Subaru Impreza 2014Subaru is relaunching the Impreza in the UK – as a high-value four-wheel drive five-door hatchback that’s virtually unique in the marketplace.

The new Impreza goes on sale from 1 May, priced at £17,495 for the single 1.6 RC variant. Offered in either five-speed manual or, for £1,500 more, a Lineartronic CVT auto, Subaru says it is the only C-sector hatch to offer all-wheel drive as standard.

Launched in Japan two years ago, the new Impreza is a reasonably smart-looking car that is roughly Volkswagen Golf-sized and has a Golf-matching 380-litre boot. It is fairly well equipped in RC guise too, with eight airbags, stability control, climate control, auto headlight and wipers, folding door mirrors and reversing camera all standard.

The 1.6-litre boxer engine produces 114hp and 110lb ft of torque, the latter at a peaky 4,000rppm: as 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds and a 114mph top speed prove, it is not going to be a ball of fire (we’ll have to wait for the WRX STi for that). It should be willing enough though and, with economy of 44.1mpg, not too thirsty for a traction-boosted petrol.

CO2 emissions dip under 150g/km and it has stop-start as standard.

Just don’t expect too much choice in colour, though: the only ones on offer are white, silver or blue. Optional extras are aftermarket dealer- or importer-fit too; they include leather seats and a Pioneer sat nav system.

Subaru admits it doesn’t expect to sell huge numbers of new Impreza – maybe under 1,000 a year – but we still think it’s a welcome addition to the UK model range. For the price, it appears superb value for money and the symmetrical all-wheel drive will be a real boon.

But what about its lack of performance? Does that limit the car’s appeal to you? Or do you welcome the fact Subaru’s brought back the car that made it famous? Let us know…