By on October 19, 2016

2017 Subaru Impreza

Subaru has coughed up how much the all-new 2017 Impreza hatchback and sedan will cost.

The new Subies offer a few surprises in regard to pricing, especially on the higher trims, and a shocking loyalty to the five-speed manual transmission — an increasingly rare beast in the automotive landscape.

A base 2.0i Impreza sedan with five-speed manual starts at $19,215 (including destination), while the hatchback adds an additional $500 regardless of trim. While that may sound pricey for Subaru’s most basic model, it works out to only $100 over the current Impreza when you adjust for a destination charge of $820. Not bad for a completely redesigned model riding atop a new platform.

However, top-of-the-line Limited cars are an eyebrow-raising $1,500 beyond the previous generation. That equates to $24,915 for the sedan and $25,415 for the hatch.

This price jump is mostly due to the Premium and Limited models only coming with a continuously variable transmission — a $1,000 option on other models. The Limited also gets aluminum 17 inch wheels, daytime running lights, leather-trimmed interior, and a few other niceties you won’t see on the base model.

Enthusiasts will forego the Limited and smartly opt for the Sport trim mated with that five-speed gearbox. The Sport comes with a tuned suspension, active torque vectoring, 18-inch wheels, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen display. Its exterior also gains exclusive black accents intended to add menace. The Sport sedan starts at $22,815 with the manual but, if you are foolish, you can ruin it with the CVT.

It is curious that Subaru has adhered to the five-speed manual when so many other automakers have switched to six-speed units. Outside of micro cars like the Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, and Chevrolet’s Spark, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything offering five gears and a clutch without traveling back in time a few years. Of course, those concerned with enhanced fuel economy can purchase a base model with CVT and those obsessed with close-ratio gearing can buy a six-speed WRX STI.

For 2017, Subaru has placed the new Imprezas on its scalable Global Platform. With better claimed rigidity and energy absorption compared to the company’s current models, the stiffer chassis should translate into a better ride and improved safety. All models will come standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system possessing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

Obviously, Imprezas will continue on with Subaru’s beloved Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system and 2.0-liter Boxer engine. The motor is up four ponies from last year, making 152 horsepower.

The 2.0i Sedan paired with the CVT is the most fuel-efficient model, with an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Imprezas equipped with a CVT are available later this year but you’ll have to wait until early 2017 if you want to own what may be one of the last five-speeds in existence.

[Image: Subaru]

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41 Comments on “Subaru Announces 2017 Impreza Pricing, Gives Six-Speed Manuals the Finger...”


  • avatar
    bunkie

    “…you’ll be hard pressed to find anything offering five gears and a clutch without traveling back in time a few years.”

    By “anything”, I think you mean cars. My 2015 Tacoma has a 5-speed and a third pedal which, I believe, is still available.

  • avatar
    TSlothrop

    Yay 5 speed. I had heard it was going away on the new car. Hopefully the next Crosstrek will also continue with it.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Five speeds might be enough. It depends on the width of the torque curve and the final gearing.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      +1.

      Drive a Honda Fit and you’ll know how badly you can screw up gear spacing and final drive when you’re doing 4000rpm in sixth on the highway.

      • 0 avatar

        Honda just added an intermediate gear to the 5 speed to make the 6 speed. Reviewers complain about high freeway RPM but I do a fair amount of highway driving in my 6MT Fit and in general I like the gearbox. Evokes memories of “close ratio” four speeds. The close spacing of the gear ratios makes 3-5 and 4-6 shifts practical.

        Is it a little buzzy at 80 mph? Sure, but not as noisy as a McLaren at the same speed and nobody has complained about McLarens being buzzy. It seems to me that VTEC kicks in, yo, around 4,200 RPM, so accelerating on the freeway is easy, even in 6th, since you’re not far from the fat part of the power curve.

        Even so, if I keep it under 80, I can see 38-39 mpg on the highway. I’ll trade a mpg or two for better throttle response out on the road. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          I don’t know many McClaren owners, but I’m guessing they have a stable of rides to choose from when they don’t feel like dealing with buzzy. Fit owners, generally not so much.

          4-6 shifting was “practical” in my Mini too, because 5 and 6 were so close that 5th was pointless. I’d have been much happier if they put a few more teeth on those gears. I’m glad you like your Fit, but my perfect 6-speed would be a fairly close-ratio 5-speed with a tall 6th for cruising. Does anyone make that?

