Subaru Impreza

Special-edition Subaru Impreza marks end of an era

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Find your Subaru Impreza
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
9/10 sellers got the price they expected
Advertisement

The Subaru Impreza once set the benchmark for performance, but while its rivals have moved on, the WRX has been rooted to the spot. Thirsty and dated, it remains a guilty pleasure, thanks to its four-wheel-drive abilities and charismatic boxer engine. But the latest hot hatches – led by the Honda Civic Type R and VW Golf GTI – are more entertaining to drive, less expensive to run and far more practical.

The end is nigh for Subaru's Impreza, and this sign-off model represents its last hurrah. It features a host of extra goodies and signals a change in dir­ection for the Japanese brand. There won’t be a WRX variant of the next Impreza – so is the GB270 a sure-fire future classic, or simply a quick fix to clear out the old production lines?

Only 400 of the final-edition cars will be sold in the UK (300 saloons and 100 Sport Wagons), and each comes loaded with additional kit. For a start, there’s a stainless steel mesh grille, a huge rear wing, silver alloy wheels and an STi-style front bumper. In case you don’t spot those, unique GB270 badging and an individually numbered plaque on the console also highlight its special-edition status.

Buyers also get lowered suspension, a ‘quickshift’ gearchange and Subaru’s Prodrive Performance Pack, which increases the engine’s output from 226bhp to 266bhp.

According to Subaru, that’s £7,600 worth of extra kit, while the GB270 will cost £2,898 more than the regular saloon when it arrives in September. The Sport Wagon has a £1,898 premium over its standard equivalent.

Fans will certainly appreciate the performance boost, with the benchmark 0-60mph time cut from 5.9 to 5.3 seconds. The flat-four-cylinder boxer pow­erplant is charismatic, too, and its unique burble sets the Subaru apart from its rivals.

However, it doesn’t feel as energetic as the figures claim, and the steering is overly light and short on feedback. The Impreza still provides huge amounts of traction, and the ride remains comfortable given its firmer set-up, but the best hot hatches are more involving and nearly as fast.

They also trump the Subaru inside – the cabin now feels dated. Worse still, the branded Alcantara trim in our model is an expensive £1,400 option. The Clarion sat-nav system – complete with Bluetooth phone kit and built-in iPod adaptor – also costs an extra £1,750, and looks scruffy.

However, the GB270 is no ordinary swansong. When the all-new Subaru hatchback arrives here this autumn, it will come in basic guise only, and the top-of-the-range STi model won’t appear until next spring. As a result, this is the last chance to buy into the Impreza legend – and if you want
its in-your-face styling additions, the GB270 is well worth a look.

RIVAL: Mazda 3 MPS
THE front-wheel-drive Mazda lacks the Subaru’s 4WD composure, but the hatch is less expensive, more practical and just as well built. The 3 MPS is also much more discreet.

Most Popular

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance
MG3 on Geneva Motor Show stand - front
News

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance

New MG3 features the company’s first full-hybrid powertrain; pricing to be announced in March
26 Feb 2024
New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class
Renault 4EVER concept car in 1962 4L paint - front 3/4 static
News

New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class

The forthcoming Renault 4 is likely to offer a four-wheel-drive option, helping it to stand out in the market for baby all-electric SUVs
27 Feb 2024
Dacia heads for VW Golf and Ford Focus territory with new C-Neo that’s definitely ‘not an SUV’
Dacia badge
News

Dacia heads for VW Golf and Ford Focus territory with new C-Neo that’s definitely ‘not an SUV’

As big names vacate the traditional C-segment, Dacia sees an opportunity for its new petrol family car
27 Feb 2024