Im­preza’s sedan cheer

Subaru has fi­nally hatched its new RS, writes JAMES STAN­FORD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

THE Subaru Im­preza used to be a sedan first and fore­most, with a hatch in the back­ground. So there was some sur­prise when the lat­est Im­preza was re­leased a year ago as a hatch only.

Now Subaru has fi­nally in­tro­duced a sedan ver­sion of the reg­u­lar Im­prezas and the WRX, which has also been given a sig­nif­i­cant up­grade. The STI will re­main hatch only.

The new Im­preza RS sedan is 115mm longer than the pre­vi­ous model, 35mm higher and the same width.

The wheel­base is 95mm longer and the width across the axles (track) has in­creased 10 to 15mm.

It is about 30kg heav­ier for a to­tal of 1340kg for the RS man­ual. The pre­vi­ous sedans didn’t have a 60/40 rear split-fold seat but, thank­fully, this prac­ti­cal fea­ture has been in­cluded this time round.

With the rear seats in place, the boot space is 420 litres, which is not huge but on par for this class.

The 2.0-litre hor­i­zon­tally op­posed (boxer) en­gine has 8kW less than the pre­vi­ous model, but 10Nm more. That means a peak of 110kW and a to­tal of 196Nm.

The RS en­gine is the same as those in the R and RX Im­preza mod­els. This wasn’t al­ways the case. Subaru sold an RS from 2001 that had a 2.5-litre four that had 112kW and 223Nm.

The RS model was dropped in 2005, but the name­plate re­turned with the new range when the new model was in­tro­duced in 2007.

A five-speed man­ual is stan­dard trans­mis­sion for the Im­preza sedan and a four-speed au­to­matic is avail­able for an ex­tra $2000.

Of­fi­cial fuel con­sump­tion for the man­ual RS comes in at 8.9 litres, which is higher than most of its ri­vals.

Like all other Subarus sold in Aus­tralia, the Im­preza sedans run a con­stant all-wheel-drive sys­tem, which is rare in the small-car class.

The Im­preza sedan shares the same five-star ANCAP crash safety rat­ing.

Dress to Im­preza: the Subaru Im­preza RS sedan runs a con­stant all-wheel-drive sys­tem, which is un­usual in the small-car class.

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