PREVIEW: 2017 Subaru Impreza – Defining the Mainstream

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With its new Impreza, Subaru goes further into the forefront of mainstream automotive design.

Within the last 20 years or so, Subaru has gone from a offbeat maker of quirky four-wheel-drivers – remember the controversy when the grown-up Legacy first debuted in the late-’80s? – to selling sedans, hatchbacks and crossovers that combine Subaru’s bespoke extra traction with leading advances in safety and technology.

We saw the germination of the new Impreza in the concept Subaru showed at the 2015 LA Auto Show. Its squinty gaze was capitalized by U-shaped headlights.


The production version debuted at last week’s 2016 New York International Auto Show. Subaru showed the sedan…


…and the hatchback.


The U-shaped headlight detail made it into production, albeit within a more traditional headlight cutout. The ripples below the headlights are a nice touch.



As with Volkswagen’s MQB platform, what forms the basis for new Impreza will underpin many future Subaru vehicles, and this consolidation allows for easier integration of electric/hybrid components.

Subaru claims a 70% increase in the Impreza’s structural rigidity. This platform also helps Subaru improve the Impreza’s crashworthiness – the company claims a 40% improvement in crash energy absorption.


Subaru’s EyeSight collision-prevention package has earned the cars it’s equipped with a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), and its broad availability across the Subaru lineup is a better approach than one taken by manufacturers who restrict the best safety tech for its top trims.


The 2017 brings new features into Subaru’s safety and collision-prevention fold.

  • Standard driver’s knee air bag in all Imprezas
  • Reverse Automatic Braking senses obstructions and stops the car before it hits them
  • Four-way tire sensors detect pressure drops in each wheel
  • Steering Responsive Headlights illuminate the path into which you’re steering


Direct fuel injection leads the 2017  improvements to the Impreza’s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Boxer engine. Horsepower is rated at 152 hp, which is four more than the 2016’s 148.

In upper trims, the CVT transmission will offer a seven-speed manual mode with paddle shifters, which essentially is a program of seven ratios within the CVT’s range.

A new Sport version turns up the wick with 18-inch wheels, a stiffer suspension and Active Torque Vectoring.


The big news with Impreza tech is standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all trims. The standard 6.5-inch screen is upgraded to eight inches in the top Limited trim.


Subaru’s optional STARLINK telematics system offers items like Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service and Remote Vehicle Locator.


Subaru’s retention of its horizontally-opposed Boxer engine gives its vehicles their own unique feel, while much effort has been expended to keep the Impreza stocked with the features and functionality today’s mainstream buyers demand.


Four trim levels will be offered, from 2.0i to Look for the 2017 to hit Subaru dealers in late 2016.