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The Imprezive new Subaru Impreza

Now in its sixth generation, the new Subaru Impreza hatch comes fully loaded with category-leading spec while offering the confidence to ‘go-anywhere’ courtesy of the brand’s legendary synchronous all-wheel drive capability. 

For over 50 years, Subaru has consistently impressed adventurous kiwi drivers, and the Impreza is no exception. The nameplate first burst onto the scene in 1992, bringing a ‘rally-style’ attitude to the masses (especially the WRX/STi), however, it’s fair to say that the 5th generation lacked a little when it came to the spec list – fear not, the 6th gen has it all – well almost. 

New Subaru Impreza review NZ

At first glance, the new Impreza exudes confidence with its bold stance and striking hexagonal grille, it’s a hatch that demands a second look, while its sleek LED headlights, sculpted bonnet and strategic air scoops on the front fascia add a tasty touch of aggression.  

Oasis blue would be my personal colour of choice, however, my review model came in ‘Pure Red’ which was actually more attention getting than the name portrays (what’s wrong with inferno red?). 

New Subaru Impreza review NZ

Anyway, size-wize the Impreza’s 4.44 m length and 1.48 m height will fit into most garages, and its 18-inch machine-finished wheels not only enhance the car’s appearance, but they also ensure a firm grip on the pavement, providing stability and control. 

Adding to the long list of 6th gen improvements are a sunroof and roof rails, plus there’s a sporty roofline spoiler and LED taillights that are very CrossTrek looking. The hatch itself isn’t electrified (I guess you can’t have it all), but you do get  291L of boot space to play with and a lovely little mountain landscape etched onto the plastic rim.

New Subaru Impreza review NZ

Of course a car should never be solely judged by its looks alone and underneath the Impreza’s hood hides a highly capable 2-litre boxer engine, with 115 kW of power and 196 Nm of torque at its disposal, this vehicle may not be a powerhouse (especially as it’s delivered via a lineartronic/CVT gearbox), but it certainly packs a punch when on the move. 

The ace in the Impreza’s hole is the fact that the powertrain is paired with a sophisticated symmetrical all-wheel drive system, so this adventurous hatch confidently takes on corners, exhibiting exceptional handling and grip.

New Subaru Impreza review NZ

Enter the cabin, and it’s hard not to be imprezed. The supple leather seats, designed with your back in mind, support you on long journeys and to further enhance the experience, both the driver and passenger seats are heated. The trim is a great blend of luxury and practicality, with soft-touch materials throughout and ingeniously designed storage spaces. Central to it all is an 11.6-inch starlink infotainment system, functioning as a high-tech tablet, it offers an abundance of connectivity options to keep you connected and entertained.

New Subaru Impreza review NZ

While off the mark the Impreza may not offer neck-snapping acceleration, it gets you up to 100km/h in 9 seconds and will happily go beyond this should you be allowed. However, its true brilliance becomes apparent when going ‘unsealed’. The unique symmetrical all-wheel drive system propels this car to conquer gravel and uneven surfaces with utmost ease. 

New Subaru Impreza review NZ

What’s more Subaru’s innovative platform, coupled with a rigid subframe, guarantees a smooth and stable ride, and for those that suffer motion sickness, Suabru’s technical team have mated the seats to the stoic frame, which means noticeably less head wobble. 

When it comes to safety Subaru’s unwavering commitment shines through with a comprehensive suite of safety features. Equipped with nine SRS airbags and ‘stereo-camera driven’ advanced driver-assistance systems like rear cross-traffic alert and pedestrian detection, the Impreza ensures that both passengers and pedestrians are well protected. It even monitors the driver now. And Subaru’s safety-oriented design extends to the engine itself, featuring a boxer layout that’s specifically engineered to prioritise passenger safety, sliding under the car in the event of a collision.

New Subaru Impreza review NZ

In essence, the new Subaru Impreza is far from being just another ordinary hatchback. It emerges as a dependable four-wheeled companion, ready to embark on thrilling adventures while ensuring your safety along the way. While it may not ignite a wild love affair, the Impreza offers practicality, versatility, and an impressive array of features for those seeking a reliable and capable ride. 

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