Model tested: Subaru Impreza 2.5 WRX STI Type UK
Date tested: April 2008
Road tester: Stuart Milne
Overall rating: 82%
The Impreza has been the performance car of a generation. But the latest Impreza has evolved from a three-box saloon/estate into a hatchback – putting it up against some very impressive opposition.
Beefed-up wheelarches hide a widened track for greater stability in the STI, four exhausts poke out the back, and there's the trademark bonnet scoop to force air into the engine.
2. Looks inside
The interior is far from radical, but it has some flair, despite using hard plastics. Like many serious sub-£40,000 performance cars, it's function over form. The leather and alcantara seats are supportive while the steering wheel and gearknob are pleasantly chunky.
Those lugging large loads will miss the old estate; the hatch has a 301-litre boot, due to a shallow boot floor because of the four-wheel drive. The cabin offers a few storage spaces though.
4. Ride and Handling
The Impreza has long been one of the fastest ways to get from A to B; the new model is no different. It features four-wheel drive and a Driver's Control Centre Differential to distribute the power optimally, translating into an astonishing level of grip.
The WRX STI has a revised version of its predecessor's 2.5-litre turbocharged engine which produces 294bhp and 300lb/ft of torque to give a top speed of 155mph and a 0-60mph time of 4.8 seconds.