The all-inclusive redesign and re-engineering of the Subaru Impreza for 2017 will generate more interest here in the Pacific Northwest than in nearly any other U.S. region. That’s because we are, by far, one of Subaru’s best-selling markets.
The 2017 Subaru Impreza has an aerodynamic and well-toned if not actually muscular appearance. Its new platform increases rigidity by more than 70 percent, providing a big boost in stability, handling characteristics and ride comfort, while simultaneously lowering noise, vibration and harshness to an uncommonly good level for a compact car.
Revised suspension systems and a lower center of gravity than the previous version round out the performance improvements.
Impreza is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback. Both models have four trim levels: base, Premium, Sport and Limited.
My tester was a 2.0i Sport model finely dressed in a Crystal Black Silica exterior and Black Sport Cloth interior. With this black-on-black color scheme (the seats have subtle red stitching) along with 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, the Impreza presented itself like a sports car.
The four-cylinder Boxer engine generates 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. This model comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission but the tester was equipped with an $800 optional CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic. It’s an effective combo delivering a city/highway/combined rating of 27/36/30 mpg. I was perfectly happy with its performance except for that one time when I had to pull out onto Highway 2 from Westwick Road near Snohomish. There was a long line of cars coming toward me from the left, and unless I pulled out quickly I’d be forced to do the unthinkable: Wait for a few minutes. So I gunned it. The dramatic burst of forward thrust I was expecting didn’t arrive.
That momentary disappointment was canceled out by the 2017 Impreza’s many great features, however. Build quality is impressive, for example. Space inside the cabin seems unbelievable for a compact car, not just in the front seats but also the back. Rear legroom in particular is generous, enhanced by the high clearance beneath the front seats so that shoed feet can slide under them. And don’t expect a tiny trunk. It’s a 12.3 cubic-footer. Pretty good.
Subaru’s Starlink Multimedia Plus system with an 8-inch screen is standard equipment on the Sport model, delivering an incredible slew of infotainment and connectivity features. My tester sweetened the deal by including an optional Harman/Kardon premium audio system.
Finally, no discussion of a Subaru would be complete without mentioning the brand’s famously stellar all-wheel drive system. Standard equipment on Subarus.
2017 SUBARU IMPREZA 2.0i SPORT
Base price, including destination charge: $22,815
Price as driven: $26,560
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.