• 2017 Subaru Impreza Test Drive [Review]

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    Subaru’s Impreza lineup for the 2017 model year is all new, and has grown in stature, quality and efficiency. The 2017 Subaru Impreza will come in two body configurations – a four-door sedan and a 5-door hatch. Both body forms represent the debut of Subaru’s Global Platform architecture, which will underpin a variety Subaru vehicles, including hybrids, to come in the future.

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    Both body styles ride on a 1-inch longer wheelbase (105.1) than the outgoing Impreza, and both are 1.6-inches longer overall – 182.1- inches for the sedan and 175.6- inches for the 5-door. The width for both Imprezas has been enhanced by 1.5-inches  – 70.0-inches / 79.4 with mirrors / 79.9 with integrated turn signals. Aerodynamics are enhanced with the 0.4-inch lower height – 57.3-inches. The new platform increases the rigidity of the body structure by more than 70 percent, which provides a significant improvement in straight-line stability, agility and ride comfort, while also reducing NVH. Crash energy absorption is up by 40 percent over the old Impreza.

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    There will be four levels of trim for both the sedan and 5-door: the base 2.0i; a 2.0i Premium; the 2.0i Sport; and the top-of-the-line 2.0i Limited. All will be powered by a front mounted 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve flat, horizontally opposed boxer 4-cylinder engine with Dual Active Valve Control System and direct fuel injection with electronic throttle control.

    The engine delivers more horsepower than earlier versions – 152 at 6,000 rpm (vs. 148 at 6,200 rpm), while the torque produced remains the same – 145 at 4,000 rpm, thanks in part to the implementation of direct injection. EPA estimated fuel economy is 28-mpg city and 37-mpg highway – an improvement of 1 mpg for both city and highway ratings over the old engine.

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    Motive force is geared through a Lineartronic CVT with low shift mode for 2.0i base; or a 7- speed manual shift mode CVT with paddle shift control switches for Premium, Sport and Limited models, and is delivered to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive – an active AWD system with an electronically controlled variable transfer clutch.

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    Visually, this fifth generation Impreza debuts Subaru’s new design language, featuring the marque’s signature hexagonal grille and “hawk-eye” headlamps up front and a sculpturally more elegant body form. The greenhouse features a blacked-out “B” pillar for a coupe-like effect and the integrated decklid spoiler finishes off the rear with a no-nonsense hint at sportiness. To achieve lowering the coefficient of drag (Cd) for the new Impreza, the structures of both models were optimized, contributing to the sharper front and rear end appearance, through uniform airflow.

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    The low center of gravity and revised suspension systems combine to provide a vast improvement in the car’s performance evolution, and also to better hazard-avoidance capability.

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    Moving to the interior, richer appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and center console armrest. Larger door pockets accommodate plastic drink bottles and large maps. Numerous compartments located in and around the center console are capable of holding a variety of personal items, such as smartphones, USB drives and MP3 players.

    Controls and switchgear are positioned for optimum user-friendliness, such as the back-to-basic round knobs for channel selection and volume. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Near Field Communication connectivity are new multimedia standard features, and Harman/Kardon premium audio system is available in Impreza for first time. Available EyeSight driver assist technology includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure and Sway Warning, plus a Lane Keep Assist function. Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available.

    All Impreza 2017 models are equipped with standard Vehicle Dynamics Control, which combines stability and traction control functions. Likewise, all 2017 Impreza models are equipped with a standard 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist safety system. The Brake Override system ensures that the engine power will be cut when both the brake and accelerator are pressed simultaneously.

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    I was able to experience both a 2017 Subaru Impreza 4-door sedan in Limited trim, with the Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission with 7-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. It sported a Venetian Red Pearl (metallic) exterior and Ivory leather interior. The base price was set at $24,095 while addition of Eyesight, a moonroof, navigation and Harmon-Kardon audio and destination and delivery charges elevated the final tally to $28, 760.

    I also spent time in the 5-door Impreza in Premium trim. The exterior was sprayed Crystal Black metallic, while the interior was done in black cloth. I’s base sticker read $21,695. While factoring in a package that included Eyesight, a moonroof, steering responsive fog lights and destination and delivery charge brought the final tally to $24,910.

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    The 2017 Subaru Impreza sedan and 5-door hatch are mechanically the same and incorporate the same improvements and enhancements that provide increased interior room, greater handling agility and a higher level of refinement.

    New amenities, high-line trim levels, infotainment technology and higher-grade interior materials all blend to deliver an enjoyable, heightened driving experience. The new 2.0i-liter, direct injected four banger is more responsive than the engine that it replaced, especially when equipped with the new, 7-speed Lineartronic CVT that provides the response of a manual gearbox.

    Acceleration is admirable, handling characteristics are sporty and responsive, while ride quality is compliant and comfortable, with a most pleasant. interior ambience. The addition of turbocharging would benefit the Impreza’s performance, reducing its effort. When prodded with spirit, it definitely makes its presence known.

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    In the final analysis, both the Impreza sedan and five-door models offer an impressive content and value for the price. The 5-door happens to be my personal favorite, as it displays a sportier wagon look with enhanced versatility and functionality. Even in Limited trim, the new Impreza delivers a wealth of content without a wealth of monetary outlay.

    Here is how the previous generation of the Subaru Impreza does against competition.

    2017 Subaru Impreza Specifications

    Base Price: $24,095 – 2.0i Limited sedan / $21,695 – 2.0i Premium 5-door
    Price As Tested: $28,760 – 2.0i Limited sedan / $24,910 – 2.0i Premium 5-door
    Engine: 2.0-liter flat four
    Horsepower: 152 @ 6,000 rpm
    Torque: 145 @ 4,000 rpm
    Transmission: CVT
    Drivetrain: front engine/all wheel drive
    EPA fuel mileage: 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway
    Fuel capacity: 13.2 gallons
    Wheelbase: 150.1 inches
    Length: 182.1 inches (sedan), 175.6 inches (5-door)
    Width: 70 inches
    Height: 57.3 inches
    Curb Weight: 3,108 lbs. (sedan), 3,093 (5-door)
    Review overview
    Summary The 2017 Subaru Impreza four door sedan and 5 door hatch are bigger and better than ever. Both come with added technology, comfort and convenience. The 5-Door provides a higher level of versatility.
    5
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

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    5 thoughts on “2017 Subaru Impreza Test Drive [Review]

    1. So Arv gets invited to the press drive, but no TFLCar write-up????

      Hmmmm. I wonder why.

      Please try to get your hands on one of these for review if Subaru continues to be a bunch of wankers.

    2. It seems this Impreza is more mature and grown up than its predecessors. Less of the boy racer about it. Interior quality seems to have improved as well. This should help it to compete with the segment leading Civic and Corolla.

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