It sounds like a normal four-cylinder engined car with a missing HT lead, they drink more than a Scotsman and they’re prone to blowing up from time to time. Oh, and the engine works on the principles of witchcraft and magic but even so, the 1st Gen Subaru Imprezas are immense, as long as the one you pick up has a turbo bolted to it. Don’t bother with the cars that lack a turbo. They’re like a Nissan Sunny, only even more boring.
A boxer engine from an Impreza. Don’t try and work it out, it’ll make your face do a cry.
Colin McRae (RIP you bloody hero) made a career out of flinging them over rally stages and jumps. He also flung a few of them into the occasional ditch, but that’s part of rallying so it’s fine. On the whole though, they shook the WRC world right up with their peculiar “that’s not running right, is it?” noise and their awesome ability to go around corners in a manner that the short wheelbase group-B Quattros of old would be proud of. And as an added bonus they made Nicky Grist (McRae’s co-driver) squeal like a girl on a regular basis, which never fails to make us smile. We’ve met him actually, nice man. Please don’t sue us because of what we just said.
Anyway, as we did with the Audi A8, allow us to show you what sort of bargain we’re on about…
…see, they’re well cheap and stuff. There were loads of them too, and we do mean loads. Wave £2k in the air and you’ll have a sea of Imprezas at your disposal; they really are a plentiful machine. You’ll even get a WRX or maybe even an STi if you’re lucky. There’s plenty though, so have a look at a few, don’t buy the first one you see!
Do keep in mind however, that they’re plentiful for a reason. Unless you have 14 years no claims bonus, are 55 years of age and park it in Fort Knox over night it’ll cost you roughly £75,000 a year to insure. Third party only. We knew a fella who paid £3400 to insure his, the fool. No hyperbole there, he really did pay that much.
Now you’d think that because they could only be bought by people with a date of birth that could justify the name Cedric, they’d all be looked after, each one housing an engine that had never exceeded 3500rpm. No, this is not the case. Think about it, when was the last time you saw an Impreza going slowly? These monsters were built to go fast; even the most mild mannered of motorists wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation of planting the gas pedal, and rightly so!
Even the Police love’em. Or, er, loved them. This picture is really old. Sorry.
It’s a different story inside though. Jump behind the bland, typically Japanese steering wheel of one of these suckers and you’ll instantly be bored. The innards of an Impreza are about as thrilling as a cheese and onion sandwich, some may smell the same too. Naff plastic, door-pulls from a Nissan Sunny and a gear knob that’s possibly from a Nissan Micra are all you’ll find in there. Yeah, you’ll be in a seat that seems supportive and sporty, but trust us, that’s not enough to overcome the sea of bland that your eyes will be feasting on. None of this matters though as the Impreza wasn’t built for people to enjoy sitting in, it was built to scare the crap out of them once the key was turned. Nothing more, nothing less.
If you buy one of these people will assume you think you’re a rally-driving god. You’ll be honoured by the Police who will applaud each and every one of your high-speed launches and handbrake turns* and the good people of Esso will adore you for making their share value go up (at full chat these things only manage around 6mpg). Or of course, people will just think you’re a knob for driving a car that sounds like a vomiting tractor.
Ignore them though because clearly they’ve never enjoyed the fruits of a turbocharged boxer engine. Just chuck on your race suit and shout things like “one-fifty right under crest, over goat, don’t cut, four-hundred up” as you drive along the A45. It’ll make the school run a lot more exciting.
*the Police will not do this. They will arrest you and flush your driving license down the loo. They’re mean like that. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.