A new work boot LESS IS MORE, IS LESS The booted version of the Impreza weighs just 5kg less than the hatch, and is $ 200 cheaper
Can a sedan version of a COTY finalist carry the load?
CURSE the rise of the SUV. Sales of the jacked-up, high-riding hatches and wagons now comfortably dominate Australia’s newcar landscape, and it’s coming at the cost of our once-strong love for traditional passenger vehicles, especially sedans. Down Under is now a marketplace where small cars, such as Subaru’s Impreza, need to make a big noise to stand out.
Generation G5 of the Impreza, a 2017 Wheels Car of the Year finalist, has introduced the world to the Subaru Global Platform (SGP): a lighter, stiffer all-new modular chassis that will underpin future models, including plug-in hybrids. COTY testing clearly showed that the SGP is able to reacquaint the driver with something long absent from Subaru’s DNA; a level of dynamic prowess for which the Japanese carmaker was once renowned.
A booted version of the Impreza now joins the Wheels garage as a long-termer. Just like the five-door, the G5 sedan introduces a better-looking design featuring much sharper looks than the dowdy cardigan the previous generation wore. It’s something that will help it stand out in what remains a cut-throat segment in Australia, and one where the Subaru-badged contender snares s only one in every 20 sales.
The SGP’S improvements extend to the inside as well, where Holden Commodorerivalling interior space and comfort mark the Impreza as a genuine cross-shopping alternative to the doomed large sedan.
We’ve already pegged the fitout of our long-termer, the richly equipped 2.0i-s, as the pick of the Impreza litter. This is largely down to the generous equipment list, which includes heated leather seats, LED headlights, a torque-vectoring diff, and stickier 18-inch Yokohama Advan Sport rubber.
It will have a big burden to carry: there’s been a hole in my driveway for a number of years, a space set aside for the 1990s-era bugeyed Impreza Sportback my wife has always dreamed of, but never owned.
That driver’s DNA is something I’m keen to explore over the coming months, and given Subaru’s renewed interest in rallying in Australia, I’m also keen to extend at least a small part of that testing to gravel surfaces.
What’s welcome most of all, though, is that generous-sized boot. At 460 litres, the sedan’s 115L advantage in luggage capacity over the hatch is bound to come in handy with four children in the brood.