By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2009 Subaru Impreza. It competes with the Mazda3 and Volkswagen Jetta.
(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with Cars.com. Performance hatchbacks have seen their ranks grow in recent years. And Subaru, which is already a player in this segment, adds another model for 2009 with the Impreza GT.
The GT uses the turbocharged engine from last year's WRX, which gains more power for 2009. So stick around to find out more about this performance hatchback. Even though the GT has a performance slant to it, Subaru has been pretty restrained, in terms of styling this car. There are a couple of cues though that hint that it's power in there, for one it's this functional hood scoop you see here. The car also has 17 inch alloy wheels and low-profile tires, but you're not gonna see any of those extravagant bumpers or rocker panels that some performance models have. And to top it off, the car has pretty clean uncluttered side styling too, which is a nice touch. The GT is powered by a horizontally opposed four cylinder engine. It's rated at 224 horsepower, 226 pounds feet of torque. And as mentioned, this engine went in the WRX last year, but for 2009, the WRX gets more power, so the GT gets this engine. Now the GTs only offered with a four speed automatic. If you want a manual transmission, you have to step up to the WRX. Fuel economy figures for this motor at 1924 city highway, and all wheel drive is standard. One of the better elements about the Impreza's cabin is its good driving position that it offers. Now, even though the driver's seat only has basic manual adjustments, it includes the important ones, like a height adjustable driver's seat. And there's also a tilt telescoping steering wheel, which is nice to have. And I was able to get pretty comfortable on this. And that's not something that you can do in every other car. Less praiseworthy is the Impreza's interior quality, while panel fit is good, and the car has a solid feel overall to it. A lot of the dash plastic is just too shiny for a modern vehicle to have, and there are some lower grade elements, like exposed screw heads here, in the bottom of the center console bin. Even though the Impreza's a small hatchback, there's more room than you might expect to find in the back seats, even for taller adults. Now, my knees are touching the front seats, but my leg room is still okay. And what makes comfort even better, is that the backrest has a nicely inclined angle, so you're not sitting too upright. Now unto the cargo area. One of the benefits of a hatchback is that you can carry a lot of stuff in the back. Now with the Impreza GT, you have room for a couple of small bags in the back when the backseats are in place, but those seats fold down, and when they're down, you have 44.4 cubic feet of space, which is more than double what you have when the seats are up. The Impreza GT is a nice package on the whole. It's a fun car to drive. It offers a lot of functionality, and it's standard all wheel drive will be a big plus for some shoppers. What might hurt it's chances, is it's pretty high starting price of more than $27,000. Because if you're a performance minded shopper, you can get front wheel drive performance hatchbacks, like the Mazdaspeed 3 or Volkswagen GTI, for significantly less. <v Announcer>For additional information on this car or any other, go to www.cars.com and our blog, Kicking Tires.