Impreza in the Market

The improved Impreza stands to steal buyers away from brands that have taken their eyes off the ball. Its interior quality has jumped, right when some class leaders have foolishly allowed their interiors and feature sets to decay. By upping the mileage, Subaru has addressed one of the shortcomings of having standard all-wheel drive, but the Impreza doesn't improve much on the pricing. Say what you will of the dumbed-down Volkswagen Jetta; at least it came with a price decrease.

To truly excel in the compact-car market, the Impreza needs to convince buyers that the all-wheel drive for which they'll pay a premium has advantages beyond foul-weather traction. While all-wheel drive can provide this advantage in sporty cars, I fear the 2012's body roll and modest power keep it from doing so.

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