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Car reviews - Subaru - Impreza - 2.0R 5-dr hatch

Overview

Impreza is the first model to wear Subaru's new-look nose, but what else is new?

13 Jan 2006

WHEN car companies start talking about "design language" you know you’re in for some dedicated media spin-doctoring. In the case of the new Impreza range Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru vehicles, says the new face on the Impreza is an aviation-inspired design that we’ll see adopted in other products across the range. The Tribeca SUV is one of the more extreme interpretations but the Impreza is the first Subaru vehicle locally to fly the new corporate look. Does it work? Well, yes and no. The three-part mesh grille looks strong and pronounced but some details like the wee blisters on the edges of the bumper and the execution of the teardrop headlights are fussy and detract from an otherwise well executed refresh. Overall the model year 2006 Impreza gets some quality additions like side airbags and electronic throttle control. The DOHC 2.0R also replaces the RX variant's tried, true and torquey 2.5-litre and that’s where the story really begins.

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Model release date: 1 October 2005 to 1 August 2007

Previous model

Impreza RX sedan/hatch

Released: December 02
Ended: August 05
Family Tree: Impreza

Modestly sportier Imprezas have been around a few years, but it’s always been the WRX that got the lion’s share of attention. "Milder" sports-oriented versions have been quietly going about their business since October 2000 with the 2.0 RX model. The normally aspirated 90kW 2.0-litre RX looked like a Rex but without the insurance premiums – and the letterbox bonnet air-intake for the turbo. Things got more interesting in August 2004 when the Impreza 2.5-litre RS sedan and hatch arrived and proved rather adept at putting down some serious kilometres without raising a sweat. The torquey 2.5-litre engine, shared with the Forester and the Liberty, provided the right amount of grunt but at a slightly lesser price point.

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