Subaru teases the next-generation hatch, but will there be a place for it in Australia alongside the confirmed, closely-related Crosstrek SUV?
Subaru has teased a silhouette of its next-generation Impreza hatchback, confirming the new car will be shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 18.
There were fears the four- and five-door small passenger car would be axed as global markets increasingly move to SUVs, such as the confirmed-for-Australia Subaru Crosstrek.
As per tradition, the new sixth-generation Impreza will no doubt have much in common with the Crosstrek small SUV, which replaces the XV nameplate when it goes on sale in Australia. No date has been confirmed for its arrival.
The XV has served Subaru well in Australia as a jacked-up, plastic-cladded and ruggedly styled version of the Impreza with impressive off-road clout.
The new Crosstrek will surely continue serving such a purpose, but questions remain about where that leaves the Impreza when the new generation arrives.
That’s the big question, and Subaru Australia is remaining tight-lipped.
Subaru Australia’s Adriana Saviane told Chasing Cars they were: “super excited about the global debut of the next generation Impreza,” saying the company would release specific details about what its Australia future would be on Friday November 18, the day of its Californian reveal.
“It’s exciting for us to see the next generation of Impreza, so stay tuned for November 18 when there’ll be a bit more to say,” Ms Saviane continued. Positive noises, you’d hope.
The current fifth-generation Impreza has been on sale in Australia since 2016, battling the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, Kia Cerato and Mazda 3 in the small car segment, albeit trailing each in the sales race.
Subaru’s sold over 2500 Imprezas this year to date – down 23 percent from last year – but showing it’s still on many buyers’ radars. To put things in perspective, in 2022 so far, Australians ordered almost three times more XV SUVs than Imprezas.
The single teaser picture shows a hatchback shape, but it’d be likely there’ll be an Impreza sedan model as well. Aussies may mostly eschew four-door variants, but markets like North America still strongly favour sedans over hatchbacks.
Subaru’s existing SGP platform has been revised for use under the new Crosstrek SUV, so we can expect the same under the new-gen Impreza.
If we speculate the new Impreza will be very similar in specification to the confirmed Crosstrek – as the current Impreza and XV SUVs are – we can expect Subaru’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine, CVT gearbox and all-wheel-drive to feature.
We know the Crosstrek will come with a hybrid option, so there’s little reason to believe the new Impreza wouldn’t do likewise.
Although not confirmed, expect this powerplant to be Subaru’s current e-Boxer combining a 110kW/196Nm petrol engine with a 12.3kW/66Nm electric motor with lithium-ion battery. Or a revised, improved variation of it.
Inside, expect the Impreza to use the portrait-style 11.6-inch infotainment screen seen in the current Subaru Outback, while sharing the latest generation EyeSight drive assist systems, nine airbags, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and wireless phone charging confirmed for Crosstrek.
The current Impreza starts from just over $30,000 drive-away in 2.0-L guise (although this model is listed as sold out on Subaru’s website). The cheaper 2.0i grade was dropped from the line-up earlier in 2022.
Inchcape, Subaru’s Australian importer, has given something of a vote of confidence to small cars by returning the Peugeot 308 hatch to our market later this year.
A new-generation Subaru Impreza would do far bigger numbers than the pricey (from $43,990) Frenchie, making a business case for the Japanese hatch/sedan easier to justify.
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