By on March 24, 2016

2017 Subaru Impreza

It’s longer, lower, wider, and yes, more global than before.

Subaru has unveiled the next generation of its perennially popular Impreza, adopting a more contemporary style while placating purists who worried their fun compact could become too beige.

Revealed at the New York Auto Show in sedan and five-door guise, the 2017 Impreza brings tasteful, flowing lines to a body that once delighted in being chunky. There are more subtle curves here than a coastal highway.

Keeping with the trend of steadily expanding compacts, the Indiana-built 2017 Impreza gets a slight stretch in every direction but height. The new model, which is the first to ride atop the Subaru Global Platform, gains an extra inch of wheelbase and 1.6 inches of length, as well as 1.5 inches of width.

2017 Subaru Impreza Sport

About that platform — it’s stiff. Really stiff.

Subaru claims the new architecture gives the Impreza a 70-percent increase in structural rigidity, which is something you want if you’re making spirited use of the brand’s standard symmetrical all-wheel drive. It also absorbs more energy in a collision, which is something you want, but hope to never need.

A revised suspension with a rear stabilizer bar mounted directly to the body is designed to reduce body roll by half. If all this is still too vanilla, the Impreza 2.0i Sport throws in suspension tuning, larger wheels and Active Torque Vectoring.

Under the hood, a Boxer engine remains, much to the relief of enthusiasts worried an engine would show up with its cylinders standing in a neat row. The 2.0-liter flat-four now has direct injection, providing a modest bump in horsepower, from 148 to 152.

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited

In uplevel trim, the continuously variable transmission gets a boredom-reducing seven-speed manual shift mode with paddle shifters.

Technology sees a big upgrade for 2017. The infotainment system adopts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well as Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity, keeping the Impreza competitive in a rapidly modernizing field.

Higher trim lines receive an eight-inch media screen and Starlink multimedia system, keyless access and other convenience goodies. Available safety technology includes automatic emergency braking, reverse automatic braking, and a host of laneholding capabilities.

If Subaru’s goal was to keep the Impreza current, it seems it marked every box on the checklist.

[Images: Subaru of America]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

79 Comments on “NYIAS: 2017 Subaru Impreza – A Refined Scrapper Straight Outta Indiana...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Under the hood, a Boxer engine remains, much to the relief of enthusiasts worried an engine would show up with its cylinders standing in a neat row.”

    Too bad. As long as Subarus have as boxer engine, I won’t be buying one.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      The low powered engine mated to that awful CVT continues to be the biggest disappointment with the Impreza.

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        THIS.

        When I test-drove a Legacy last year, I DESPISED the CVT. It made me hate an otherwise okay car; I hadn’t hated a car that much since I test drove a Jetta 1.8T (that was due to the interior being awful). I’ve since come to dislike the CVT in the Accord, but I can live with it. The CVT that Subaru uses should be drug out in the street and lit on fire.

        But back to the Impreza, is the Legacy’s 2.5 boxer-four too big to fit in the Impreza? That 2.0, even if it’s been bumped up to 152, just seems like it would be awful. And yes, the Mazda3 uses a 2.0, but when I drove one, it seemed like it had some juevos.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “When I test-drove a Legacy last year, I DESPISED the CVT.”

          Not directly related to topic, but the H6 Outback has no such “The CVT that Subaru uses should be drug out in the street and lit on fire” issues.

          The people who bought them in my area, love the H6 Outback.

          Maybe it’s not the CVT that causes convulsions, dry-heaves and wretching, maybe it is that gutless H4 wonder.

          • 0 avatar
            omer333

            I like you. Can we be friends?

          • 0 avatar
            omer333

            Accords and Mazda6s don’t have much more hp than the Legacy, it just feels like they’re able to do more with what they have.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            LOL! It is the way the CVT is programmed to behave. In SOME cars, the CVT is programmed to give you what feels like faux gear shifts.

          • 0 avatar

            Yup, I had an H6 (2005, not the current one). It created this idea in my family’s head that Subaru’s were relatively smooth and refined (they were coming from Honda 4-cylinders). Then my brother tested a 4-cylinder Forester and Outback (stick, but still) while car shopping and, boy, talk about agricultural.

