With the Outback growing up to become more of a crossover and less of a wagon, the 2012 Subaru Impreza is angling to fill its bigger sibling's shoes with a roomier and more fuel-efficient small vehicle to compete in the growing compact car segment.
Bigger than the subcompacts millennials may have bought during or just out of school, and more refined than their parents' hand-me-downs, Subaru wants the Impreza to be a car buyers' first real car.
And what constitutes a "real car?" Something that's nice enough to impress a boss or date, but still functional enough to cater to the transient and active lifestyle that is much of a person's 20s. A vehicle that offers hints of the bells and whistles seen in upmarket luxury cars, but steeped in enough utility to take a solid beating from weekend warriors.
Basically, it's as close to a midsize vehicle as you can get without coming standard equipped with car seats and conversation mirrors. Available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback, the Impreza is like the buyers it targets: semi-grown-up. To make a point at a press event, Subaru demonstrated that it could pack a ~200 sq. ft. studio apartment full of Ikea furniture into a five-door model, complete with faux art wall hangings, iPod docking station, and requisite fuzzy slippers. … Read more