2014 Subaru Impreza Base Wagon 2.0L from North America
Bare bones Japanese tank you can learn to love
It was believed that the previous owner drove this car thinking he could treat it like a WRX/STI. Though they are technically Impreza based, they are essentially a different car and it IS NOT how a base model Impreza should be driven.
Nonetheless, when the car was initially bought by my brother with ~65K miles on it, he noticed the transmission was making a terrible whine and was having trouble shifting. The transmission had to be completely rebuilt as two synchros were trashed and one more was on its way out.
- If you're looking at used Imprezas, do yourself a favor and go for a wagon. Despite its compact dimensions, it is shockingly versatile and handy.
- Interior space is decent for a small car. My brother is 6ft tall and has no issue sitting in the back.
- Visibility is very good.
- The AWD drive system, when paired with a good set of tires (as mine is), greatly aids in the security and comfort when it comes to winter driving. The car might as well be a miniature Japanese tank.
- The clutch is more numb than British news. This car is my first ever manual and I hear talk of "Feel for the bite point!" Trust me, there is no bite point and it makes driving this car a little bit of a challenge. Then again, it is still the original clutch that Captain Nimrod before me used, but the dealer says it is fine.
- It is noisy! Surprisingly, wind noise is at a minimum, but there is engine, transmission, and tire noise wafting into the cabin. If I'm on the highway I'll sometimes turn off the radio because there is no point in making it go any louder as I'm going to go deaf.
- Being the Base model, it is severely lacking in the options department. There is no cruise control, a very basic stereo with only 4 of the cheapest speakers you ever did listen through, and manual seat adjustments.
- Being a typical American and wanting a soft ride, this car feels like a buckboard on the frost heaved, pot hole riddled roads of New England and can feel unsettled at times. However it cruises on the interstate quite nicely.
I call this car the misunderstood darling. My brother picked the car up for a song because it was a Base model without any real options and it was a manual - so it languished on the dealer's lot.
However I have to say, nitpicking aside it is a fantastic vehicle. Despite the numb clutch, it was an easy car to learn manual on and is very forgiving and patient with new drivers.
My brother sold it to me after complaining about how unbearably slow it was (and bought a WRX), however to me I feel the car is a few shades above having adequate power and at times I feel it can be pretty zippy.
I absolutely love the fact it's a small wagon as it's incredibly versatile and practical. I was able to haul home a computer chair and desk in the wee beasty with no issues at all. I'm fairly short and I love how the back seats fold completely flat; I can put a memory foam topper in the back and laze around at the beach with the hatch up.
When paired with a good set of tires the car does very well in in-climate weather and is almost unstoppable. However it has very low ground clearance, so it is stoppable in some aspects.
I will say though, living in New England I would probably give my left one if it had a cold weather package and cruise control, but alas I should be happy that I have a reliable car with a new transmission.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 18th February, 2018