What happens when someone mentions Subaru? Petrolheads right away go into a dizzy state, drooling from the mouth, flashes of blue and gold bouncing across the insides of their skulls.
You hear Subaru and you imagine an Impreza tearing through forest dirt roads, jumping over crests and scaring the remaining lives out of uninformed, furry forest animals. Loud, obnoxious, blue car covered in mud with opposite locked gold wheels scrambling across mud. That is a Subaru.
Except, Subaru worldwide has been trying to tell us they are a responsible car maker, not one that only terrifies forest animals. And that is a scary thing for petrolheads. They want that loud obnoxious car. Which brings us to our Impreza. It is not loud. It is not obnoxious. It appears rather tame.
Obviously, I wanted a blue Impreza. You know, that electric blue from the mud-slinging, gravel crunching Imprezas of rally domination fame. What I got was a blue so dark, it might as well have been black. You don't always get what you want. Is this Impreza going to be what a buyer wants out of a brand new sedan for the Bangladeshi market?
Let's start with the good stuff. Standard all-wheel drive and excellent safety ratings give it the definitive edge. Back to that later but first, just look at the thing. That's what we do when we get a car. We sit back and look.
The car looks lean and sleek unlike most modern daily drivers which appear bulky and chubby. Those narrow headlights and the body crease creating humps over each wheel give it the look of a widebody without actually going wide.
If you compare the dimensions with our national car, the Toyota Allion, the Impreza is actually couple of inches wider, couple of inches longer and about an inch shorter than the ubiquitous Toyota. Subaru went all contemporary 2020 design cue on this. They kept things simple and handsome with the fender bulges hinting at rally dominance of past. Which is all good because for most, looking the part is everything. Just don't get it in white where it ends up blending into the crowd because of all those contemporary design cues.
It appears a bit Spartan and subdued on the inside with the all black layout. Very functional like all Imprezas have always been. Seats are wonderfully supportive and firm with control within easy reach.
It has your usual host of safety features that are mandatory now for all new cars, braking and traction support and multiple airbags for crash protection. Sound deadening is quite good too with most of the tire rumble from the 17 inch wheels well muted. It also has those fancy headlights that swivel to point where your wheels are turning. Excellent feature if you're taking the car out on long drives at nights outside the city. A big help on the unlit, twisty Srimongol roads near Sylhet.
Which brings us to the most important factor: does it go like you imagine an Impreza to go?
It has the near perfect setup to be a fantastic handler. That AWD system splits up the torque back to front as and when needed. The boxer engine by design sits lower in the engine bay.
What all this translates to is a lower centre of gravity. Because of that the car handles and turns tighter. This was proved by a couple of speed runs by a roundabout at 60kmph.
Most typical front wheel drive cars would understeer and lean heavily trying to scramble and grip. The Impreza grabbed hard and at increasing speeds it started to lose a bit of grip sideways but only because of the gravel littering the surface. It was impressive. It maintained composure and control. And it does all that while giving you graphical information on lean angle and other torque vectoring on a secondary display above the infotainment system.
The steering is a joy giving tight, linear suggestion instead of feeling dead and numb like in most new family sedans of this range (hello Toyota Corolla Cross).
What it really needs though is more power. The engine is a 1.6 with roughly about 114HP and about 111 lb/ft of torque. Now on paper that doesn't sound a lot. But modern cars are extremely capable of putting down most of that number down to the wheels. So they run quicker than older cars with more horsepower. But the acceleration felt hesitant at first.
The 1.6 Impreza wants you to enjoy the scenery. It has handling to bring a smile to your face but the Impreza needs at least a 100 more horsepower to really enjoy that excellent chassis.
Verdict: You will love driving it in and around the city and long drives up and down the country. The handling is inspiring in the wet and makes great sense for a family looking for a safe car. It received the full five-star rating from Euro NCAP with extra points for adult occupant protection. It is a family car and not the blistering, mud throwing car of rally ethos. And the former is what you want and need.