INTRODUCTION

Subaru has transformed itself into a reward brand and, nowhere is that more apparent than in its expansive Impreza line of compact cars. Added features do not come the kind of elegant interiors. But in the form of modern all-wheel-drive modes, turbocharged engines, camera car installation, and high-quality construction designs. The days when the Impreza was a modest subcompact, sold mainly on the power of its low price, are long gone. The 2006 Impreza models line gives more alternatives than always, almost to the point of confusion.

 

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There’s a lot to fancy in the Impreza line and a small car for almost every drive. All models are different, fun to drive and, practical, with a decent back seat and good gas space. The standard full-time all-wheel-drive mode is legitimately a safety, performance, and foul-weather protection.

On the other hand, the least costly model costs much more than some very good small cars. On the other, even the base Impreza has more power than most cars in its position. Less than $19,500, the 2006 Impreza 2.5i Sedan comes very fresh decorated. The Impreza Outback Sport offers a bit more ground allowance and a modicum of off-road capacity. The WRX is the actual high-performance car but is too tried now to be adopted by a boy racer. The crazed fast WRX STi is an ultra-high-performance device that can run like the BMW M3 for thousands of dollars less.

Their outlines may look simple, but the Impreza models benefit from some severe rises for 2006. All models have been restyled front and back. More vital, in our view, change is less visible. Power has increased at most limited somewhat across the board. The body construction has been developing and the suspension filtered. There are more standard tools, more safety devices, latest technology.

The 2006 Impreza is more advanced, perhaps more serious, but it’s still fun and practical in any appearance. It is still loaded with characters related to some of the sanitized tools that populate this class of the car. One of our favorite small cars is useful than ever.

LINEUP

In 2006, 10 sedan and station wagon models were introduced, each powered by a 2.5-liter Subaru transverse cylinder engine, permanent all-wheel drive, and a manual transmission. The Impreza 2.5i Sedan ($ 18,295) and the 2.5i Sport Wagon ($ 18,295) are the least expensive. Both feature a 173bhp version of the 2.5-liter boxer engine (up to 8bhp in 2006, variable valve timing and lift valve control), and both standard features include accessories. The Outback suspension has been raised and tuned for more wheel travel (or off-road capability), a chrome grille and gray metal underbody, roof rails, and fog lights have been added. The Outback Sport Special Edition Wagon ($ 19,695) comes with a 240-watt stereo with a six-disc CD changer and automatic rear-view mirrors. The WRX is a high-performance Impreza model that is available in two turbocharged versions of 2.5 and 4 liters, producing 230 hp, sports suspension, 17-inch wheels, and more powerful brakes and is available in six variants. 140W switchable stereo, CD, fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and gear lever. Also new for 2006 are the WRX Limited ($ 27,495) and the WRX Limited Sport Wagon ($ 26,995), which are the pinnacle of Impreza luxury.

WALKAROUND

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2006 Impreza models have been redesigned to reflect what Subaru calls its new signature style. At the rear (not what you’d expect from all Impreza models), the Impreza models’ fenders widen more aggressively, and the wheel cavities are nicely filled with standard 16-inch tires. The Outback has been enlarged slightly to raise the wheels higher, the radiator grille, and two-tone paintwork. The side skirts, bumpers, and underbody are painted in steel gray metallic, while the rear bumper has vinyl padding or truck-style ladders. The Impreza WRX now features the sculpted side steps previously used for the powerful STI. This is our favorite Impreza, especially with the sleek metallic gray paintwork of our test car. The rear wing of the site is perhaps the most daring of the car.

INTERIOR

The cabin is beautifully designed, appreciated both in appearance and function, and is also well finished. The Impreza dashboard is finished in dark gray metal. It is surely plastic, but it looks good and is not cheap. New features improve this luxury environment: a modern anti-theft system is now standard, as well as cabin air filtration and an outside temperature sensor. The audio controls, especially on the standard stereo, are on the small side, but the radio is prominently located above the climate control in the center console and closer to the driver’s reach. The three climate controls are HUGE. Even the standard 2.5i mechanical / vacuum dial works flawlessly; The electronic switches for the automatic climate control in our WRX test car are the same as the switches on some high-quality home stereos. The WRX seat is even more comfortable with a one-piece backrest with an integrated headrest. The instrument cluster shows that the WRX is the car for serious drivers. The WRX’s dashboard trim is made from lighter silver metal, and this Impreza comes standard with leather on the steering wheel, gear lever, and parking brake.