          • 0 avatar
            tarmorn

            I’m driving the Legacy CVT based H6 and that is a perfect combination… The 6 is a perfect match to a CVT…

        • 0 avatar
          slap

          I drove an Impreza last year w/ the CVT and it was dreadful. The car acted like it had no power, and responded like a slug. Supposedly it’s alot better with the manual.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve Biro

            Yes. The CVT in combination with the 2-liter engine cruises fine but produces a lot of fury without much motion when you nail it – even though the transmission changes ratios quickly. The CVT with the 2.5 works fine – certainly well enough for this ex-racer. My advice to any potential buyers: Test drive one and form your own opinion rather than take anyone else’s word for it. How well the CVT works seems to be more a matter of personal preference than anything else.

      • 0 avatar
        Truckducken

        Since they have added DI, I would like to know how much additional torque the ’17 will deliver. I would also like to know how long the head gaskets will last under the higher compression of DI. Related question: how long is the engine warranty?

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      That’s why I’ll never have another Porsche. Damn boxer engines!

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      I’m fairly certain a 2.0 inline 4cyl turbo can be fitted, while keeping sym. awd, without having to adopt a VAG service position to work on it!

      I would then consider one as well.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        It would have to hang out over the front axle like the engines in Audis though.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Don’t listen to Subaru marketing. The engine already does hang out past the front axles and the handling suffers for it. The torque vectoring (e.g. specifically braking the front inside corner based on steering angle) will help it rotate, but they naturally plow plow plow.

          • 0 avatar
            EAF

            I agree, they overhang and an inline would overhang a bit more. After a brief search;

            EJ20t height: 22″
            EJ20t length: 16″

            SR20DET height: 24.5″
            SR20DET length: 22″

            4G63t height: 25″
            4G63t length: 22″

            I would even take a 3cyl turbo over the oil burner FB20 junk!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I was referring to the boxer engine specifically; I can’t speak to its CVT.

      I don’t like the sound they make, they’re hard to work on, eat gas, produce low power, the Subaru 2.5 is notorious for self-destructing before 100k miles, and they don’t live up to the hype about low vibration and low center of gravity.

      Subaru has been more slavishly bound to the boxer engine than Mazda to the rotary.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        It’s 2016, you know, not 2005. My OB with 2.5 CVT regularly gives me 27 mpg working the daily grind. And I drive like an asshole.

        A couple of friends have 2010-2011 OBs hitting the 100k mile mark. No one’s complained of their engines yet.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          I like Subaru, actually have one the ‘ole stable, but being as they are a small company, I think they’d be better off buying their power-trains from Honda or Toyota. A Toyota 3.5L V6 is an Outback would be pretty swell.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Biro

          My 2016 Forester with 2.5-liter engine and CVT generally averages 28-29 mpg in suburban/mixed driving and well over 30 on the highway. I touched 40 mpg on one long trip. My 2010 Impreza Outback Sport 2.5 clocked 100K with no issues and my 2001 Impreza had 160K on it with no engine issues.

          Clearly, some cars had issues in the 1990s and early oughts. But I, for one, am getting tired of the Internet echo chamber that brands all vehicles from a certain automaker – any automaker – because some cars had issues.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Subaru has preserved a fairly large greenhouse. TTACers should approve.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Look at the top picture, red car. Look at the front – this is 2013 Mazda3!

  • avatar
    omer333

    It seriously looks like a car I would want to own, but 152hp, c’mon dude, that ain’t gonna work.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      you mentioned above Accords and Mazda6s don’t have much more hp than the Legacy.
      I believe their Skyactiv are 2.5 with 185 Hp.

      Is it just me…or does this new design borrow some Mazda? I guess lots of companies have stolen Mazda’s front fender look lately.

    • 0 avatar
      vtnoah

      Wait for the WRX or the STI. Problem solved.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Best Subaru interior ever! And frankly a lot nicer looking than the Legacy as well. That’s a bit of a problem. The Legacy still looks and feels about 10 years older than its competitors, but this at least at a glance seems fairly competitive with Civic, Corolla, Elantra, etc.

    In my mind, the H4 isn’t the problem. Sure, there’s not a lot of power here, but it’s a commuter car, and it’ll do well enough against its rivals.

    The H6 is the problem. It’s a stone age engine that makes all of 256 horsepower from 3.6 litres. WOW. If this was 1996, those would be big numbers! This is not 1996.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Subaru has been crazy slow in updating their engines. This is the first update to the 2.0L NA engine in a while, and the WRX STi still has an ancient version of the 2.5T, and as you mention the 3.6L H6 is ancient with zero updates.

