2012 Subaru Impreza: Return of the Outback Sport
January 17, 2013
Up until 2012, Subaru offered an Outback Sport version of the Impreza hatchback. Sort of an Outback Junior, it essentially consisted of an Impreza hatch with a raised suspension, available contrasting lower body paint/moldings, a few other unique styling tweaks and bigger wheels.
Now, with the debut of the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, it's déjà vu all over again. Although there's no "Impreza" in its name, the Crosstrek is obviously one with essentially the same tweaks that the old Outback Sport sported. So you have the requisite beefed-up suspension (it rides a full three inches higher), black wheel arch/rocker moldings and unique wheels. Although I'm not a fan of the standard Impreza's styling (too busy), for some reason it works for me much better with the Crosstrek.
I'm from New England, where Subaru's have been popular for ages thanks to their all-wheel-drive traction, solid reliability and (compared to SUVs) good fuel economy. I imagine a Crosstrek with the manual gearbox would make a fine winter/ski car back there...
You can find out more on the Impreza's tough brother here: http://www.edmunds.com/subaru/xv-crosstrek/2013/options.html?sub=suv
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 13,124 miles