The 2017 Subaru Impreza

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The car also will have to lure in buyers on the premium end of the segment without offering them a premium engine. Unlike the Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Jetta, the Impreza is available with just a single engine: a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder — no optional turbocharged engine is available.

At the rear the Impreza hatch boasts a roomy 340 litre boot, with the sedan offering a more spacious 460 litres.

I test-drove the Sport sedan and the Premium hatchback, both with the CVT. Both were attractively styled with handsome interiors that had a soft-touch, upmarket feel. This new car is a bit roomier than the outgoing model and quieter. The seating, like the ride, is comfortable and the goodies, like heated seats and mirrors and wiper deicers, abound.

Of the two, I preferred the Sport model, whose sporting qualities went beyond the cosmetic. Its active torque vectoring and bigger tires enhanced cornering, while its stiffer shock absorbers significantly reduced body roll in the corners without any appreciable degrading of ride quality.

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