where there is no padding on the door armrests and the materials feel cheaper.
As with the Astra, it has a manual handbrake. The Impreza’s is electrically operated.
The rear seats have decent legroom but the Impreza and Astra have more generous headroom and bigger boots boots. On the technology front, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. It lacks the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto of the Astra and Impreza but its satnav is built-in, which is more reliable in remote areas. Mazda also recently strengthened the car’s r’s safety package. On topop of the standard automated emergency braking, which works in reverse as well, the Maxx has blind spot monitoring and rearr cross traffic alert. Don’t be fooled by the he evolutionary look, this his Impreza debuts an entirelyntirely new platform for thee brand. The emphasis is clearlyarly on refinement, as the carar was the quietest of these three ee on the PRICE $24,890 plus onroads WARRANTY 3 years/unlimited km SERVICING $1377 for first 3 years SERVICE INTERVAL 12 months/10,000km SAFETY 6 airbags, 5 stars ENGINE 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 114kW/200Nm TRANSMISSION 6-speed auto; FWD THIRST 5.9L/100km DIMENSIONS 4470mm (L), 1795mm (W), 1450mm (H), 2700mm (WB) WEIGHT 1262kg SPARE Space-saver open road. The suspension provides a great balance betweenb comfort and cornering prowess. Around town it rivals some luxury makes for soaking up road imperfections while on the open road the softer suspension is offset by loads of grip from the all-wheel-drive, whichw came to the fore on our rain-soaked test route.
The engine isn isn’t t the step forward you’d expect from a new model, though, and lacks the punch of the Astra. Lacking the sporty feel of the Mazda, the continuously variable transmission also can be a bit jerky in low-speed traffic — there are paddle-shifters behind the steering wheel for those who want to change gears manually. Criticised for the declining quality of its in interiors post the global financial crisis, Subaru has thrown the kitchen sink at t the Impreza. From t the momen moment the door s shuts with a reas reassuring thu thunk, the Im Impreza im impresses w with its qu quality fin finishes an and gad gadgetlade laden cabin. The a attention to deta detail stretches to the rear seats, w which get soft leathe leather padding on the ar armrests and faux carbon-fibre on the door inserts. The centre screen is the biggest of these three and supplemented by a second screen above it that can be configured to display additional information. There’s also a colour readout between the speedo and tacho.
While its rivals here have simple hot and cold dials for the aircon, you can set the Impreza’s temperature by degrees in the digital readout. The reversing camera readout is crystal clear, while the Astra’s lacks resolution.
Then there are the active cruise control, lane departure warning and advanced auto braking feature that can detect pedestrians and cyclists and slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. The Astra, an engaging car to drive with a great engine, is overpriced and underdone in the cabin against this quality of opposition.
It’s much harder to separate the other two — the Mazda is sportier but the Impreza gets the final nod thanks to its quieter and more luxurious cabin, more standard features and classleading safety technology.