This car is a steel fist in a velvet glove, offering all the thrills of the regular Impreza STI but not shouting about its abilities.”
It is clear that the Impreza is all about driving, so I was surprised to find that the front, sports seats were quite uncomfortable. I would have liked some lumbar support and adjustable headrests. As it is, only the driver has a height- and tilt-adjustable seat, while the passenger has simple fore and aft movement. Both, however, have front and side airbags.
The interior of the Spec.D is quite subdued, in keeping with the muted exterior. As well as the black leather seats, the use of brushed, metallic-effect trims on the clean centre console adds an air of simplistic elegance. However, the stylish image is let down by the Pioneer 200 Watt audio system with CD MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth hands-free functionality. The garish blue digital gauges and dancing lights are quite distracting.
Underneath, the removable audio panel, in the test car was a flap-lidded compartment that contained a dangling connection for an iPod or similar - it looked unfinished. Furthermore, the information pack boasts of ‘Touch-screen’ satellite navigation system, which on reading, you would expect to be nicely integrated but no, it clips onto the central air vent, with a secondary, function button on the rake and reach adjustable steering column. The sat-nav system comes with a 12-month membership of Track Star and Smart-Nav and 3-months subscription to Safe Speed.
In the rear of the cabin, there is room for three passengers with the centre seat doubling as an armrest, behind which is a ski-flap. The rear seats in the saloon do not fold and so the boot capacity is a constant 395-litres.
While the Impreza is generally well built, it is a little lacking in finishing touches in places. This is most noticeable on the inside of the boot lid, which is painted but uncovered. But never mind, in the words of Subaru’s Managing Director, Peter Kinnaird, “ This car is a steel fist in a velvet glove, offering all the thrills of the regular Impreza STI but not shouting about its abilities.” I couldn’t have put it better.14 September 2006
Subaru Impreza Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec.D|
|Body Type||4-Door Saloon|
|Colour||Crystal Grey Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||5.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||158 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed Manual Gearbox|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||34 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 Years / 60000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 14/09/06)||£28,540|