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Used Subaru Impreza review: 2007-2008

Used car review Subaru Impreza 2007-2008

You only have to mention the Subaru Impreza and images of the hot rod WRX come flooding to mind. The WRX rally rocket has come to define   the small Subaru, but to forget the rest of the range would be unfair.

The Impreza has long been a well-built, reliable and popular small car and the new model introduced in 2007 was even better than those cars it replaced.

There was a sense of change about the new Impreza, a fresh approach that spelt a change in direction for the Japanese carmaker that had built a solid reputation for quality, drivability and reliability.

MODEL WATCH

There was always something off-putting about the way Impreza doors closed, a feeling of flimsiness that suggested a lack of quality.  That was before the new model in 2007, which for the first time had frames around the windows in the doors. Now, with the windows supported by frames, the doors closed with a solid feel that made the Impreza experience much more satisfying.

You might think that adding doorframes is a small change, but in terms of the impact it had on the Impreza it was a major revision.  While it was a most welcome change it also seemed to signal a major change in thinking at Subaru.

It was as if Subaru had decided to come in from the cold; it was the final step from being a somewhat quirky outsider to being a solid mainstream carmaker.

Subaru only offered a five-door hatch at the Impreza's launch, but there were three models, plus the WRX, which we'll hold over for another story. The R provided the entry point to the range, with the RX and RS as you climbed the tree.

With a look reminiscent of Europe the new Impreza was more attractive. It was also shorter, taller, wider, and lighter, with more cabin and boot space.

Inside the cabin, there was a fresh new dash, upgraded seats and trim, better insulation and isolation, and a height and reach adjustable steering column.

Under the bonnet was the familiar 2.0-litre flat-four, but with 20 per cent more power and seven per cent more torque. That meant that at its best it was putting out 110kW at 6400 revs and 196Nm at 3200 revs.

On the road that translated into more urge and better drivability, and motor-noters reckoned it was also smoother.  Bolted to the back of the engine was either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed auto, while drive was directed through all four wheels.

IN THE SHOP

Carsguide has received few complaints about the Impreza, and those that have landed here have been of a minor nature and not to be too concerned about.

Check around the engine for oil leaks and make sure the required servicing has been done. There is nothing more damaging to an engine than missing services. Oil can quickly clog an engine's vital internal passages, and blockages quickly wreck an engine. Brake and tyre wear doesn't appear to be an issue for owners, as it can be with some other makes and models.

IN A CRASH

ANCAP handed the Impreza a five-star rating on the back of its array of airbags, which provided front, side and curtain protection, along with its impressive active safety package. In addition to anti-lock brakes the Impreza also boasted electronic stability control.

AT THE PUMP

Subaru claimed the Impreza would do 8.9-10.7 L/100 km and owners back that claim up, reporting that their cars are quite economical to run.

OWNER'S SAY

Pam Baker loves her 2008 Subaru Impreza RS. She says it handles well on all terrain, particularly on wet dirt roads, it looks good, the fuel economy is good, and the bucket seats are comfortable. On the other hand she says the auto transmission is sluggish on takeoff, the body sheetmetal feels very thin and flimsy, and dents easily, and there's too much plastic on the interior. All in all she says it's about an eight out of 10.

LOOK FOR

  • Fresh Euro look
  • Solid feel
  • More powerful engine
  • Larger cabin
  • Uncomfortable seats

THE BOTTOM LINE

The popular small car got even better with new looks, an improved cabin and a more solid feel.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2008 $2,700 $13,970
2007 $2,400 $14,850

View all Subaru Impreza pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$7,868
Based on 82 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$3,800
Highest Price
$15,921

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0i (AWD) 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,985 – 9,990 2007 Subaru Impreza 2007 2.0i (AWD) Pricing and Specs
2.0i Luxury (AWD) 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,999 – 5,600 2007 Subaru Impreza 2007 2.0i Luxury (AWD) Pricing and Specs
2.0R (awd) 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,290 – 8,990 2007 Subaru Impreza 2007 2.0R (awd) Pricing and Specs
R (awd) 2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $4,990 – 9,950 2007 Subaru Impreza 2007 R (awd) Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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