By Lethbridge Herald on May 20, 2017.
is a game-changer
Stunning. How else can an auto writer described the redesigned 2017 Subaru Impreza? How about “absolutely stunning?” Sharing little else besides a name and all-wheel-drive with its predecessor, the new Impreza is a game-changer in its segment.
Riding on an all-new platform and available in both four-door and five-door models, the Impreza is a revelation. The exterior design is more aerodynamic and sporty — in fact, I know one WRX owner who prefers the look of this Impreza to his more powerful car. That’s the kind of impact Subaru’s design team has made — the Impreza looks the part of an upscale sports sedan, which is going to give this car more appeal than ever before.
What’s also appealing is the interior, which is gorgeous. The cabin is more spacious and features redesigned front seats to enhance rear seat room. And the rear bench has excellent legroom for lanky adults and plenty of shoulder room, too. While the previous generation was relatively snug, the interior of the new Impreza feels particularly roomy. A low entry height and wide-opening rear doors will make this AWD car especially child-friendly.
Where Subaru aced the Impreza inside is on the dashboard with completely new instrumentation and a fully modern technology suite. This is an interior done right.
Behind the steering wheel, the driver has a superb view out any window including the rear, which has a thin spoiler mounted atop the trunk lid.
The driver’s seat — leather covered and heated in the 2.01 Sport-Tech tester — has excellent bolstering and is made for long-range comfort. Somehow Subaru has managed to create an interior ambience where the driver feels low behind the seat as if piloting a sports car but with equally low window sills, still has a feeling of airiness.
The Lithium Red Pearl tester, priced at $31,298.25, comes pretty much fully loaded with the exception of a couple of items that are available with the optional technology package.
Like all Imprezas, the tester is powered by a 2.0 litre, dual overhead cam, 16-valve horizontally opposed four-cylinder, direct injection Boxer engine. Horsepower is 152 at 6,000 rpm while torque is 145 lb. ft. at 4,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission with lockup torque converter and a manual mode.
Transport Canada fuel economy is rated at a superb 34 mpg city and 44 mpg highway for a combined rating of 38 mpg. In metric, this translates to 8.3L/100 km city, 6.4L/100 km highway and 7.5L/100 km combined.
The tester features all the goodies a driver could want including a powerful eight-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system and an eight-inch high-resolution touchscreen infotainment system with StarLink phone integration, dual USB ports and SMS text messaging capability.
It has heated seats up front, a telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, six-way power adjustable driver’s seat and a sunroof.
With its red exterior and black interior, the tester is gorgeous.
This car could easily be mistaken for a high-end sport touring sedan.
On the highway, the powertrain combination is peppy and responsive. Passing power is immediate and at highway speeds, the Impreza cruises quietly. Fuel economy, from what I saw, should meet Transport Canada ratings. On some stretches of flat terrain, I was getting economy that actually excelled the rating.
Fuel economy is enhanced on some Impreza models by active grille shutters which lower wind resistance when grilles are closed.
For family trips, Subaru has increased trunk space in the four-door and overall cargo room in the five-door. It has also made the split-folding rear bench seat sit flatter when not in use.
As an all-round sedan, the Impreza offers buyers a lot for the money. Roomy and spunky, it also has the security of all-wheel-drive with no penalty at the gas pump.
This is a truly remarkable car.
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