The Impreza is the smallest member of Subarus lineup and comes as a sedan, coupe and wagon the latter of which is covered in the 2001 Station Wagon Buying Guide. The Impreza also is the basis for the Forester, a car-based sport utility vehicle.
Subaru makes only minor changes to the Impreza this year because a redesigned model is expected for the 2002 model year.
Both the sedan and coupe are 172 inches long a few inches shorter than the Honda Civic. Both body styles come in L and sporty 2.5RS price levels, the latter are distinguished by a rear spoiler, larger fog lights, hood air intakes and standard 16-inch tires instead of 15-inch alloy wheels.
Subaru says the subcompact Impreza seats five, but given its 99-inch wheelbase and 67-inch width, the three in back better be thin and short. The trunk holds a modest 11 cubic feet of cargo, and the rear seatback doesnt fold for additional space on the coupe or sedan.
All models are fully equipped, including air conditioning, a cassette player, power windows and locks, and a rear window defogger. The 2.5RS models have eye-catching white-faced gauges, sport seats with side bolsters and racy checkered-flag upholstery.
Under the Hood
All Subarus use engines with horizontally opposed cylinders instead of inline or V configurations also known as flat engines. The Impreza L coupe and sedan use a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine with 142 horsepower. The 2.5RS models have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 165 hp. Both engines team with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
A permanently engaged all-wheel-drive system that Subaru says distributes power from wheels that slip to wheels that grip automatically is standard across the board.