          • 0 avatar
            dividebytube

            I normally skip 5th gear in my Mini – jumping from 4th to 6th when on the highway or cruising in a 45mph zone.

            The different between 5th and 6th is marginal, so why bother with 5th?

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            Jeep Wrangler 6MT. 6th is for highway only…

          • 0 avatar
            wumpus

            over on EngineeringExplained, Jason Fenske goes into everything you wanted to know about transmissions and them some (possibly not if you happen to be an engineer).

            He tends to harp on the Mustang* as having this very setup and calls it the “perfect” manual (or at least perfect ratio selections).

            * might just be GT, although I’d be happy with such a system even with a turbo.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          My ’08 had a five-speed, and I remember sorely wishing for sixth gear because it would turn ~4000 at highway speed.

          This wouldn’t be so bad, except that fifth was actually tractable around-town at 50km/h. I couldn’t really figure out what 1st, 3rd and 4th were good for; you could start in second, get up to speed, and then skip to fifth without much issue.

          So when Honda added a 6MT to the next one, I was quite keen. I wasn’t expecting them to fix the first five gear ratios, but figured sixth would be at least tolerable on the highway. Well, no, sixth ended up being almost the same ratio as fifth in the first-gen Fit. WTF, Honda?!

          I can understand that it might be nice to have some pull in top gear so you don’t have to shift, but if “not having to shift” is on the priority list, why not get an automatic?

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    I still remember cars touting “4 speed” in big letters on their hatches.

    Yay for all of five gears!

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      Having driven a three-on-the-tree for 10 plus years (Ford E150 with the old 4.9L IL6) when I first started driving, five speeds are fine as long as the top gear is high enough and fourth drops down enough.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    Hopefully they gear this taller than their current 5 speed cars. I don’t really care if I get 5 or 6 gears, I just want the tallest one to be decent on the highway. I think the current Crosstrek with manual is something like 3100 rpm at 70 mph. Too high. Should be like 2600-2800. VW’s current Jettas with a 5 speed are geared nice and tall.

    I don’t think Subaru realizes that people do indeed drive faster than 55 mph on the interstate.

  • avatar
    7402

    I have a six-speed 2014 Forester. At highway speeds, the difference between 5th and 6th is only about 300 RPMs. So, 6th is nice to have but hardly necessary. Of course, the current Forester starts at about 4 grand more than the Impreza, so props to Subaru for finding a way to keep the entry barrier low.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Those concerned with enhanced fuel economy could also learn how to drive a manual properly and easily make up the 3 mpg difference the EPA testing shows between a CVT and a poorly-driven manual.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      RPN453,
      A stick is not always the right choice, my drive today 62 miles 2 and half hours in metro NY each way and thank god I had my Volvo wagon with auto vs my saab with a stick.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        The only point I intended to make is that the EPA test results cannot be compared between manuals and autos. It’s a comparison between a poorly-driven manual and an automatic that is programmed to hypermile the test.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Automatics are almost always programmed for economy, yes, bur how do you know the manual is always poorly-driven?

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            They have to follow an EPA shift schedule using very high rpm shift points unless they use other means to convince the driver to shift earlier. Some vehicles do get approval to shift earlier based on published shift recommendations in the owner’s manual, but they’re still running and shifting at much higher rpm than the automatics. Plus, skip-shifting is not allowed unless it’s electronically forced onto the driver, thus the existence of that ridiculous “feature” on V8 performance cars. I believe they’re even required to downshift while slowing instead of coasting in top gear. It’s not easy to find any detailed information on this stuff.

            The RX-8 is the worst example I’ve seen of this. If the EPA shift schedule is followed, they’re in third when I’m in sixth. If Mazda’s published shift schedule is followed, they’re still in fourth when I’m in sixth.

            The current 2.0L Mazda3 is somewhat of an exception. It has a shift light advising you to change gears very early, and with the tall gearing of the six-speed it stays under 2000 rpm during calm acceleration and even allows the engine to operate a little below 1500 rpm. The end result is that the manual matches the EPA city and highway figures of the automatic. But there’s still room for improvement if they were allowed to run at 1100 rpm like the automatics. Skip shifting in certain situations and coasting to low rpm in top gear would improve that even further.

            I simply hate seeing the EPA results being used as justification for the automatics outperforming the manuals, when anyone with even a passing interest in fuel economy knows how much easier it is to beat the EPA numbers with a manual.

