New-Look Impreza Now On Sale | Part Four

Interior Quality Upgrade

New, high-quality cloth is used throughout the 2003 Model Year Impreza range with each model having its own pattern and character.

In addition, there will be a new luxury WRX model later in the year badged ‘SL’. This features factory-fit black leather seat trim, heated front seats and an electric sunroof. The saloon will cost £21,495 and the 5-door £21,995 on-the-road.

On all models the centre console which houses the audio and heating controls is now in a dark metallic tone instead of being silver-coloured.

Sporty changes for the WRX include gun-metallic finish wheels and the repositioning of the rev-counter to the centre of the instrument display like the STi. The STi itself gains a new, smaller-diameter (375 mm) Momo steering wheel and blue carpets to match the seats and door trim.

Passenger And Pedestrian Safety Boost

Both occupants and pedestrians are better protected by the 2003 Impreza thanks to a whole series of extra safety measures. These include new anti-raindrop door mirrors which stay cleaner, enhancing visibility.

Like the new Forester, the new-look Impreza GX Sport has active front head-restraints which reduce the risk of whiplash injuries. The brake pedal is now energy-absorbing, being designed to snap away under severe impact, protecting the driver’s lower limbs. In the rear seat are two ISOFIX-compatible child seat mountings.

The passenger airbag is now dual-stage which provides progressive protection matched to the severity of the impact and the standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) now come with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD). This juggles the braking force between front and rear wheels according to load shifts during deceleration.

All WRX models will now come with side airbags in combination with high-backed rally-type front seats. Previously, side airbags were only available on the WRX saloon when fitted with standard seats.

Outside, pedestrian injury is reduced thanks to a more rounded contour to the top of the front bumper, a gently curved bonnet and windscreen wipers which crush, softening any impact.

Extra security measures shared with the new Forester include deadlocking and special shields around the driver’s door lock.

In addition, all Imprezas continue to benefit from keyless-entry central-locking and a Category One remote alarm/immobiliser. The WRX STi Type-UK also has a satellite tracking system.

Published 5 January 2003 Melanie Carter

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