2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Hatchback Sport Review; 5 Things Consumers Should Know
We drive the Subaru Impreza 2.0i Hatchback Sport this week in Colorado’s high altitude and give it a thorough test. We found five significant changes consumers should know about. The new-generation Impreza comes with an improved ride, a more comfortable quiet cabin, a newly-updated automatic transmission, new safety technology, and improved infotainment system.
What’s new for 2017?
The Subaru Impreza is all-new for 2017 and comes with the new Subaru Global Platform which translates to multiple improvements for compact car consumers over the outgoing model. It's wider, longer and lower, and it features fresh new exterior styling. It features a roomier interior, a more powerful engine, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a suite of new safety technology.
Features and options
The 2017 Impreza 2.0i Sport ($22,495) comes standard with a newly revised 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine, a five-speed manual transmission (a continuously variable transmission is optional), cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power windows, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both new to the Impreza, bringing it more in line with the competition.
The 2.0i Sport adds 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, sport-tuned suspension, keyless entry and ignition, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a Harman Kardon audio system, unique interior and exterior trim, and active torque vectoring for improved traction.
This tester came with the optional Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission ($800), EyeSight driver assist safety system, moonroof and harman/kardon premium audio ($2,945). Total MSRP including destination: $27,060.
The cabin of the redesigned Impreza is a big improvement over the outgoing model and comes with massive amounts of headroom, along with abundant front and rear legroom for taller adults. Upon entering the new cabin, we adjusted the tilt/telescoping steering wheel that allows plenty of movement. The seats are adjustable four ways, so it’s easy to find the perfect driving position in the new compact. We had a six-footer in the back this week and he was impressed with the amount of legroom in the backseat. We had additional comments from our passengers who noticed the simulated carbon fiber dash and door trim in this tester.
The quality of materials have been significantly upgraded too, but Subaru still lags behind the Mazda3 and Honda Civic compacts who are standouts in this area. The redesigned cabin features easy to use radio controls, climate control knobs, and the 8-inch touchscreen interface is generally easy to read and use. Technology is much improved with the all-new touchscreen as well as the addition of smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as standard. The touchscreen was easy to operate and responded quickly to inputs.
Get the 5-Door hatch if you need extra utility. The rear hatch offers up lots of flexibility when it comes to carrying extra cargo. You can fold the rear seats flat and have a large space for sporting gear or for transporting larger items, and there’s even room for a mountain bike. More on Page 2.
Engine and fuel mileage specs
The 2017 Impreza 2.0i Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Impreza gets a small bump in power over the previous generation compact. This tester came mated to the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT), and a 5-speed manual gearbox is standard for those who prefer a sportier feel. Fuel-mileage estimates are 27/35 city/highway mpg and 30 combined mpg. We averaged 33 mpg this week with the majority of our driving being highway miles.
The new Impreza is a joy to drive in the city, or on the open road, and we immediately felt the new Subaru Global Platform’s influence in ride quality. The Impreza soaks up bumps in the road much better and it rides like a bigger vehicle. We spent lots of time behind the wheel this week, and never felt tired after the long trip to Colorado Springs and back to Denver. The additional horsepower makes a difference in power, but it won’t blow the doors off. For the majority of compact car buyers, it has enough power for all driving situations. If you load the Impreza with four people and cargo, it may be a bit slow accelerating.
The Impreza Sport is the model for driving enthusiasts. It gets a retuned suspension that transforms the compact hatch into a better performer in the curves. We took it up some twisty mountain curves west of Denver at altitude, there was very little body lean, and the Impreza handles confidently. The steering is tight and the brakes stopped us quickly on the interstate this week when someone cut in front of us.
We were especially impressed with the newly-redesigned optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). Most CVTs wind up relentlessly and it sounds like a jet plane taking off. The Impreza’s upgraded automatic shifts more like a conventional automatic which is a welcome change. You can also get a 5-speed manual rower with an STI short-throw shifter for driving enthusiasts. But the automatic is much improved over the previous generation model. More on Page 3.
On the open road at 75-80 mph, the Impreza is much quieter than the outgoing model, and the new sound insulation windshield and redesigned outside mirrors made a big difference with keeping the noisy world out. Visibility is excellent in all directions thanks to the thin windshield pillars and small sectional windows near the windshield. A big rear window in the hatch model makes for excellent rear visibility as well.
Another plus for the new Impreza is the safety technology upgrades. This EyeSight equipped tester featured the adaptive cruise control system which did a good job of keeping an ideal distance behind cars ahead, and it doesn’t slam on the brakes when someone cuts in ahead. It also features Blind Spot detection with Lane Keeping asset, and Rear Cross traffic alert and a standard rearview camera for extra safety.
The all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport is a fun compact to drive in the city or on the open road. It comes with an improved ride, a more comfortable quiet cabin, a newly-updated automatic transmission, new safety technology, and improved infotainment system. The Impreza hatchback offers extra utility for adventure seekers and city dwellers.
Image credit: Subaru