All Imprezas are powered by a 2.5L horizontally opposed 4-cylinder. The base Impreza 2.5i produces 170 horsepower and can be mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. The automatic transmission-only 2.5GT, introduced in 2009, is powered by a 224 hp turbocharged engine, while the 2010 WRX turbo delivers 265 hp and comes only with the 5-speed manual. The high-performance STi puts out 305 hp through its 6-speed manual transmission.
All Impreza and WRX models feature all-wheel drive, and those equipped with a manual transmission include hill-hold assist.
The boxer engine sits low and the overall design and placement help provide a low center of mass for secure handling. In addition to keeping the Impreza and WRX planted, the double-wishbone rear suspension helps improve interior space and reduces road noise.
WRX hatchbacks are distinguished visually by an under-body diffuser and single chrome exhaust pipe, while sedans have a dual-chrome-tipped exhaust and trunk spoiler. The STi includes distinctive, bulged fenders front and rear, as well as special 18-inch alloy wheels and tires, rally-inspired suspension, a throatier exhaust and Brembo disc brakes.
The Outback Sport model features a raised suspension, body-side cladding, unique upholstery with heated front seats, and other additional equipment oriented toward those who plan to take the rough road. The Premium package includes a power moonroof, alloy wheels, brake assist, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control functions and an upgraded audio system with 6-disc CD changer. The new 2.5GT comes standard with the amenities of the Premium package and is available only with an automatic transmission.
Inside the Impreza, there's a twin-cockpit design with a brushed-aluminum look throughout, with an available navigation/info screen as the centerpiece. The navigation system also has inputs for gaming consoles.
Two major option packages are available for 2010. The $500 Special Edition package, available on 2.5i Premium models, bundles a power moonroof with fog lights and the All Weather package, while the $3,000 Power Moonroof and Navigation package consists of an automatic transmission, fog lights, power moonroof, touchscreen GPS navigation, 10-speaker audio system with single in-dash CD player, SIRIUS satellite radio with Bluetooth and a trip computer.
Standard safety features for all Imprezas include dual front and side-curtain airbags, 4-channel, 4-sensor anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control.