2007 Subaru Impreza Wagon Performance
This performance review was written when the 2007 Subaru Impreza Wagon was new.
Reviewers find the 2007 Subaru Impreza Wagon to be a sporty, responsive performer with plenty of power and good handling but a less-than-perfect transmission. "Few economy cars on the planet are as visceral, as hard-wired to the driver's inputs," Car and Driver notes, however the "clutch take-up is slightly abrupt, making smooth launches tricky."
The Impreza Wagon is available with one of two 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engines -- one turbocharged and one not. Both engines offer good power, but the turbo most excites reviewers -- leading the Washington Post to conclude, "I can't think of any compact car that is as much fun to drive." New Car Test Drive deems the Impreza Wagon "a solid performer," noting a "stable and forgiving" ride attributable to "its all-wheel-drive system, which improves both performance and all-road capability."
Acceleration and Power
The Impreza Wagon is offered as a 2.5i Sport with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine creating 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, or as a WRX Sport with a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine creating 224 horsepower and 226 pound-feet of torque. Reviewers like both engines, but recommend the more-powerful turbocharged WRX for driving enthusiasts. In discussing the 2.5i Sport, The Truth About Cars writes, "Why would anyone buy such an entirely sensible vehicle when they could drive away in a full-fat, hormone-injected WRX Sport Wagon?"
The 2.5i Sport's engine has been tweaked for 2007, resulting in more horsepower and better fuel economy. Kelley Blue Book says, "This engine performs as smoothly as any in-line four-cylinder model, and provides plenty of mid-range power to operate the all-wheel-drive system without getting bogged down." Calling acceleration "brisk," New Car Test Drive reports that the "engine breathes a little better than before at high rpm, and it keeps pulling strong further up into the rev range." Paired with either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic, the 2.5i Sport has "adequate pep with either transmission," according to Consumer Guide. With a manual transmission, the 2.5i Sport gets an EPA estimated at 19 miles per gallon in the city, and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. With an automatic transmission, it gets an EPA estimated 20 mpg in the city, and 25 mpg on the highway.
According to the Washington Post, the WRX Sport Wagon "is a remarkably fast (0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds) and gutsy little car." The majority of reviewers agree. Consumer Guide notes that the WRX can be "slow to react to throttle below 3000 rpm," while being "alert" and "very fast above that." The WRX comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, though a four-speed automatic is offered. Edmunds finds, "From a standing start, the automatic amplifies the engine's sluggish low-end response. Step on the throttle after coming off the brake, and the WRX dribbles forward." With the automatic transmission, the WRX Sport gets an EPA estimated 20 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. With the manual, it gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
Reviewers are less than thrilled with the transmissions. The Truth About Cars says that the "clutch action is funny" on the manual, while "the shifter has a slightly plasticky feeling." Meanwhile, BusinessWeek calls the automatic transmission "relatively unrefined," explaining: "The car hesitates when you first hit the gas. Moreover, the transmission hunts around a lot for the right gear on hilly, curvy roads and runs out to high revs when you accelerate, both at highway and lower speeds."
Handling and Braking
The Impreza Wagon handles ably, reviewers find. "The ride is decidedly firm, but the suspension is difficult to upset, and there are no extraneous body motions," reports Car and Driver. Also, "the pedals are heel-and-toe friendly." Both models perform well, though the WRX is sport-tuned. "The Impreza 2.5i Sport Wagon may slingshot out of turns with less alacrity than a WRX, but at least it does so with equal bravado," writes The Truth About Cars. "Body roll is minimal, tire adhesion predictable, throttle response enjoyable and braking thank-God-able."
Reviewers are highly impressed by the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, which transmits power to all four wheels simultaneously. With "better traction than regular all-wheel drive," explains the Kelley Blue Book suggests that the "Impreza's all-wheel drive trumps its competitors' front-wheel drive systems every time.", the symmetrical system asks the driver to "clutch shift, and push the gas pedal. That's it. The all-wheel-drive system works automatically."