NYIAS: 2017 Subaru Impreza - A Refined Scrapper Straight Outta Indiana

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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.

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.

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Laserwizard Laserwizard on Mar 28, 2016

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

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Oct 20, 2016

    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.

  • Eric No, I just share my opinions. I have no use nor time for rhetoric from any side.
  • Redapple2 Jeez. This is simple. I 75 and 696 area. 1 nobody -NOBODY wants to work in downtown Detritus. 2 close to the tech ctr. Design and Engineering HQ. 20 miles closer to Milford.3 lower taxes for the employees. Lower taxes for Evil GM Vampire.4 2 major expressways give users more options to suburbs. Faster transport.Jeez.
  • Clark The Ring (Nürburgring) is the only race track I've driven on. That was 1985 or 1986 with my '73 Fiat Spider (and my not-so-happy girlfriend). So I made the Karussell (today: Caracciola Karussell, which I believe the author meant; there is another one: Kleines Karussell).
  • AZFelix This article takes me back to racing electric slot cars with friends on tracks laid out in the basement. Periodically your car would stop due to lost connections or from flying off the track and you would have to dash over to it and set it right. In the mean time your competitor would race ahead until faced with a similar problem. It seemed like you were struggling harder to keep from losing than trying to win. Fun times.“History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” Mark Twain
  • MaintenanceCosts What Americans get told (a) vs. actual EV ownership experience (b)(and, yes, I am an actual EV owner)a. You'll be waiting indefinitely for slow chargersb. Nearly all of your charging happens while you're at your housea. EVs are prohibitively expensive toys for the richb. Fuel cost is 1/4 that of gas and maintenance about the same, with purchase price differences falling quicklya. EVs catch fire all the timeb. Rates of ICE vehicles catching fire are much higher, although the few EV fires can be harder to extinguisha. You can't take a road tripb. Road trips are a bit slower, but entirely possible as an occasional thinga. iTz A gOlF cArT!!1b. Like a normal car, but with nicer power delivery and less noise
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