Tom Crosby: Subaru launches all new 2017 Impreza Sedan

Tom Crosby

Subaru has completely redesigned its Impreza compact sedan for 2017, garnering top industry awards for safety, resale value and interior design.

Impreza’s fifth generation won the top safety rating for compacts when equipped with Eyesight® from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, top compact resale value from Kelly Blue Book and a first-ever top ten best interior design from WardsAuto.

The awards trifecta had created a 30 percent uptick in Impreza’s sales by mid-year, producing sales heartbreak for key competitors Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3, all selling fewer than last year.

Built in Lafayette, Louisiana, it is the first Subaru built on a new Global Platform incorporating high-strength steel, which will become the platform for all future Subarus.

Impreza’s crash energy absorption was improved by 40 percent and the body stiffened 70 percent, aiding handling and reducing rollover tendencies.

Our fully loaded test-drive 2.0i Limited hatchback added $3,845 in options that included EyeSight, Subaru’s highly praised suite of cutting-edge driver safety aids, STARLINK voice navigation with technology interfaces, a power moonroof and harman/kardon® audio.

Imprezas come as either sedan or hatchback in base, Premium, Sport or Limited with automatic or manual transmissions depending upon trim.

The only engine is a four cylinder, 2.0-liter direct injection with moderate get-up, although our manual paddles helped boost the six-speed automatic transmission.

The side-ways aligned Boxer engine was goosed to provide four more horsepower than the previous engine.

Handling was excellent with a quicker response, symmetrical all-wheel drive, a straight-ahead steering bias and a rear stabilizer arm linked directly to the body.

The ride, a highly praised plus in past Impreza models, remains strong with the new platform and revised suspension systems underneath the lengthened wheelbase.

Outside, the once blocky looking Impreza is now sleeker, wider, lower and longer with a rising beltline, sloped hood and chrome roof rails.

Inside, new additions include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration coming standard with STARLINK.

The roomier interior contains artistic swooshes and curves and comfortable perforated leather seats with contrast French stitching. A protruding 8-inch touchscreen with voice recognition is populated with seven large icons easy to read and reach. Visibility is excellent from every seat.

Extendable visors have envelope straps and there is a spare tire.

Kelly Blue book said the resale value after three years of owning the 2017 Impreza would return 50% of the paid price and return 30 percent after five years of ownership.

LIKES: Looks, spacious cabin, handling, safety, ride, price

DISLIKES: Tire thrum, low horsepower engine

BOTTOM LINE: A top competitor and 2017 award winner among compact cars

FACT FILE

SUBARU IMPREZA 2.0i LIMITED 2017

Base price: $25,415 ($29,260 as tested).

Vehicle weight:  3,183 lbs.

Wheelbase: 105.1 inches.

Length: 175.6 inches.

Width: 70 inches.

Engine: 2.0-liter, 4 cylinder, DOHC, BOXER with direct injection.

Horsepower: 152 hp at 6,000 rpm.

Torque: 145 lbs.-ft. at 6,000 rpm.

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, manual paddles.

EPA rating: 28 mpg city/37 highway.

Range: 13.2-gallons, regular.

Performance: 0-60 in just under 9 seconds.

Tom Crosby is a former journalist and communications director for AAA Carolinas. He has been reviewing cars since 1996, and has been active in traffic safety issues for more than 30 years.

COMMENTS