NEW FOR 2009:
- 2.5i adds standard stability control, rear disc brakes, auxiliary audio input and body-colour door handles
- Sport Package adds standard sunroof, Sirius satellite radio, and stainless steel exhaust tips; four-door also adds body kit and low-profile rear spoiler
- WRX deletes automatic transmission, six-CD stereo and wheel-mounted audio controls; adds WRX STI-style grille
- New WRX265 model
- WRX STI deletes standard navigation system and Sirius satellite radio; adds six-CD stereo; five-spoke cast alloy wheels replace BBS forged alloy wheels
- New WRX STI Sport Tech package
- Exterior colours: Lightning Red and Satin White Pearl added; Aspen White and Midnight Blue Pearl discontinued
Redesigned for 2008, the Subaru Impreza line-up is tweaked for 2009, with changes in standard and optional features. Most notable is the discontinuation of the WRX's automatic transmission, and the new WRX265 model, which uses the same size turbocharger as the WRX STI to obtain the 265 horsepower for which it's named. The new WRX STI Sport Tech package adds a sunroof and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. With the change to the 2.5i, all models now feature four discs as standard equipment, along with stability and traction control.
The Impreza is available as a four-door sedan or four-door hatchback, except for the WRX STI, which is strictly a hatchback. It comes as the 2.5i, with horizontally-opposed 2.5-litre four-cylinder and five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission; as the WRX, with turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-litre four-cylinder and five-speed manual; as the WRX265 with high-pressure turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-litre four-cylinder with five-speed manual; and as the WRX STI, with high-pressure turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-litre four-cylinder and six-speed manual transmission. All are all-wheel drive; the WRX STI has a multi-mode driver-controlled centre differential.
Features on the 2.5i include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, CD/MP3/WMA stereo with auxiliary input, cruise control, tilt wheel, vanity mirrors, power windows with driver's auto-down, heated mirrors, auto-off headlamps, variable intermittent wipers, anti-theft alarm, floor mats, cloth seats, six-way manual driver's seat, and 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The hatchback adds cargo hooks, roofline spoiler and fixed intermittent rear wiper.
The 2.5i Sport Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, premium six-CD/MP3/WMA stereo, Sirius satellite radio, stainless steel exhaust tips, fog lamps, power sunroof, ground effects, rear spoiler, windshield wiper de-icer, heated seats, and leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls.
The WRX builds on the 2.5i and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, larger brakes, sport-tuned suspension, rear stabilizer bar, tilt and telescopic wheel, hood scoop, electroluminescent gauges, cloth rally seats, folding centre armrest, and leather-wrapped wheel.
The WRX265 adds premium six-CD/MP3/WMA stereo with auxiliary input, Sirius satellite radio, performance-tuned suspension, power sunroof, cloth seats with red stitching and logo, and aluminum sport pedals.
The WRX STI builds on the WRX and adds 18-inch alloy wheels, Brembo high-performance brakes, STI performance-tuned suspension, selectable SI-drive, cargo cover, premium six-CD/MP3/WMA stereo with auxiliary input, heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, xenon headlamps with manual level, heated leather and Alcantara seats, and STI three-spoke wheel.
The WRX STI Sport Tech package adds auxiliary input for audio/visual source, wheel-mounted audio controls, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, navigation system, touch-screen monitoring system, Sirius satellite radio, and power sunroof.
The tweaks and additions to the Impreza's line-up give this nicely-done vehicle even more appeal, with extra standard features, disc brakes and stability control across the board, and a model that slots in between the WRX and the more expensive STI. All offer good value, although the doors and trunk lid sound cheap and tinny when they close. The addition of the Mitsubishi Evolution to the Canadian marketplace now means that the STI has some serious head-to-head competition.
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