This is the 2017 Impreza, an important vehicle for Subaru because it lays the foundation for their future. Part of their “Prominence 2020” vision, it’s the cornerstone by which the brand aims to enhance their design and technologies to reach a broader audience. With its regional introduction here in Singapore, we also did a First Drive. For those who want more details, here is as a dossier. Here are 11 things you should know about the 2017 Subaru Impreza.
#1: It’s Almost Entirely All-New
Many manufacturers use the term “all-new” loosely, referring perhaps to a new body bolted atop an existing platform or drivetrain. If there’s a car that has every right to use the term “all-new”, it’s the 2017 Impreza. It’s an entirely new car with 95 percent of its components new and specific to it. The remaining 5 percent are generic bolts, nuts, screws, and plastic clips.
#2: All-New Platform
Dubbed the “billion dollar Subaru”, the all-new 2017 Impreza is underpinned by the Subaru Global Platform architecture—the basic building block of all models moving forward including a planned 7-seater crossover. Developed at a cost of a billion dollars, it enables Subaru to cut on development times while also enhancing their vehicles’ driving dynamics, refinement, and safety. Subaru has even gone on record to say that this new platform will continue to offer the world’s highest levels of safety up to 2025. Talk about future-proof!
Learn more about the Subaru Global Platform here.
#3: New Brand Design Language
Often criticized for their less than knockout styling, Subaru is finally investing in giving their vehicles a much needed aesthetics boost. Along with the new platform on which it’s riding on, the all-new Impreza debuts Subaru’s new design language dubbed: DYNAMIC x SOLID (yes, and in all-caps too). DYNAMIC x SOLID is meant to bring out the ruggedness of Subaru vehicles by emphasizing their body and stance. Designers have done so by chiseling the fascia and as a result it gives more prominence to the hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights. The windshield gets a lower angle while the wheel arches flared out paying homage to the lower center of gravity provided by Subaru’s trademark boxer engines.
#4: Lower, Longer, Wider
As a result of the Impreza’s shift to the Subaru Global Platform, its dimensions get a hefty boost in every dimension that counts. It’s about 38 millimeters wider and 40 millimeters longer than the outgoing model while also boosting its wheelbase to 2,670 millimeters. It’s also 10 millimeters lower giving it a lower center of gravity. This is how the 2017 Impreza stacks up against the compact car competition:
#5: Direct Injection Engine
The Impreza’s all-new platform may be hogging all the headlines, but that doesn’t mean Subaru engineers didn’t work on improving on the drivetrain as well. Underneath the Impreza’s shapely hood is a reworked version of the FB20. New for 2018 is the application of direct injection technology meant to improve the Impreza’s overall response and fuel efficiency. As a result, power has been bumped from 150 to 156 horsepower while torque is up from 196 Nm to 200 Nm. Together with the revamped engine, the Lineartronic CVT sees an additional preset ratio bringing it up to 7 virtual gears from 6. All in all, the Impreza’s fuel efficiency (based on the US EPA) has gone up from 13.17 km/L to a whopping 16.15 km/L in a mixed city/highway setting. Acceleration has improved as well with 100 km/h coming in at 11.1 seconds from 11.4 seconds.
#6: Enhanced Handling
The Impreza is the only one in the compact car class to offer the security of all-wheel drive. A trademark since 1972, Subaru has meticulously refined and honed the system ever since. The latest system is in use in the 2017 Impreza. The Active AWD system splits the torque at a 60/40 front/rear ratio. Using an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch, it can then split the power between the front and rear wheels up to 100 percent based on acceleration, deceleration, and available traction. Coupled with that Active AWD system, the Impreza makes use of ventilated discs all around (the only one in its class to do so). It also has Stablex suspension dampers. First introduced in the Legacy, Stablex dampers expands the dampers at low speeds allowing more suspension movement for a better ride and then reduces them at higher speeds to minimize body movement.
#7: An Upmarket Feel
Subaru has certainly put all that development budget to good use addressing the brand’s most noticeable flaw: the interior. Subaru has gone through great lengths to give the 2017 Impreza a definite upmarket feel. Though swathes of soft-touch plastic and classy leather are found all over, it can even be found in the most mundane of things like the power windows switches. Not only are they all illuminated, but they also feel better in your fingertips. Even the motor slows the window down in the last few millimeters of travel to eliminate the unsoundly ‘thunk’.
#8: Better Multimedia
A common complaint with Subarus is their lackluster infotainment system. It’s another thing the brand has addressed successfully with the all-new Impreza. It features a beefed up infotainment system that not only looks good, but incorporates a host of cutting-edge technology such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Impreza’s touchscreen display boasts both multi-touch and gesture control as well as voice-activated controls too.
#9: Unmatched Safety
You cannot talk about Subaru without touching safety. The Subaru Global Platform gives the 2017 Impreza better stability and together with the lower center of gravity it leads to greater hazard avoidance while also adding to the car’s dynamic performance. Like the Forester and Levorg, the Impreza’s LED headlights are steering responsive that helps illuminate curves as the car steers into them. High Beam Assist also allows the headlights to switch the high beam on and off based on driving conditions. Apart from that, the Impreza gets a full suite of 7 airbags (with rollover sensors), anti-lock brakes with EBD, and stability control. EyeSight’s availability still remains a mystery; perhaps that’s something we’ll find out closer to the Manila launch.
#10: It’s Japan Car of the Year 2016-2017
The 2018 Subaru Impreza is the Japan Car of the Year 2016-2017. It becomes only the second Subaru model after the Legacy in 2003 to win the praise of Japanese press and jurors. The Impreza beat out the all-new Prius and Audi A4 to get the title. Since its launch in Japan, the all-new Impreza has had very strong sales, beating company estimates fourfold (it sells more than 11,050 units per month). And according to Subaru, 51 percent of Impreza buyers are new to the brand.
#11: It’s Coming in Manila in April
Finally, here’s the best bit of good news: the all-new 2017 Impreza will arrive sooner than you think. It will be taking center stage at Motor Image Pilipinas’s exhibit at the 2017 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) from March 30 to April 2. Price is P 1,380,000. Not bad for a Made in Japan compact car. The 2017 Impreza is now available for reservation at all Subaru dealerships nationwide.