The current gen Subaru Impreza has grown up some more. Here’s how we can put that into comparison. It is roughly three inches longer and three inches wider than a current Toyota Premio, the most common car in Bangladesh. On the styling side, the Impreza offers a sharper, more wedge shaped profile indicating speed, power and all things cool. Well, this is a standard version. But does that mean you should not consider it? Far from it.
What powers it?
There is only one engine available in Bangladesh: 1.6-litre. Worldwide you get a bigger 2.0 that theoretically should give more oomph. The engine is naturally aspirated. You’d think they would have stuck to their turbo roots and gone a 100cc smaller to make it a killer competition for the similarly sized Civic.
Low end pull is gentle, almost as if the car is concerned that you might end up running into TikTokers busy in the middle of the street. It is not the fire breathing monster you would expect from your lockscreen wallpapers.
The CVT automatic gearbox doesn’t help make things feel any quicker. It does manage to make full use of all that 114HP and about 111 lb/ft of torque. Pump the accelerator pedal hard and the revs rise loudly as is typical of a CVT. Nonetheless, it feels perfectly at ease keeping up with traffic in and out of town. If you’re cruising, it settles down to a soft, low hum and is a perfect vehicle on the highways.
How does it drive?
The brakes are correctly weighted. The pedals have a gradual and strong feel to them. There is no abrupt grab, which is usual on many automobiles in this price range. At low city speeds, the steering is highly precise, responding quickly to tiny inputs. It is, however, usually numb. If you’re a Dhaka resident, numbing you from the outside world should be a bonus for cars.
Now the standard four-wheel drive is a cool thing to talk about over mustard oil infused tehari dinners with friends. But in a family car aimed at spending most of the time in the city, it is almost quite unnecessary. It adds weight and reduces a bit of your fuel efficiency. But, you can’t deny having four-wheel drive isn’t cool, especially if you live anywhere in Mirpur when they cut up the roads every year.
The benefits of the all wheel drive system came into play each time we went hard on a few roundabouts those very sharp turns on gravelly roads. At above 50kmph, tight turns would cause the tires to scramble for grip as the traction gets distributed quickly to the front or rear where it’s needed the most. Body roll almost makes you feel like it won’t grab and there is some under steer but the grip comes on quick and you know you won’t fly off sideways. It is reassuring to have that amount of traction on hand. Do I need it all the time? Not quite? Do I want it? Yes.
Does it pamper inside?
Inside, the Impreza is robust and cleanly designed rather than exciting. It is very well put together, controls clearly where they need to be. It has a bit of an industrial, no nonsense approach to the layout. No silly gimmicks here, just pure functionality. And the driving seat is comfy, firm and well adjustable. Excellent for long trips even if your bottom width is more than average.
You won’t be disappointed with the space on offer inside the Impreza. There’s plenty of room u[p front and tall rear passengers can also stretch out and get comfortable. If you’re used to an Allion/Premio, this won’t disappoint. There are lots of pockets along the doors, under the centre arm rests and everywhere you look. If you have little kids, they will surprise you with hidden candy, chips and other food items in all these spaces.
How safe is it and should you get one?
Euro NCAP gave it a complete five-star rating, with bonus points for adult occupant protection. More safety features include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist. A recent European survey on reliability placed Subaru on a very commendable tenth out of 32 manufacturers.
It’s a solid new car with that added dimension of an all-wheel drive system. Very helpful if you regularly need to inspect city corporation activities such as digging up new roads. It has the sharp looks of something you would expect from 2022 paired with comfort and space for a large family. To top it off, it is an excellent city car with nimble steering and good sound deadening to enjoy your music during long traffic jams.