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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nyias 2017 subaru impreza a refined scrapper straight outta indiana

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]

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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.

  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.
  • ToolGuy From the listing: "Oil changes every April & October (full-synth), during which I also swap out A/S (not the stock summer MPS3s) and Blizzak winter tires on steelies, rotating front/back."• While ToolGuy applauds the use of full synthetic motor oil,• ToolGuy absolutely abhors the waste inherent in changing out a perfectly good motor oil every 6 months.The Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage I run in our family fleet has a change interval of 20,000 miles. (Do I go 20,000 miles before changing it? No.) But this 2014 Focus has presumably had something like 16 oil changes in 36K miles, which works out to a 2,250 mile average change interval. Complete waste of time, money and perfectly good natural gas which could have gone to a higher and better use.Mobil 1 also says their oil miraculously expires at 1 year, and ToolGuy has questions. Is that one year in the bottle? One year in the vehicle? (Have I gone longer than a year in some of our vehicles? Yes, I have. Did I also add Lucas Oil 10131 Pure Synthetic Oil Stabilizer during that time, in case you are concerned about the additive package losing efficacy? Yes, I might have -- as far as you know.)TL;DR: I aim for annual oil changes and sometimes miss that 'deadline' by a few months; 12,000 miles between oil changes bothers me not at all, if you are using a quality synthetic which you should be anyway.