      The new 2.0L is a fine base engine for this car, but it should offer either the 2.5L or the 1.6T they sell in Europe and Japan as an upgrade engine before you get to the ~260 HP WRX.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s because Subaru, like Mazda, does not care about cylinders greater than four.

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    WRX hatch or GTFO.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      This. Needs the wide body treatment too. The WRX is more fun than a GTI. But the interior isn’t anywhere near competitive. It loves to rattle. And the stereo/infotainment is a cruel joke. Steps in the right direction here, but a hatch would help level the playing field.

      • 0 avatar
        tnk479

        You ain’t kiddin’ bro. Had a 2011 WRX hatch. Infotainment was throwaway. I think I blew a speaker just by listening to it at almost full volume. The bluetooth sync was really inconsistent. The car squeaked and rattled in lots of interesting ways. First of all, the passenger seat vibrated/shook such that you could hear it. The interior trim on the A-pillars squeaked depending upon the outside temperature.

        However, it was really fun to drive. Measured in amount of fun for the dollar, it was a good value.

    • 0 avatar
      slap

      Levorg.

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KCQ_7-_bepg/VPc62WACnvI/AAAAAAAAGK0/sJmH9FCP9fg/s1600/subaru-levorg-livepics-9.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        johnny_5.0

        I’ll see your Levorg and raise you the concept that got us all excited.

        http://www.autoblog.com/photos/subaru-wrx-concept-new-york-2013/

        Then they gave us what looks like a mildly warmed over rental car.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/16/2015-subaru-wrx-review-first-drive/

        AB links just because they have a decent photo viewer (hint hint TTAC!).

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          They did it again with the Impreza concepts and the real production car.

          • 0 avatar
            johnny_5.0

            Truth. I liked the 5 door concept, and it kept a lot of the styling elements of the 2013 WRX concept (especially the lighting). And then we get another helping of bland when the real thing is revealed.

            I vote to replace…

            “Love, it’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru” in marketing material with…

            “Subaru: the most disappointing transition from concept to reality.”

  • avatar
    CR5

    Did they mention anything about the performance version, WRX, STI or will they stay on their older platform?

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Anyone from the B&B has driven the 1.6DIT in the Subaru Levorg in Japan? It seems like a no-brainer to add the 1.6 as an engine choice to slot between the base Impreza and WRX.

    • 0 avatar

      Keep in mind, they are a small company and probably want to avoid an excess of trim lines and options. I completely agree with you, but I suspect they have done the research and determined the interest isn’t there for this class of vehicle.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    Ugh. Subaru. Another company that requires you to study the pictures of its “all new” cars for half an hour to find the differences from the outgoing cars.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Looks good, probably drives OK with the stick and like crap with the CVT. Certainly sounds like crap. And I have absolutely no use for AWD in a non-off-road vehicle. A steaming pile of NOPE!

    And I agree that this hatch body as a WRX would interest me a little bit, but the mandatory AWD still mean NOPE!

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    When is Subaru going to put a modern engine in their cars? This design must date back 50 years. The sound alone is like a old tractor engine. For a car that usually requires engine work at 80,000 miles they are hard to work on. I can only guess what the cost will be when the engine need carbon cleaning as they now use direct injection. Labor cost to pull engine & two heads to clean out the carbon? Thisa will be a costly car to keep on the road.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    The interior looks pretty good, with the exception of of those heated seat switches. Seriously, they can’t integrate them into the HVAC control area? So the non heated seat model gets a nice blank plate there. (And the feel of those switches is awful)

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    70% more rigid/stiff? Why is every new model XX% more rigid than the outgoing model? Where does it all end? Do the math and some cars will surely end up 1000% more rigid then the first generation car. Must be like driving a solid block of hardened steel.

    • 0 avatar
      doublechili

      I enjoyed this post 70% more than your last one, which I enjoyed 65% more than the one before that. Keep it up and you’ll be freakin’ Dostoevsky soon.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        LOL, and +1 to each of you. I’ve been wondering about these claims ever since the 8th-generation Riviera (mmm, Silver Arrow) broke GM’s chassis-breaking machine.

