Car Review: A
hood scoop feeds cold air to the intercooler in Subaru's turbocharged
2009 Impreza GT. It's fun to drive, sort of like Subaru's wild WRX, but
far more comfortable for everyday driving.
Rarely are vehicles as
polarizing as the Subaru WRX. This wild car and its high-performance
brother, the STI, are the closest you can get to driving a
European-style rally racer on the streets of America. The WRX is loud,
raw and abrasive, which is exactly why people like me love it.
It's also why people
like my wife hate it. A couple of years ago, the last time I drove a WRX,
she absolutely detested it, complaining that the engine hurt her ears
and the seats hurt her back. As far as she was concerned, it was a
four-wheeled torture device. My praise about its driving dynamics didn't
do a thing to change her mind.
caught on to the fact that some people like the basics of a WRX, a turbo
engine and all-wheel drive, but hate all its rough edges, so the company
is introducing a new car for 2009 called the Impreza GT.
The GT is like a soft,
mild version of the WRX, with a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that makes
224 horsepower. That's less than the 265 horses you'll get in the WRX
and 305 hp in the STI, but it's still plenty of pep. And it's far
It has a softer
suspension too. While the STI feels like Subaru completely removed the
shock absorbers and replaced them with columns of concrete, the Impreza
GT is much more reasonable. It's still fun to drive, but it has a far
smoother ride that works better for everyday driving.
The cozy interior in
the Impreza GT is the perfect size, just big enough to be comfortable,
and just small enough to be athletic, but it's marred by the overuse of
hard plastics. Unfortunately, it has an interior that seems like it's
inspired by the Little Tykes Cozy Coupe, the vehicle of choice for
3-year-olds. Everything is covered in hard plastic. Everything. It's
like being locked inside the Toys "R" Us warehouse.
Aside from the
economy-car materials, the interior is pleasant. It's not roomy, but
cozy, with just the right amount of space without getting excessive.
Anything smaller would feel cramped. Anything bigger would feel bloated.
It's the perfect size for a fun-to-drive sedan.
Like most Subarus, the
Impreza GT is a great car for people who have to drive on icy roads. Its
all-wheel drive system is designed for exactly that situation, and the
All Weather Package can add dual-mode heated front seats, heated side
mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer. This is just what I'd want it I
lived in the North.
The only transmission
available is a four-speed automatic, which makes sense. People who want
the mechanical connection of a manual transmission would opt for the WRX
That doesn't mean the
GT has completely abandoned its WRX-like attitude. A big hood scoop
feeds air to an intercooler for one thing, and its gauges have the same
wonderful red glow as the faster Subarus.
Pricing starts at
$26,995, which is $2,000 more than the WRX, but it also includes more
standard features, like an automatic climate control system and the
automatic transmission. Considering the Impreza GT has the WRX's spirit
without all its drawbacks, a lot of drivers could find it appealing.
What was tested?
The 2009 Subaru Impreza GT with a base price of $26,995. Price as tested
including the $695 delivery charge: $27,690.
Why avoid it?
The WRX offers more power for less money, and you can't get a factory
navigation system like all the other flavors of the Impreza. It also has
too much hard plastic in the cabin, making it feel cheaper than it is.
Why buy it? It
has plenty of power from a turbocharged engine, and it's comfortable to
drive around town with a soft suspension and relatively quiet cabin.
It's a more reasonable alternative to the WRX.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Byline: Car Review provided by Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Subaru Home Page
Turbo-powered Impreza GT is fun to drive
Topic: The 2009 Subaru
Word Count: 744
Photo Caption: The
2009 Subaru Impreza GT
Photo Credits: Subaru
Impreza Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 08
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2009 Subaru Impreza
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2009 Subaru Impreza