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Reader test: Subaru Impreza

2009-11-04 07:31

Bryan Rupert, Roodepoort

 As first cars go, most people fresh out of varsity would opt for Polos, Corsas, Citi Golfs or the odd Tazz. I was offered the opportunity of owning a brand considered an icon in the WRC for an excellent price.

I have always loved Imprezas, especially the classic 22B shape from the Colin McRae era, and although I feel extremely negative to the hatchback design that has diluted the aggression and personality of the Impreza (although Ken Block hasn’t done too bad of a job with his), it’s good to know that I own one of the last decent designs.

Sure, it’s only a 2006 2.0R naturally aspirated model, but considering I started working straight out of varsity, and looked at upgrading from a Citi Golf Life “studentmobile” to a Polo, it was an opportunity I jumped at.


My 2006 “Hawkeye” initially had 2 700 km on the clock, and after three years and 67 000 km I can tell you that I haven’t had one day’s problem. Although it's run like clockwork since the day I bought it, I’ll admit that fuel consumption isn’t the best feature (then again, no one buys Subarus for fuel economy, considering how heavy the full time all wheel drive is).

Another negative has to be the extremely bland-as-a-corporate-boardroom-month-end-meeting, grey, plastic interior characteristic of Japanese cars.

Those matters aside, nothing beats the smile I get whenever I start the flat four boxer engine and hear that characteristic boxer rumble, and how that smile becomes sinister when I dab the throttle to kick the needle up the rev counter.

Unlike turbocharged WRX models, power delivery isn’t explosive; I find that the higher the revs go the greater power delivery is. Sure it’s not a monster like its big brothers, but it does have decent pace. And when things are in a hurry trust me, it grips to the road like a dog
stool to a spade. Scoobies have the ability to make you feel like you’re a better driver than you really are, the confidence they give in the planted road holding is phenomenal.

As far as creature comforts go there’s climate control, and bucket seats provide absolute support and comfort. After a few trips down to Ballito from Joburg I’m yet to experience a comatose backside. Speaking of coastal trips, with cruise control set at 120km/h, I achieved
647km on the 60 litre tank, my best ever consumption rate.

After sales

Another aspect of ownership is after sales service. I often read how Fiat, Renault and VW owners complain about shoddy after sales service. Thankfully this is something I’m yet to experience (touch wood). The outstanding service I receive from Subaru Bryanston makes changing to a different brand a very hard decision, and I’m hoping that Subaru has listened to the world and makes sure the next Impreza reclaims its former glory with a cracking design.

If they do, then my next purchase will be another Impreza, but hopefully with three small letters in pink on the boot reading “STi”.

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