering out of a corner is met with disappointment, as you’d find a bit of a delay, and when the power does come in, it feels inadequate. We would wish that there was a little more that the car could give, especially given Singapore’s common start-stop traffic conditions.

The Impreza is available in Sedan and Hatch variants. Engine choices (for now), include the 2.0 we tested, and also a 1.6 litre, both are boxer engines with all-wheel drive. Given that the 2.0 felt sluggish during our test, the 1.6 would likely lag behind among a groupie of heavy footed drivers.


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