2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Sport hatchback
2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Sport hatchback. Click image to enlarge
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Subaru Impreza Reviews

Article by Chris Chase; photos by Greg Wilson and Haney Louka

First introduced in 1993, the Subaru Impreza underwent a number of updates through the years. The most notable, at least in North America, came in 2002, with the introduction of the turbocharged WRX. But for the model range as a whole, the first full-on redesign didn’t happen until 2008.

This third-generation car was larger and more refined than the one it replaced. Subaru stuck to its previous formula, however, offering this latest Impreza in sedan and hatchback forms, and with none other than its well-known horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and “symmetrical” all-wheel drive system. (The turbocharged WRX and STI models were carried over as well, but these cars will be covered in a separate review.)

All Imprezas used a 2.5L, four-cylinder engine shared with the brand’s Forester, Legacy, and Outback models. For 2008, this motor made 170 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission was a five-speed manual that could be optioned to a four-speed automatic.

Other standard stuff in 2008 included 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt steering, power windows/locks/heated mirrors, and keyless entry; the hatchback got a standard rear wiper.

2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Sport hatchback
2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i sedan. Click image to enlarge

A Sport package added alloy wheels, rear disc brakes, upgraded stereo with auxiliary input, fog lights, windshield wiper de-icer, stability control, leather-trimmed steering wheel. and heated seats. Again, the hatchback got a few extras, including ground effects, cargo tonneau cover, and roofline spoiler.

The 2009 model added stability control, four-wheel disc brakes, auxiliary input and body-colour door handles as standard, while the Sport model added a power sunroof, satellite radio, plus a body kit and spoiler for the sedan.

Subaru added a Limited trim for 2010 that brought 17-inch wheels, automatic climate control, iPod and USB integration, and rally-style leather seats.

And in 2011, Subie added a Convenience package that included alloy wheels, upgraded stereo, Bluetooth, iPod and USB integration and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The Sport and Limited packages were revised slightly to reflect the addition of the Convenience model.

2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Sport hatchback
2010 Subaru Impreza 2.5i sedan. Click image to enlarge

Owing to its relatively large engine (for a compact) and all-wheel drive, the Impreza’s fuel consumption ratings were higher than other compact cars’. Natural Resources Canada’s 2009 estimates of 10.6/7.5 L/100 km (all figures city/highway) with a manual transmission and 10.4/7.6 with the automatic were typical for this third-generation model.

Subaru’s non-turbo 2.5L engine (a motor the Impreza shares with the Legacy, Outback and Forester) has an unfortunate history of head gasket problems. Here’s a discussion at SubaruForester.org about a 2010 engine design update that some believe will eliminate the leaky cylinder heads the 2.5L is known for.

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