All-wheel-drive small car gets diesel power, using acclaimed 2.0 flat-four 'boxer' engine. It comes at a stiff price, though.

It’s a first for Subaru. The Japanese car maker has added a diesel engine to its Impreza small car line up in the UK. The engine’s not new – it has been available in the Legacy saloon and estate, the Outback and the Forester for close on two years.

But putting the engine into the Impreza makes for a rare car in its sector – a relatively quick Golf-sized car that’s capable of touching 48mpg and also has full-time four-wheel-drive. The two-litre 148bhp engine has the same flat-four, ‘boxer’ design as those of petrol Imprezas and gives off a similarly distinctive ‘gurgle’ when revved. The car’s carbon dioxide emissions are a fair-enough – but not ezxceptional – 155g/km.

There are two models, the RC and RX, to sit alongside 1.5 and 2.0 non-turbo Imprezas, plus the 2.5 turbo WRX and the WRX STi and 330S. Neither is cheap – they retail at £20,000 and £22,255 respectively. And that puts them dearer than the 145bhp 2.0 R at £15,170 and indeed the 2.5 WRX at £19,675.

But Subaru says both will be high-spec: climate controlled air conditioning, alloy wheels, heated sports seats, windscreen washers, wiper de-icers and folding door mirrors come as standard. To read the review of the Impreza 2.0 R, click here.

Stephen Jury


September 2, 2009

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