Built atop the Japanese carmaker's new Global Platform, the new Impreza from Fuji Heavy Industries uses significantly more high-tensile steel that improves impact energy absorption by 40% and helps reduce body roll by 50% thanks to a rear stabiliser that's been mounted directly to the platform.
The new car is also being touted to have significantly less vibrations than before for a more comfortable drive as well as a highly responsive and precise steering thanks to its highly rigid body and improved suspension system.
Currently, there are three variants being offered - 1.6i, 1.6i-S and 2.0i-S, and each variant is available in either a five-door hatchback or four-door sedan.
With a ground clearance of 130mm as standard, the new Impreza's wheelbase has been stretched by an additional 26mm to 2,670mm over its predecessor. Dimensionally, the hatchback now stands at 4,460mm-long (+46mm), 1,775mm-wide (+35mm) and 1,455mm-tall (-10mm), while the sedan's length is now at 4,625mm-long (+45mm).
As standard, both entry-level 1.6i sedan and hatchback comes fitted with a 50-litre fuel tank and mates a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission to the 1.6-litre (1,600cc) boxer-four engine that produces 114PS at 6,200rpm and 150Nm of torque at 3,600rpm.
Externally, it sports front and rear fogs, halogen headlamps, shark-fin antenna, disc brakes all-round, front MacPherson struts with rear double wishbone suspension setup and rolls on 16-inch wheels with 205-55 series tyres. All hatchback variants get a roof-mounted spoiler.
All variants also receive the full salvo of safety features such as seven airbags, four-channel ABS system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, vehicle dynamics control system, brake override, engine immobiliser, ISOFIX anchor points and safety pedal system.
Inside, the cabin features 60-40 split folding rear seat with arm rest, automatic climate controls, electronic parking brake, hill holder function, idling stop system, multi-function display, multifunction steering wheel, one-touch signal, 6.5-inch audio system display with Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Carplay, USB port, AUX-jack and voice recognition.
The mid-range 1.6i-S sedan and hatchback now comes with headlamp washers, power-folding door mirrors with LED turn signals, power sliding glass roof, aluminium pedals, auto-dimming rear view mirror, blind-spot detection, high-grade multi-info display, lane change assist and cruise control and keyless entry with push-start button.
Other additional kit includes an 8.0-inch display for the sound system, dual-zone climate controls, PIN code access, power adjustable driver's seat, automatic wipers, rear cross-traffic alert and reverse camera before changing out the headlights to a set of automatic steering responsive auto-levelling LEDs with high beam assist.
As for the range-topping 2.0i-S, it now uses a 1,995cc boxer-four engine with direct fuel-injection that "punches" out 156PS at 6,000rpm and 196Nm of torque at 4,000rpm and has the same kit as the 1.6i-S, only it adds on paddle shifters for a more engaging drive.
With regards to the Impreza's arrival, it's currently a pipe-dream fearing that it may cannibalize its XV's sales. Lets hope Motor Image changes their perspective over the coming months.