Friday, 3 February 2017

Impressive Impreza

Wouldn't win any styling contest

The political environment is so toxic these days, gentle reader, that I think I'll stick to matters motoring for a while.

You could describe it as light relief.

Hence, this review of the 2016 Subaru Impreza.

She who must be obeyed (the fleet manager) has given up on trying to allocate me vehicles, as my long distance demands mean the the odometer ticks over too quickly to remain within the parameters of the Q Fleet lease agreement, so I am now provided with hire cars.

Usually I get an SUV (some arcane W H & S provision about needing 4WDs where I go) but my assigned vehicle was damaged by the previous hire, and the clerk was tearing his hair out finding another SUV.

I told him any vehicle would do provided the cost didn't exceed the original arrangement. He was very relieved and set me up with a dark bronze Subaru Impreza with about 14000kms on the clock. It was, after all, AWD, which kept the W H & S gods happy. Funny thing is, some of the SUVs I've been allocated in the past have been the 2WD versions.

Trying to keep it cool

The dark bronze colour was the only real negative aspect of the car. It was 40 degrees plus where I traveled, and dark colours heat up in the sun.

Every other aspect of the machine was great. It was well put together, sure footed (AWD) and very economical. I took a fill to fill reading which came out at 6.8 lit/100kms, mostly open road cruising.

The cockpit was very user friendly, the seat comfortable and reasonably supportive, and it was easy to access. This aspect tends to become more important as you get older.

The CVT transmission was smooth, and reacted differently from most other CVTs I've driven, in that it didn't drone, and you could use the paddles behind the steering wheel to emulate a manual shift. I did this as an experiment, and whilst it was interesting, the feature was more than a little gratuitous.

I must be getting lazy.

There is an idle-stop in this model which worked unobtrusively, although I found the silence a bit unsettling. There was the usual complement of stop-go operators on the Warrego, so this feature got a solid workout.

Didn't work

The 2016 Impreza is an awkward lump to look at, but from behind the wheel, that doesn't matter as you can't see it.

Summing up - a very workmanlike machine, with the usual Subaru engineering which pays little heed to convention.

It reminded me of our eighties 4WD Leone wagon, which we reluctantly disposed of because the family expanded beyond its comfortable capacity.


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