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Grip : GRIP April 2012
WHAT’S IN THE PRESS GRIP IMPREZA CONTINUES TO GAIN POSTIVE ‘INK’ LAUNCHED to the national motoring media in Adelaide in late February, the new Impreza is continuing to gain “ink” in newspapers, magazines and on-line. After the rush of “first- drive” impressions resulting from the drive at the launch in the Adelaide Hills, the extended reviews are flowing now that journalists are getting hold of the car for a week and taking it on their favourite roads. Respected motoring journalist, Neil Dowling, is Perth based, and writes for the News Limited group, including his paper, the Sunday Mail. His review of the entry-level Impreza 2.0i in CarsGuide saw many positives for the small that has it all. It started with this memorable opening: “The tale of Subaru Impreza is like ugly duckling meets groundhog day. Repeatedly, its styling has swung from pretty to pretty awful, drop dead gorgeous to drop kick. “Honestly, Subaru has got it right this time - really right - and now I’m scared that the nex t model is going to look like a chewed suitcase. So a message to Subaru - just don’t play with it.” Thanks Neil – that got everyone’s attention – even those at Subaru HQ! He went on to write: “The sedan is now a balanced car in terms of style, has a neat nose and an interior - and particularly the dash - that is almost perfect, has soft-feel materials, is streets ahead of most rivals and belies the car’s sub- $24,000 entry price. “Even the engine is better, performance is good and fuel economy is back among the pack after previously having a reputation of being something of a lush.” Neil also thought the new Impreza represented “really good” value. “It’s only when you stack the Impreza 2.0i up against similarly-priced rivals - Mazda3, Holden Cruze and Toyota Corolla - that you see it equals them on most things, wins on some, but gives very little ground away. “The fact it’s all-wheel drive, now has a spacious interior and boot, has loads of features - Bluetooth, six speaker iPod/USB audio, cruise and a trip computer - for the price makes it close to a bargain. Not much point in up-speccing here because the lower priced Impreza models have it all.” He also went on to talk further about the design. “After two - and more - years, finally a shape that looks good in your driveway. Impreza takes the good bits of big-sister Liberty but discards the slab-side look in favour of deep side glass, crease lines through the doors and eyebrows raised over the wheelarches. “As mentioned, the soft-feel dash is light-years away from the previous Impreza’s hard-plastic, satin- black finish that, at best, cheapened the car. The boot is big - again - and though there’s a space-saver wheel, there’s room for a real one. So why isn’t there a real one there?” Well, you can’t expect it all to be good! At least we know it might be an issue when customers have read the story. Forewarned is forarmed. But Neil was positive about the technology, particularly the Impreza’s fuel efficency and the car’s safety advantages. “With a modest 110kW/196Nm (the engine) works and is now on par with rivals. Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.8 L/100km, which thrashes most rivals.” Neil also had favourable things about the CVT auto: “(It is) a great improvement on the previous wide- spaced four-cog auto.” He also liked the car’s handling saying: “It feels far more confident on the road, corners with more accuracy than before and the ride comfort - thanks in part to very comfortable seats - is excellent. “It drives like a more expensive car and the engine - while a few more Kilowat ts wouldn’t hurt - is more than adequate for its target market.” Now for his verdict! “It’s now amongst a (very small) handful of base model, small sedan cars that I’d consider buying. I actually disliked returning it to Subaru.” And our verdict? That’s a good review full of lots of material that we should be sharing with our customers. It’s available on-line at CarsGuide.com.au INSIDE GRIP HOME PAGE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AFTERSALES AMBASSADOR MARKETING ALLIANCES WHAT’S IN THE PRESS TRENDS DEALER RANKINGS NPS SCORES SPORT
GRIP March 2012
GRIP May 2012