What is it?
At last, Subaru has done the obvious thing and fitted its mainstream Impreza five-door hatchback with its quirky but well-received flat-four diesel engine, a four-cam, 16-valve unit already available in the Legacy, Outback and Forester models.
Horizontally opposed engines have always been a Subaru “given”, along with permanent four-wheel-drive. The difficulty of making a diesel in this unusual format - which is more complicated and expensive than a normal in-line four - held Subaru back for years. But since it first version appeared in the Legacy a couple of years ago, it has won a good reputation for economy, refinement and performance.
What's it like?
The Impreza Boxer is a rugged, well-equipped Focus-sized saloon, well capable of 45 mpg journeys, yet with a top speed nearing 130mph and a 0-60mph acceleration time of 9.0 seconds, not far short of a hot hatchback. The car’s performance is especially surprising, given that it weighs a rather lardy 1455 kilograms at the kerb.
The Impreza has never been acclaimed for its shape, and this new version looks as awkward as the rest. This Boxer Diesel comes in two models, both well equipped. The £20,000 RC seems the better bargain since it comes equipped with climate control, Xenon headlights, a 6CD autochanger, front foglamps, heated front seats and a cruise control.