• 2017 Subaru Impreza

New platform and direct injection for Subaru’s sporty compact

Previewed by a concept car introduced at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, the next-generation Subaru Impreza has been unveiled in production form at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

The brand’s new four-door compact rides on the Subaru Global Platform, a new architecture that will underpin all of the company’s upcoming models. Much like the previous generation, the new Impreza offers a five-door hatchback version, which was also unveiled at the New York Auto Show.

The fifth-gen model has been redesigned inside and out, receiving a revised boxer engine with slightly more horsepower and enhanced fuel economy. More significant improvements were made in the safety department thanks to a stiffer body, plus updated or added driver-assist features. Keep reading to find out more.

Updated 10/19/2016: Subaru announced prices for the 2017 Impreza sedan which arrive at dealerships later this year. 5-speed manual models will be available in early 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Impreza.

  • 2017 Subaru Impreza
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    20000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

Styling-wise, the new Impreza is based on the concept we saw at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but, not surprisingly, most features have been toned down. Up front, cues that are reminiscent of the Impreza Concept include the grille with its redesigned and blacked-out mesh and the new bumper with the thinner center intake and revised side vents. The latter have smaller black inserts, and come devoid of the chrome trim seen on the previous model. The "hawk-eye" headlamps have also been redesigned, and although they look sportier now, they have very little in common with the concept’s as they are missing the fancy, C-shaped LED pattern. The engine hood is also new, and unlike its predecessor, it no longer extends into the grille.

Styling-wise, the new Impreza is based on the concept we saw at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but, not surprisingly, most features have been toned down

The side view is where Subaru kept most of the features seen on the concept, including the arched front fenders and the beefy rear haunches. The Impreza now has a more athletic waistline that gives it a sportier stance, even without the WRX package. The wheels look they are based on the concept’s as well, while the side skirts are more aggressive than last year’s model.

Significant changes are noticeable around back as well, starting with the redesigned bumper and the new taillights. Based on the concept’s, the taillights are slightly bigger and are a radical departure compared to the previous model, this time around extending well into the trunk lid. The license plate recess is slightly thinner and longer, giving the sedan a wider stance. Atop the trunk lid, there’s a new spoiler finished in black. Down below, the Impreza features the same black-painted plastic piece underneath the bumper.

Overall, the new Impreza looks fresh, and it sports enough design cues from the concept car to be called attractive. It’s definitely sportier than its predecessor, which was rather mundane for a sporty, compact sedan.

As far as size goes, the 2017 Impreza rides on a 105.1-inch wheelbase, up one inch over the last-generation Impreza. Both the Sedan and 5-Door are 1.6 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider than the previous model. The new Impreza also sits a half-inch lower, which helps improve aerodynamics with a lower drag coefficient.

Interior

The sedan features a fresh interior with a "multi-layered" dashboard that has redesigned A/C vents at each corner

The sedan features a fresh interior with a "multi-layered" dashboard that has redesigned A/C vents at each corner, while the vents on the center stack are larger and set on each side of the touchscreen. The latter is a 6.5-inch unit (optional 8-inch) with Subaru’s StarLink technology and features new menus and functions. The revised controls for the infotainment were moved below the screen. The center console is also new, featuring redesigned storage spaces and a new gear shifter.

The three-spoke configuration of the steering wheel was carrier over, but everything on it has been revised. There are new controls, a better-looking center section, and a larger aluminum insert for the lower spoke. Behind it, there’s a new instrument cluster. Other changes include sportier front seats and new door panels that boast a more upscale appearance.

The updated multimedia package includes standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Near Field Communication connectivity, all of which make their debut on a Subaru. A new Harman/Kardon premium audio system, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, aluminum pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift handle, and a CVT shift boot surround are optional on the entry-level models, and standard on the Sport trim.

Drivetrain

Under the hood, the Impreza received a revised version of Subaru’s 2.0-liter boxer engine that now uses direct fuel injection. Output was increased to 152 horsepower, a mild four-horsepower update compared to the previous model. Although it didn’t say a word about the manual transmission, Subaru mentioned that the highline trims will use a Lineartronic CVT that features a seven-speed manual model fuction.

2017 Subaru Impreza High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 670716

Naturally, there’s an updated version of the brand’s Symmetrical AWD system, specifically tailored to each transmission.

Of course, the big news here is the new Subaru Global Platform, which is significantly lighter than the previous platform and will help to improve both performance and fuel economy. The new architecture is also 70 percent more rigid than the current chassis, providing better driving dynamics.

Safety

2017 Subaru Impreza High Resolution Exterior
- image 670697

Subaru says it designed the new Impreza to provide even higher levels of safety than the outoging model. The new platform improves crash energy absorption by 40 percent, while the EyeSight safety system includes updated features such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking with Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Subaru also offers Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them, and High Beam Assist, which automatically activates and deactivates the high beam headlamps based on driving conditions.

Other new driver-assist technologies for 2017 include Reverse Automatic Braking, steering lines for the rear vision camera, and a four-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System that can detect pressure drops at individual wheels. Front seat side impact, side curtain, and driver’s knee airbags are standard.

Prices

Pricing for the new Impreza starts from $19,215 including destination and delivery, which represents a minor $125 hike over the outgoing model. For the base sticker you get the entry-level model with the five-speed manual gearbox, while the CVT-equipped version will set you back $20,215 before options.