        I have no doubt that structures have gotten stiffer over the past 25 years–rattles seem to be rarer nowadays–but sometimes it seems as those the numbers are being pulled out of thin air.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    I have to say the biggest disappointment is the 2.0 boxer rated at a low 152HP. The last gen had 148HP. I really liked the cross trek with the manual and I didn’t care that it was only 5 speeds but the lack of decent power kept me away. I can say that I secretly waited for Subie to drop the 2.0L turbo but that never happened.

    Subaru has found its success by becoming bland. I guess that is what sells to appliance owners. It worked for Toyota why not for Subaru.

    Subaru makes some nice concepts but always lets us down with its production model. Subaru will sell everyone it makes for sure. Is enthusiasts are a very small market and they know that. A 2.0L turbo with 200Hp would be a nice upgrade and I think we would pay the increase in price with no problem.

    I ended up with the Cherokee Trailhawk because it was kinda the same idea but had a great feeling V6. Even the 9speed was better here than in my ’15 200S V6. It feels more refi Ed and has been working great.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Manual transmission…?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      My question exactly… if the manual stays (and grows another gear from current generation) this would be a good car for everyone who is upset that the Legacy is CVT only. Heck the new Impreza has to be as large as the Legacy from not all that long ago given how it has been swelling in dimensions.

      • 0 avatar
        TNJed

        Mine as well. The press release seems to allow for the possibility of a manual transmission in the lower level trims, but why not just say that? As the current owner of a 2011 Impreza 2.5i with a stick, I want to know.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    This needs the 2.5L as an option. I had the 2013 2.0L which was acceptable, but the 2.5L would be really nice. My wife has a 2013 Forester manual and it felt faster than the Impreza. That’s not right. And if they get rid of the manual like some have reported, forget it.

    Oh, and it needs to not burn oil like my Impreza did.

  • avatar
    Funky

    Will Subaru offer any Made in Japan Subarus in the USA market after 2017? Will they continue to make the Foresters (for the USA market) in Japan?

  • avatar
    John

    If “aggressive” grilles are the silicone breasts of today – ersatz, mostly plastic, and mostly non-functional, then pseudo-shifting CVTs are the transgenders – something trying hard to be what it’s not, and not doing a very convincing job of it.

  • avatar
    turf3

    If the car is a scrapper straight from the plant, why bother building it in the first place? Just send it directly to the junkyard.

    Oh, wait, maybe he’s trying to perk up his headline by using inappropriate anthropomorphizing. Well, it didn’t work.

  • avatar
    vtnoah

    I don’t understand the hate for this car. It’s an improvement on the previous impreza which has been a decent car for a number of years. I’ve owned a few and while underpowered, they get the job done. In the Northeast, and really any place that gets decent amounts of snow they sell like gangbusters for a reason. They get you where you need to go just about every time without the penalty of driving an SUV. If you want something exciting, wait for the WRX or the STI and live out your Rally dreams. You can even have fun in the base car, you just need to find a snowy parking lot or a solid dirt road, then slide around to your hearts desire.

    • 0 avatar
      frozenman

      I think the snark comes from individuals that haven’t had the opportunity to experience owning one over the coarse of a hard winter. They have some compromises but are somehow are greater than the sum of their parts.Commenting on subjects that they have no clue about is the basis of the internet and proves how full of s**t most people are.

  • avatar
    Sam Hall

    I think some of you must have owned VWs and mistaken them for Subarus. My family has collectively owned 4 actual Subarus, had no issues with any of them in up to 190k miles (my ’04 WRX finally had gasket problems around 160) and while the sound insulation needs improvement (I passed on the ’12 Impreza and Legacy because of road noise) they are reliabile, solid cars that give you excellent wet traction for a negligible real-world penalty in gas mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      Meh. Subaru and vw march in near lockstep. They both offered questionable reliability in the early 00’s, if for different reasons, and both seem to have sold these products to people with excellent long term memory. To be fair to both the difference seems to be their buying demo, other brands have made the same mistakes without their owners populating every forum and blog with as many vitriolic comments.

      Neither brand, statistically speaking, makes unreliable cars nowadays, and yet we still hear about them far more often than the Hyundai/Kia cars of the mid to late 00’s, current ford turbos or current chryslers.

      The Subarus don’t offer better wet traction btw, that’s all tire. What they do offer is an ability to make snow driving fun on the cheap bc of the standard awd. They balance that, as they must, with sub part interiors, build finish, and dated engine technology. There is no free lunch.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        I think it’s because the owners who bought those cars were passionate and loved the cars and felt betrayed when they broke. The people buying the Kia/Hyundai cars were just trying to get a cheap deal, not buying a car they fell in love with.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        ever watch a rally segment when the rain sprinkles on the asphalt? The previously competitive 2wd cars all of a sudden can’t keep up. Because AWD offers better wet traction. Meh, keep the ignorance alive, it’s cute.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          Oh really? So you sit there often doing burnouts at lights because it is raining? If that is a problem for you with a 2wd car you are driving on slicks, are in the rare overpowered rwd car on monster rears or have no conception of throttle modulation. Awd will not help with hydroplaning or wet braking, at all, which is more realistically the issue with rain.

          I enjoy pretending I’m on a rally stage as much as the next guy, but using awd in these circumstances is no different from any other layout until you are literally handbrake then full throttle through every turn. Hint, no one is doing that in the rain unless they are actually on a rally stage. Merely going quickly as opposed to homicidally in the wet gives no real advantage to anything but good tires. I would submit that a large fwd car might add some danger in wet circumstances, but again, only really on inappropriate tires with full throttle applications mid corner.

          Awd is a lot of fun in low traction situations, but that really isn’t rain, that’s dirt and snow.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Good handling isn’t launches to me, but, yes AWD launches better in the wet too. You argue that they don’t provide better wet traction and back it up with the pretense that what you meant was no one needs the extra traction. If wet doesn’t feel like less traction to you, you couldn’t keep up long enough for me to show you your error.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            05lgt

            Again, I disagree. Unless you are sideways out of the corner awd has no advantage. I’m fast and sideways basically all the time, and fwd cars annoy me all winter, but when the snows not down there is no pace advantage. On a fast back road suspension, weight and tire trump all.

            Seriously, what public roads are you on where wet equals sideways? At low speeds its not a big deal, but at speed? In sower or dirt, absolutely awd or rwd.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @05lgt

          If I was trying to win a race, maybe I would care. For the average drone commuting from suburban mcmansion to office cube, AWD is a complete waste of money 99% of the time. The number of days a year that AWD is really advantageous is minimal, and frankly you should just stay home on those days anyway.

          I have a real AWD vehicle with 3X the ground clearance of a Subaru, and the only thing it really gets me on pavement is the ability to be lazy about snoblowing the driveway.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @krhodes1 “and frankly you should just stay home on those days anyway.”

            TCP/IP beats AWD in the snow.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            When I “stay home” on snow days I go drift for kicks. Different strokes. Guess I’m not on this site because I’m an average drone.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    “It also absorbs more energy in a collision, which is something you want, but hope to never need.”

    Thank you very much Steph for acknowledging that.

    I, in turn, wish to give a heartfelt thank you for all the journeymen, technicians, technologists, and engineers who toil and sweat details on safety components, assemblies, and structures; that protect the lives of millions of strangers, and who will never know the amount of effort required to get it all done in time for hard tooling launch. Bravo.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    That 5-door looks just a tad more “wagon” than “hatch”, which means I like it! That being said, it sure does resemble the Mazda3 hatch quite a bit.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I don’t get all these complaints about lack of power. You want power – get the WRX. I’ve driven the previous gen Impreza with stick and it was very meh. That’s why I bought a ’12 WRX hatch – no more meh! Yes, the interior is incredibly cheap and it squeaks some but it’s been very reliable so far and with a little tuning it can handle great and eat much more expensive cars for lunch.

    Of course new WRX is not a hatch which means I won’t touch it but maybe they’ll see the error of their ways and finally make it one.

    By the way, road noise in these cars is cured by getting new tires. Stock tires seem to be the source of a lot of that noise. I went from stock 22lb/rim setup to 16lb/rim one and not only is it a lot quieter it handles better and accelerates noticeably faster too.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    If the boxer engine is so great, then why doesn’t everyone use it? Ditto for the Rotary.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Don’t you have to be a lesbian to buy a Subaru?

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I know someone who commutes in a Subaru Loyale with 315k miles. Kinda stopped caring about all the kvetching wrt boxers. But what bothers me most about this model is the danger it presents to the XV. The current one is about the right size, in fact I was thinking about buying one. But if it grows by the time I really start shopping in a year or two, it’s going to be a serious negative. Might as well buy a Renegade then.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Seth Parks, United States
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Kyree Williams, United States