Top Gear effect: Searches for Impreza rocket
Searches for Subaru Imprezas skyrocketed during the airing of last Sunday's Top Gear episode, which heavily featured the car.
The Top Gear special, set over two episodes, saw Clarkson, Hammond and May set off across Africa to find the source of the River Nile – a journey that would take them through multiple countries and across some of the world's most treacherous terrain.
Rather than choosing hardy four-wheel-drive vehicles easily capable of such a task, though, the trio were each told to pick an estate car worth around £1,500 – with Clarkson opting for a BMW 5-Series, May a Volvo 850R, and Hammond a Subaru Impreza.
Figures from Motors.co.uk reveal that searches for the rally-bred Subaru shot up by 826 per cent during the airing of the episode – testament to the show's influence on the market.
Additionally, searches for Volvo and BMW estates were up 151 and 26 per cent respectively – showing that it's not just the relatively rare Subaru feeling a boost.
"Subaru has been experiencing a decline in popularity over the past few years and saw 23 per cent less sales in 2012, culminating in the iconic Impreza being taken off the road in 2013," commented Motors.co.uk spokesman Stephen Jury.
"However, following Sunday's edition of Top Gear and some questionable tongue-in-cheek motor testing, the Subaru Impreza has seen a 243 per cent increase in popularity on Motors.co.uk which hasn't been seen since the rally days of Colin McRae. Even more indicative were the search results for the car that evening, which soared 826 per cent higher than in recent weeks between the hours of 8 and 9pm when the show was on air.
"If these numbers continue to grow, Richard Hammond really will be revered as the Saviour of Suburu and here at Motors.co.uk we applaud shows like Top Gear for promoting motor manufacturers. We look forward to seeing more brands being championed in future challenges and would love to see some classic British names making a comeback too."