The latest incarnation of Subaru’s performance orientated brand has gone in the other direction, offering a more sedate design to attract a bigger audience of buyers.
Subaru’s aim is to compete more directly in the European market with rivals such as the Honda Civic, VW Golf and Mazda 3.
However, Subaru has assured that performance fans will be catered for when the turbocharged 2.5-litre WRX STI version arrives next year. For now, customers can choose from 1.5 or 2.0 litre models.
Standard equipment on the 1.5R includes: all-wheel drive, 15 ins alloy wheels, climate-control air-conditioning, four-speaker radio/CD player, front and rear electric windows, reach and rake-adjustable steering wheel, front fog lamps,driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags and a trip computer.
The 2.0R adds: larger 16-inch alloy wheels, Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control, windscreen-wiper de-icer, xenon headlamps and heated door mirrors. An automatic version is available for another £1,000.
The Impreza 2.0RX has body styling enhancements such as front and rear spoilers, side skirts, a chrome exhaust end-cap and a rear bumper diffuser. It also has 17-inch alloy wheels, engine push-start button and satellite-navigation.
Also standard is a leather-covered steering wheel and gear knob, cruise-control and a 10-speaker radio/single-disc CD system. An automatic transimission adds a £1,000 premium.
All Imprezas come with a three year or 60,000 mile warranty plus 12 year anti-corrosion cover and three year paintwork warranty.
The new 2008 Impreza Range is as follows:
Performance and economy: