From the front, the sedan stayed pretty much the same as the hatchback, possessing the sleek undulating front HID-lights and chrome mesh grill combo highlighted by a long sloping bonnet. It’s only when you take a step backwards and look at the whole picture do you see the big difference. The roofline is kept very straight towards the rear and is now cut downwards onto the short stubby tail, which is accentuated by a small sporty spoiler giving it a muscular sporty look. Barbed taillights, rear fog lamps, and twin exhausts decorate the rear of the sedan, spicing it up. Losing one door and adding on a trunk may not sound much, but it surely does give the Impreza a meaner appearance. I would like to believe that this sedan was sculpted in a way to have an edgier profile compared to its five-door counterpart. And to complete the aggressive persona, the Impreza drives on 17 inch sports aluminum alloy wheels and wrap around skirts.
Unfortunately, as sporty as the outside looks, the lackluster cabin does disappoint those who are looking for more luxury. Continuing with the motif, the interior is prolifically covered in black fabric with silver trimmings highlighted by red luminescent knobs and gauges. They even managed to sneak in sporty seats in front to complete the deal. Although, be mindful that even if the ‘sporty seats’ resemble bucket racing seats, they do not provide as much lateral support compared to the real deal; plus it obstructs the front view for the rear passengers. And despite covering the steering wheel and shift knob in leather, Subaru’s attempt to give the interior more flavor falls a bit short.
Subaru’s best attribute is their renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive that became their key to success on the rally stage. We were pleased to see they’ve integrated this feature on the Impreza Sedan 2.0. Front MacPherson struts and double wishbone rear suspension complimented this asset, giving it remarkable handling abilities. We raced it around corners, roundabouts, and hairpins; pushing it to its limits. Even when we asked it do the impossible, it still performed without fault.
Powering this fine tuned instrument is a 2.0 liter DOHC boxer engine producing a zesty 148 horsepower. Regrettably, all this power was put to waste, as the 4-speed electronically-controlled SPORTSHIFTTM automatic transmission’ couldn’t keep up with the rest of the car. Even in MANUAL mode (+/-), I had to skip a few heartbeats waiting for it to shift up or down a gear. Surely, a regular manual transmission is needed to maximize this rally-bred sedan.
After all that has been said and done, it would be just fair for the Impreza to look at it from a different perspective - rather than just the sporty nature we have pressed upon it. Looking back at the whole experience, the exhilarating ride we got from spirited driving did get our hearts pumping, but this is not what the majority of people will buy it for.
It was when we drove it along highways and through city streets did we start to appreciate the Impreza. The comfortable smooth ride and soothing soft purr of the four-cylinder boxer engine quickly found a warm place in our hearts. And even with the extra load of its all-wheel drive, it was still able to do a noteworthy 7.5 kilometers per Liter fuel, considering it was a combination of stop-and-go traffic, highway driving, and quite a lot of pedal-to-the-metal action here and there. If you’re looking for some entertainment to keep you company, the Impreza does come with a 6 CD in-dash radio that’s WMA and MP3 ready. On the brochure though, it claims to have a 10-speaker audio system, but I was only able to count up to six, and it could use a proper amplifier too. For safety, it too comes with ABS, BAS, EBD, not to mention front, side, and curtain airbags.
The Subaru Impreza sedan does provide endless driving pleasure on the road, but it’s more than just a rally-bred show stopper. It also has a practical side as a daily driven four-door sedan. We are convinced that if the Impreza was made to win rallies, then it can easily conquer the demands of daily driving. For a compact sedan built for a family of five, we were more than impressed.