Standard features on the base model include a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, power windows with auto up/down on both driver’s and passenger’s sides, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, power door locks and side mirrors, a multi-function display with fuel economy information, a tilt and telescoping steering column, security system with engine immobilizer, carpeted floor mats, and more.

The Premium trim, which starts from $22,015 and is offered with the CVT only, adds StarLink, 16-inch wheels, the All-Weather Package with heated front seats, roof rails, and power moonroof availability.

Moving over to Sport, customers will get exclusive suspension tuning, 18-inch machined wheels, Active Torque Vectoring, standard LED DRLs, a black front grille, and unique black cloth upholstery on top of everything that comes with the Premium model. This trim costs $22,815 with the manual and $23,615 with the CVT.

Finally, the Limited starts from $24,915 comes with a leather-trimmed interior with double stitching, six-way power driver’s seat (for the first time in an Impreza), automatic climate control, white instrument cluster illumination, and High Beam Assist. The Harman/Kardon premium audio system and navigation with TomTom maps are optional no matter the trim. This version is restricted to the CVT transmission.

Model/Trim Transmission Applicable Option Code MSRP MSRP + destination and delivery
2.0i 5MT ‘01 $18,395 $19,215
2.0i CVT ‘01 $19,395 $20,215
2.0i Premium CVT 11,12,13,15 $21,195 $22,015
2.0i Sport 5MT 21,22 $21,995 $22,815
2.0i Sport CVT 21,22,23 $22,795 $23,615
2.0i Limited CVT 31,33,35 $24,095 $24,915

Competitors

Mitsubishi Lancer

2016 Mitsubishi Lancer High Resolution Exterior
- image 648941

Around since 2007, the current Lancer is a bit long in the tooth, but several upgrades have kept it somewhat competitive all these years. However, the Lancer will be no more starting 2016, with the 2015 Lancer Evolution X Final Edition being the final iteration of the iconic nameplate. And, despite numerous rumors that Mitsubishi might develop a successor, the Japanese have yet to make an official statement about it. Meanwhile, the Lancer can be had with a choice of two engines. There’s a 2.0-liter inline-four rated at 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, and a 2.4-liter four-pot that generates 168 horses and 167 pound-feet. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual, or a CVT with six-step Sportronic and paddle shifters. Pricing begins at $17,395 and goes up to $21,595 for the range-topping model.

Read more about the Mitsubishi Lancer here.

Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior
- image 646701

People often confuse the Impreza as Subaru’s performance model, but the truth is, the Impreza is the company’s resident compact family sedan that battles against the Honda Civic. Speaking of the Civic, it’s been a rough couple of years for Honda’s compact sedan. 2012 proved to be a disastrous year for the model, forcing Honda to revamp it just one year later. A year after that, the Civic received more modifications, resulting in a more masculine design that’s now a far departure from the shoe box look of the 2012 model. A complete redesign for 2016 took that even further, making the Civic bigger and sportier than ever. Power comes from a 2.0-liter four-banger with 158 horsepower, and a turbocharged 1.5-liter that makes 174 horses, making both engines powerful enough to battle the new Impreza.

Read more about the 2016 Honda Civic here.

Toyota Corolla

2014 Toyota Corolla High Resolution Exterior
- image 509683

Any mention of a mainstream compact sedan will always lead back to the Toyota Corolla. As one of the world’s most iconic models, the Corolla holds the kind of cachet that very few of its rivals can compete with. That includes the Subaru Impreza. For 2014, Toyota gave the Corolla a full redesign, complete with dramatically improved exterior styling, and a fancier interior with plenty of character expressed in decent materials with good fit and finish. The 2014 Corolla also has a 1.8-liter inline-four engine that produces a steady 140 horsepower through either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. It’s not enough to reach the output of the current Impreza, but the Corolla’s overall new-generation attributes make it a real competition for the Subaru. Starting price for the Corolla is $16,800 and grows to $21,300.

Read more about the Toyota Corolla here.

Conclusion

2017 Subaru Impreza High Resolution Exterior
- image 670271

After years and years of using the same platform for the Impreza, Subaru finally gave its most iconic model a full overhaul. Granted, the production model is not as aggressive as the concept that previewed it, but the new design is definitely more athletic and a significant improvement over the previous sedan, which had a rather mundane appearance for a nameplate often associated with the World Rally Championhip. The revised engine is less powerful than we hoped, but everything else on this car is new, including the platform, which makes the new Impreza lighter, safer, and more efficient. It remains to be seen whether it will have what it takes to give the Corolla and Civic a run for their money, but the new Impreza looks promising on paper.

  • Leave it
    • Not as aggressive as the concept

Updated History

Updated 03/24/2016: Subaru finally dropped the final specification figures on the new-generation Impreza at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

Updated 03/23/2016: Subaru dropped the first images and info on the new generation Impreza at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

Updated 10/12/2015: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming generation Subaru Impreza out for its first test. The model is expected to go into production in the third quarter of 2016, with both four- and five-door versions being offered. As usual, Subaru will also offer both WRX and WRX STI versions.

Spy Shots

October 12, 2015 - First testing session

2017 Subaru Impreza Exterior Spyshots
- image 650100
2017 Subaru Impreza Exterior Spyshots
- image 650101
2017 Subaru Impreza Exterior Spyshots
- image 650099
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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