Driving Notes

2017 Subaru Impreza

March 16, 2017

by Amy Winter-Hercher - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

For fleets looking for a compact sedan not lacking in power, Subaru has completely redesigned its Impreza for the 2017 model year. The fifth-generation all-wheel-drive Impreza enters 2017 as a compact sedan or five-door hatchback.

This refresh features Subaru’s new global platform. The Impreza is the first vehicle built on this new platform, which claims to improve safety and driving dynamics. The platform allows for electrified powertrains in future Subaru vehicles.

To enhance collision safety, Impreza’s increased use of steel improves impact energy absorption by 40%.

The Impreza offers a variety of technology and safety features, including EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. New to the Impreza, the EyeSight technology now includes lane keep assist to warn drivers when they are swaying outside their lane. The pre-collision braking feature applies full braking in emergency situations when a collision will most likely occur. Optional technologies include blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.

For a more stable driving experience, the new platform attains a center of gravity that’s 5 millimeters lower. Improved body rigidity helps reduce noise and vibration. As I was driving the Impreza hatchback on the freeway from Orange County to Los Angeles, I noticed how quiet it was inside the cabin.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Carried over from the prior generation, the base 2.0L four-cylinder Boxer engine now gets 152 horsepower (up from 148) and 145 lb.-ft. of torque.

With my long commute to work, I appreciated the Impreza’s fuel efficiency. The base Impreza with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) offers an EPA-rated 38 mpg on the highway. That's a 5.5% improvement over the 2016 model’s 36 mpg highway. The CVT sedan gets 28 mpg city and 32 mpg combined, while the CVT hatchback gets 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined.

The increased use of steel gives the Impreza a new body design. It is also more spacious than the previous model — nearly 1.75 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider. In the hatchback, the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 configuration, creating more cargo space in the back — 20.8 cubic feet. The base model that I drove had cloth upholstery and seats that could be manually adjusted. The console included a touchscreen with a back-up camera and Subaru’s new Starlink multimedia system.

In addition to the base model that starts at $18,395, Subaru is offering three other Impreza models, including the Premium starting at $21,195, the Sport at $21,995, and the top-of-the-line Limited at $24,095. The Premium edition offers alloy wheels, heated seats, and a power moonroof. The Sport model gets features like bigger wheels, active torque vectoring, a rear spoiler, and black sport cloth upholstery. The Limited provides the Sport features and adds leather-trimmed upholstery and a power driver's seat.

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Amy Winter-Hercher

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Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

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Andy Lundin works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

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Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

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Eric Gandarilla works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

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Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

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