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Jalopnik's March Madness bracket of beaters has reached the Failure Four and a champion of each category has been selected. There were some strong candidates among the off-roaders; Jeep XJ, Ford Ranger... yet you chose to exalt the first-gen Subaru Impreza as the bastion of beater dirt devils.

The Impreza specifically was the car in question in our bracket, but I'd hazard to say all this applies to pretty much any Subaru that less than $3,000 was paid for.

They're a great foundation for thrashing to be sure: it's capable, inexpensive, and plentiful on Craigslist as stained couches. But I think the real secret of the Impreza's capability and reputation as a tough-ass sand-spitting mud hog is the honey badger behind the wheel.


I spent four years of my life in the great state of Vermont, which you're not allowed to leave without becoming very familiar with every variant of the car. Never in my illustrious career as a passenger of automobiles have I met drivers who gave less fucks about risking damage to their cars than those at the helm of a first-gen Imprezas.


I've seen things. Terrible things. Things I couldn't bring myself to do to a vehicle that was literally being dragged to a junkyard.

Full-throttle charging over curbs and through streams, "jumps" down concrete stairs, dragging hand-braked rear wheels all over town for lulz, all while wearing three winter's worth of ravenous road salt.


It's a mentality I was never able to adopt, but I understand the appeal of. And the Imprezas I saw in action always stood the test of such shenanigans, over and over again. As far as I'm concerned, they earned their place as Jalopnik's best beater "dirt devil."

That's my theory, but you're the ones who voted the Impreza into the Failure Four. Why do you think it belongs there? Or should we have gone another way altogether?


Image: Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr, Ben Ganon