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2014 Subaru Impreza Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

The current generation of Impreza models makes better use of its interior space–both for passengers and cargo–giving it a leg up on previous models with similar dimensions.

There's enough room in the Impreza to seat four average-sized adults comfortably, though it'll take a squeeze to put someone in the rear middle seat. The seatbacks of the front seats have been scalloped to create extra legroom for passengers in the rear, and ease of entry and exit benefits from that update, too.

Some road noise filters into the cabin, but the Impreza's seats are supportive and its interior space is ample.

Materials were recently improved, with soft-touch materials now covering the majority of the dashboard and center console, and controls are mostly simple and intuitive, with large round ventilation knobs and a particularly neat optional navigation system integrated into the radio.

A peeve we noted in an earlier drive is that you need to reach through or around the steering wheel in order to cycle through the different modes on the central multifunction display; it's hard to operate when the car is moving, and should be moved to the steering wheel or main dash.

Subaru has put a lot of thought into cargo capacity and versatility in the Impreza. Its rear seat folds fully flat, and the five-door model accepts many standard roof carriers. Also, befitting its practical, hey-let’s-go-kayaking-and-spelunking-today image, Subaru enlarged the hatch and trunk openings with last year's redesign, to accommodate a medium-sized dog carrier or a mountain bike with its front wheel in place (the headliner is even scalloped to allow two mountain bikes, standing upright with the front wheels removed.

There's also a useful variety of bins, trays, cubbies, and cup holders, along with a pair of 12-volt power outlets. Our only complaint about the interior is that you hear a bit too much road noise on some surfaces.

One exception that keeps the Impreza from a higher rating here is wind noise from around the door mirrors, long a Subaru weak spot, and tire roar, which is excessive on certain surfaces.

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