Life Motoring

Saturday 15 December 2018

Forget penny-pinching with petrol-only Subaru

 

Priorities: The 2018 Impreza aims at safety and quality
Priorities: The 2018 Impreza aims at safety and quality

Martin Brennan

With petrol power coming back into favour, Subaru Impreza staff at their 11 dealerships here are under less pressure to explain why there is no diesel offering.

Unfortunately they do not have the increasingly popular hybrid option, either, as a lure to get economy-conscious diesel drivers behind the wheel.

The power plant under the bonnet of the Impreza on offer here is confined to a 1.6 litre 115bhp unit. There is a 2-litre 156bhp alternative available in the UK, so it would have to be a special order.

Because the car comes with a permanent All-Wheel-Drive and a CVT automatic gearbox, it is not the most economical compact family transport, with 145-152 g/km Co2 emissions, which attract €280-€390 annual road tax - something Irish drivers are fixated about.

If you are considering Subaru, even the entry-model Impreza S, forget penny pinching. Your priorities are safety, quality, performance and driving enjoyment, with lots of back-up technology.

Theses qualities are still the forte of a model once famous in World Rally Championships decades ago and which set the standards for other competitors. Over 90pc of Impreza models are still on the road after 10 years.

The current Impreza is a comfortable car for all terrain and weather conditions, thanks to the standard AWD. WRX versions are for the boy racers, while the family version majors on technology, style and safety.

The 2018 model sits on an all-new platform and the company claims it is 100pc more rigid. A drop in the ride height and a longer body make for better motoring for driver and passengers alike.

The more rigid platform makes for a quieter cabin and there is less body roll. The steering is a bit on the light side but nudges gently if you stray out of your lane.

There are two trim levels, S and SE, with prices not for the faint-hearted - a fiver short of €26,000 and €30,000.

The cabin oozes quality, with heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, Apple and Android connectivity, an 8" touchscreen with reversing camera while outside there are automatic LED lights and wipers and 17" alloy wheels.

A blitz of safety features includes Subaru's speciality, EyeSight Driver Assist, which uses two digital stereo cameras to scan ahead for cars, bikes and pedestrians. If there is a threat ahead, pre-collision braking is applied automatically.

Subaru's claim of 3.4L/100km (44mpg) will be hard to match but 2.3L/100km (30mpg) can be expected around town.

Sunday Independent

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