            Of course, most manual drivers I’ve sat beside do not drive in a manner that is conducive to fuel efficiency. They hold gears too long and remain in unnecessary low gears for extended periods of time. But the automatic drivers aren’t much different. They tend to always be pushing one pedal or the other. Never coasting to a red light, always applying power right up until they have to start braking.

            The EPA numbers should demonstrate what the vehicle is capable of, regardless of how it might be used in the end. I think it does that with the automatics. I don’t think it’s doing that with the manuals. They’re providing false justification for the elimination of manual transmissions. As someone who prefers driving a manual transmission and wants that option to remain available to drivers, their practices oppose my interests.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          I’m with you except for the complaints against engine braking. Using the engine to decelerate uses less gas than coasting, unless it slows you down too much and causes you to accelerate needlessly. Coast to carry momentum on the cheap, revs for deceleration on the cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            When brakes were pathetic and tires would slide on mere frost engine breaking was a godsend. Doesn’t much apply anymore, though.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            I’m not talking about grip or chassis balance here, just fuel consumption. Engine braking uses less fuel than coasting does.

            The winter thing is really contingent on driving style. If a driver can get into lower gear without shifting the weight dramatically forward (Rev matching a downshift for instance) it can help, auto or manual. It’s just a way of moving the weight to the front wheels as gradually as possible. Gentle braking works too,but both together are ideal.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Jesus, that’s way over my head. I just loved engine breaking because it *was* extra breaking when you needed it.

  • avatar
    Brumus

    Anybody seen a figure for how much twist this engine now puts out?

    I test drove a ’15 Impreza, and the inadequate power was one thing that kept me from from pulling the trigger.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Sport sounds nice. But why do we need the 18s?

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Surely you’re not going to be driving an AWD vehicle on anything other than glass-smooth roads, correct? Not only will the shorter sidewall tighten steering response to improve your perception of its handling abilities, there is actually a measurable benefit as well. That is, the lower-profile rubber will stabilize during steering transitions a small fraction of a second more quickly, thus improving your performance and increasing your chance of winning.

      Thank you for your inquiry, and enjoy the enhanced handling of the 18″ wheels.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Marvelous.

        “the lower-profile rubber will stabilize during steering transitions a small fraction of a second more quickly”

        Had I but known!

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Haha, you win or something.

        I’m not sure why the manual impreza is that much of a surprise, this is the stick shift segment nowadays. What is impressive is that once again subaru is exactly at the same price point as everyone else despite the standard awd. In the interest of fairness we should probably all just resign ourselves to subie underperforming on the engine and auto transmission front for as long as that continues.

        Vw stuck with their 5 because it’s more fuel efficient than their 6. The fit is another example of that, I used to cry out for a cruising gear in mine but when it showed up the 6 speed’s much more aggressive final drive ratio translated to more acceleration instead of more relaxed economy.

        I prefer a close 6 to a spread out 5, but the typical 5 speed heavy flywheel long gearing combo is arguably superior for relaxed commuting duty.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    With fewer and fewer people choosing to row their own it wouldn’t surprise me if this came down to a cost vs development option, especially on lower models. The five-speed’s here, it works, run with the ball.

  • avatar

    Alright! Current platform hatchback is available, now make a WRX hatchback. Solves the 6th gear problem AND the gutless engine problem at the same time.

    Also, two coworkers have Impreza’s with the CVT, I have a Crosstrek with the 5spd. And I can STILL match or beat their fuel economy numbers. I don’t know who these people are that are getting 38mpg out of the CVT Impreza and Fuelly’s mileage data seems to agree.

  • avatar
    Wagon Of Fury

    Good. Hopefully this is a different assembly entirely than what was in the 2014 Forest “Premium” cable shifted 6MT I test drove. It was terrible, like steering a large bowl of lumpy mashed potatoes. I felt bad for the salesman, I laughed out loud, it was so bad.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    “The Limited also gets aluminum 17 inch wheels, daytime running lights, leather-trimmed interior, and a few other niceties you won’t see on the base model.”

    DRL as a nicety? Love how they make something that is standard on all models elsewhere is the world (and hence probably built into the car) into a reason to charge more for a trim package.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Why are the CVTs a $1000 option? Aren’t they cheaper to make, or is there a longer warranty on them to justify the added cost?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggg!

    Subaru – thank you for saving the manual. Roughly half of the “previews” of the new Impreza that I read claimed the manual was going the way of the Dodo Bird on the next generation car. Thank you also for offering your manual with a wide variety of trim packages – not just the zero options base model.

    But damn it make the option more appealing and add an extra gear!

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