They shoot; it scores

Winter sports are enough to test anyone’s mettle


SOCCER season has ended. After waking up most Sunday mornings for the last four months wondering which far-flung corner of Gippsland we would need to be in for the 1:15pm kick-off, there’s a sense of relief that we can now sit back and enjoy Sunday brunch rather than bolting down breakfast.

Throughout it all, our true blue Subaru Impreza relished the chance to stretch its legs to visit remote, windswept grounds at Rhyll, or rain-lashed, mud-plugged pitches in places as exotic as Wonthaggi and Mirboo North. Sometimes two-up, sometimes with three and even at times four on board, the Impreza knuckled down and got on with the job of delivering its occupants on time and match-fit. The ride in the Impreza, already quite supple with just one body onboard, settled down even more as the seats filled with extra spectators and teammates.

Once there, our Impreza proved its worth at the soccer pitch. The boot was big enough to swallow two large plastic tubs; one for the wet, muddy stuff cast off from players and spectators alike, and the other for the important bits we needed to keep clean and dry. From a spectator’s point of view, the wide, swept area of the windscreen wipers provided a panoramic view of proceedings, the heated front seats cut through the icy single-digit chill brought on by excursions to the sidelines (although on its higher setting, the seats do tend to get uncomfortably hot making the low setting the preferred option), the horn sounded a cheery ‘beep-beep’ each time a goal was scored, and the sure-footed all-wheel-drive traction allowed the Impreza to park on waterlogged, grassy patches where front-drive SUVs, wearing those borrowed off-road looks but carrying none of the ability, feared to go.

But it wouldn’t be soccer without twiceweekly soccer practice. This was a trip I always looked forward to, the Impreza feeling its way through the darkness along the twisty back roads that I used as an alternative to the freeway. The LED headlights easily picked out the road ahead, even bending themselves around the tighter corners.

It was a near-perfect season, apart from my daughter’s team failing to make the grand final play-off. That, and the need to reach down to your feet to release the bootlid each time another load of wet gear arrived. abili


Date acquired: July 2017 Price as tested: $28,990 This month: 2340km @ 9.3L/100km Overall: 10,865km @ 8.9L/100km

Improved match fitness

Subaru has made a few running changes to the Impreza 2.0i-S line-up since our blue one joined the long-termer garage. The first is the addition of reverse automatic braking, which can step in and tap the brakes to stop you reversing out into oncoming traffic. And the Eyesight system that performed so well the other month now includes a lane-keep assist system upgrade. But these richer features come at a cost; the list price for our test car has sneaked up to $29,240, a $250 rise.