13/03/2013 08:54 | By Ian Dickson, senior editor, MSN Cars

Top Gear Africa special leads to surge in searches for used Subarus

Richard Hammond's Subaru Impreza WRX estate in Africa leads to search spike

Searches up for used Subaru Imprezas after Top Gear Africa special

There was no contest as to who had bought the best car when Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond embarked on a two-part trek across Africa to search for the source of the River Nile.

Because while Clarkson chose to spend his £1,500 budget on a rear-wheel-drive BWW 528i Touring and May went for a front-wheel-drive Volvo 850 R, Hammond rocked up in a Subaru Impreza WRX estate.

With four-wheel drive and a powerful 2.0-litre turbo engine, it proved to be perfectly suited to the unpaved tracks and muddy trails criss-crossing Africa. Hammond even used his Impreza to tow Clarkson’s stranded Beemer when it became stuck in mud.

While May and his trusty Volvo were first to discover the source of the Nile, it was Hammond’s Impreza that stirred the imaginations of the nation’s car lovers.

According to research carried out by Motors.co.uk, searches for used Subaru Imprezas since the first episode are up 243%, peaking at 826% while the show was on.

Buy a used Subaru Impreza WRX on Auto Trader

Searches spike for used Subaru Imprezas

Stephen Jury, from Motors.co.uk, said: “Subaru has been experiencing a decline in popularity over the past few years and saw 23% less sales in 2012, culminating in the iconic Impreza being taken off the road in 2013.  However, following the African Top Gear special and some questionable tongue-in-cheek motor testing, the Subaru Impreza has seen a huge increase in popularity on Motors.co.uk which hasn't been seen since the rally days of Colin McRae. 

“During the 1st episode searches were up 243% during the evening and between the hours of 8pm and 9pm when the show was on air soared 826% higher than in recent weeks. During the second episode Motors.co.uk noticed similar increases of +212% over the course of Sunday evening, peaking during the show when searches were +668% higher than in recent weeks.”

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