Subaru last week launched the latest Impreza, a hot hatch and a departure from the saloon design we are so used to.
I got 2 colleagues driving subarus, one a legacy and one a Impreza. The road holding prowess of subaru is amazing, no doubt due to its AWD and boxer engine. (Boxer engine is flatter in design, compared to the V’s watsoever and single line engines, thus its lower center of gravity enables the car to take corners faster.)
My colleague (with the legacy) is very tempted to test drive the new impreza, jus to find out its performance. I a bit butt itchy decide to join him (and his son, whom he has to babysit) today after work to the Subaru showroom at Toa Payoh.
He test drive the Tribeca first. Wah, i am very impressed by the size and comfort of the SUV, stable and can take corners fast (but must tahan the body roll). But all these come at a price, heavy bodywork and 3 litre engine will add up to horrible fuel consumption.
My turn to test drive the Impreza. Must make sure its the auto version, how to get a feel of the car when i keep dying the engine in manual mah. The startup is impressive, the speedo and intruments needles swing in tandem to greet me when the key is turned.
The impression of the driver seat is its more cosy than the one i am used to (ie Mit Lancer). But the steering wheel is set very much lower, majiam like drive toy car like tat. Moving off the block is slow but once i depress pedal a bit more, the power came on and i can overtake cars with ease (some vios and vans, nothing spectacular). I cannot get used to the signal stalk on the left, i accidentally flick on the wipers when i want to filter right.
Overall impression of the Impreza? Not bad. The sales guy claimed that FC is now improved to 12Km/l (13 on paper) due to the double overhead cams and VVT. No idea how to in-coporate VVT onto boxer engines but doesn’t matter. Cosy interior and readily available power, especially when i switched to Tiptronics mode. And at $61k+, this is an absolute bargain.

But just too bad. I have not reach a stage when i desperately need to buy a car to satisfy my ego. So while i feel shiok after the test drive, i feel a tingle of guiltiness for wasting the SE’s time and petrol. This is the only way that a poor chap like me can do to have a feeling of how some cars perform because i simply cannot understand by reading Torque, Motoring alone.

Should i continue to do this time-wasting (for the SE) and ego-fulfilling activity?