Since third-generation (2007), Subaru Impreza replaced the wagon with the hatchback due to decline of station wagons and the rise of SUVs and minivans in Japan. While some Imprezas were offered with FWD, most Imprezas in global market are 4WDs. This include insane WRX STI, which is already a rally homologation.

Third-generation Subaru Impreza WRX STI hatchback.

Looking at a 4WD Impreza hatchback. It is part-hatchback, part-SUV. More crossover-like than your typical hatchback. While most hatchbacks in global markets are front-driven, Subaru goes the off-roader way by making global-market Imprezas 4WD-only.

Fourth-generation Subaru Impreza hatchback.

Till this day, not even a global-market Impreza had a FWD model. The 4WD-exclusivity of Impreza hatchback models may have thrown Subaru into the “baby crossover SUV” market. And this is taken even further with XV, a jacked-up Impreza hatchback.

Just not many people think Subaru Impreza hatchbacks are baby crossovers in disguise. Not even people think the WRX STI hot hatches are actually Dakar-prepped SUVs in disguise. (Mitsubishi Racing Lancer, move over)

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Seems like this Gunma Prefecture-based company is actually masquerading the Impreza hatchbacks’ SUV drivetrains.

Do you think Subaru Impreza hatchbacks are just normal hatchbacks, or are baby crossover SUVs in disguise?