The all-beige interior of this economy sedan has all the aesthetic appeal of a hospital room. Jeez, Subaru, couldn't you figure out SOMETHING in here that could be colored or finished in such a way as to give the eye a break from the endless monotony of beige plastic? Well, at least everything is uniformly beige; every piece of plastic is exactly the same shade, and the pieces all fit together well. I suppose those are achievements.
With the Impreza's recent redesign, Subaru hoped to take it into the mainstream, where it perhaps could compete effectively with the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic. Unfortunately, in heading into the mainstream, Subaru forgot to inject this base-model Impreza with any of the uniqueness that traditionally has set Subarus apart from Hondas and Toyotas. The only compelling reason I can see to consider this car over Civic and Corolla is the all-wheel drive, which is indeed a big bonus in a car that stickers for only $17,737.
Other than that, the Impreza is uninspiring to drive, with a soggy chassis, a four-cylinder boxer engine that does little to raise your pulse, and a distinct lack of joie de vivre. And its fuel economy ratings aren't that great, either, at only 20/27 city/highway.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor