For those that like Subaru’s impressive all-wheel-drive system and sporty boxer engine, but either can’t stomach (or afford) the WRX, the 2009 Subaru Impreza GT is a reasonable compromise between utility and performance.
Slotted between the base Impreza and the WRX, the 2009 Subaru Impreza GT offers more power than the former, though at the sacrifice of the high tech cabin options of the WRX. Similar to the WRX, a turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder, that puts out 224 horsepower and 226 pound-feet of torque. That’s 55 more horses than the base Impreza and 40 less than the WRX. The four-speed automatic does not match up to the manual of the WRX, but Subaru tries to make amends for this by offering sport and manual modes that help the car to 60 mph at around 6.7 seconds. Fuel efficiency is only mediocre with ratings of 19/24 in city and highway driving. With the addition of a large hood scoop and dual exhaust, the Impreza GT has an aggressive appearance that channels the image of the WRX.
Like all Subaru’s in recent memory the fit and finish quality of the interior is well done and in line for a car priced in the mid-20 grand range. However, with the exception of a standard sunroof and stereo, the GT lacks very many bells and whistles. Subaru hasn’t skimped on the handling features though. The Impreza GT has the full range of electronic road-holding gear, starting with the electronic limited slip differential on the all-wheel-drive system and a electronically controlled transfer clutch. Traction control works on all the wheels, as well, and the car uses electronic brakeforce distribution with its antilock brakes.
There are really few competitors for Subaru when it comes to all-wheel-drive prowess, and therein lies the dilemma for the Impreza GT. With a base price of $26,995, and realistically more like mid-27 or 28 thousand as the final price, the WRX is a lot more punch and features for not much more money. The fact that the WRX is so good may leave the GT unsold on many dealer lots.