An entry-level Subie that might be right up your alley.
Let’s start by throwing a couple of Subaru-related questions out the window. First off, there won’t be any WRX or STI talk here, but rest assured a new generation of your favorite all-wheel-drive Subaru is in the works, and things like its design language will be based off this Impreza. Secondly, this new Impreza doesn’t affect anything on the BRZ side of the Subaru world. But rest assured, we’ll have an in-depth review of the U.S.-spec BRZ Performance Package shortly.
1. Handling: The new Impreza is built on a solid platform that’s more rigid and stiff than the outgoing model. Components like stiffer shocks, new joints, higher strength steel, a rear stabilizer bar, and beefier joints are to thank. We’re also fond of the quicker 13:1 steering ratio—essentially the same ratio as the BRZ. Put it all together and you have yourself a great handling vehicle right out of the box. We can attest after pounding it through twisty canyon roads near the U.S.-Mexico border. Let’s just say we were throwing the Impreza around as hard as if we were on the track!
2. Technology: The coolest feature we tried on the Impreza is the Adaptive Cruise Control. It’s nothing new to the world, but Subaru has seemingly perfected it on its new Impreza. In stop-and-go traffic, we didn’t even need to use the pedals once! Probably not what Subaru recommends, but it worked like a charm.
3. Interior: If there was a weakness in the past Subarus I’ve driven, it was a lackluster interior. We can now report that the new Impreza’s design and feel have finally received that much-needed makeover, especially in the Sport trim. There’s a nice flow from the seats, instrument panel, and center console. The steering wheel is worth the upgrade in Sport as well. Let’s not forget Subaru has finally adopted Apple CarPlay, features a standard 6.5″ display (8″ upgrade available), and has overall improved the quality of its stereo system. And as weird as it sounds, the new Impreza is also the first Subaru to offer a premium Harmon Kardon upgrade. Yes, Subaru, we care about our tunes!
4. Adequate Power: The power in the new Impreza isn’t anything to brag to your friends about, but it’s there when you need it, especially when passing cars that are holding you up in the fast lane. Don’t expect to get anywhere fast past 80 mph, though, or get anywhere in a hurry from the stoplight. We also tested the CVT tranny with paddle shifters and it’s not as hesitant as you might think.
5. Born in the USA: This is the first Impreza to be built in our own backyard in Indiana. Gotta feel good about that! Also, 95 percent of the car’s components are new. This is all part of a master plan, as future Subaru models will share similar components for better efficiencies.
6. Price: You can buy a Honda, Ford, or Volkswagen with a similar spec list and feel, but none of them will be all-wheel drive! The Impreza starts at $18,395, and for all the bells and whistles, it’ll cost around $24K.
|That New Car Smell|
|THE STICKER:||From $18,395|
|ENGINE:||2.0L 4-cylinder Boxer|
|THE POWER:||152 hp at 6,000 rpm; 145 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm|
|SCALE TIPPING:||3,034-3,177 lbs.|
|LAYOUT:||front engine, all-wheel drive|
|DRIVETRAIN:||Lineartronic CVT; seven-speed manual mode function with paddle shifters (Premium, Limited, Sport trims)|
|FOOTWORK & CHASSIS:||MacPherson-type front struts; double wishbone rear with pillow ball-joint mount and coil springs; Stablex dampers (Premium, Limited, Sport trims); sport-tuned suspension (Sport trim); stabilizer bar (Premium, Limited, Sport trims)|
|BRAKES:||10.9″ front ventilated discs with dual-piston calipers; 10.8″ rear solid discs with single-piston calipers; 11.6″ front ventilated discs (Sport trim)|
|WHEELS & TIRES:||16×6.5″ steel wheels in black finish; 18″ alloy wheels (Sport trim)|
|THE COMPETITION:||VW Golf, VW Jetta, Mazda3, Kia Forte|
|DEEP THOUGHTS:||The new Impreza isn’t suppose to replace the STI in your garage, but it’s something that’ll get the nod from the parents or girlfriend. It’s safe, versatile, affordable, great on gas, retains its resale, and is simply the right package to get you around every day while still offering a few ounces of fun. We recommend picking up a five-door, lowering it on a good set of coilovers, and throwing on a set TE37s. You can’t go wrong!|