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Car Review: 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0 Limited Review By John Heilig

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0 Limited
ENGINE: 2.0-liter H-4
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 152 hp @ 6,000 rpm/145 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 175.6 x 70 x 57 in.
TIRES: P205/50R17
CARGO CAPACITY: 20.8/55.3 cu. ft. (rear seat backs up/down)
ECONOMY: 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway/25.5 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 13.2 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,015lbs./19.8 lbs/hp
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Nissan Sentra, Ford Focus, VW Golf
STICKER: $29,260 (includes $820 delivery, $3,845 options)
BOTOM LINE: The Subaru Impreza is a surprisingly smooth-riding compact with decent power and economy.

In fairness, one expects a compact car to force you to make compromises - in comfort, ride quality and performance. After all, compacts usually aren’t your first choice (Ferrari, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz might be), but economics can dictate where you go. However, the redesigned Subaru Impreza is, well, imprezzive. Sorry.

First, front seat comfort is there, with heated leather-faced seats, a good audio system with all the usual choices, and a simple three-knob HVAC system that does the job well in oppressive heat. Power is okay, but not great, with the 2.0-liter boxer four producing 152 ponies driving all four wheels through a CVT transmission that has a 7-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. The engine is essentially quiet, but it does complain a bit under hard acceleration.

Where the Impreza does feel like a compact is in ride quality. While the car is good over decent roads, it tends to feel firm over less-than-perfect surfaces. It is livable, though.

Handling is good. The Subaru boxer flat four helps lower the center of gravity and therefore aid handling. The four-wheel independent suspension uses McPherson-type struts up front with lower L-arms, coil springs and a stabilizer bar. The rear uses double wishbones and coil springs.  The instrument panel is fairly standard with a round tachometer and speedometer, and an information panel between them. We set the info panel to a digital speedometer.

Impreza is equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite of safety features. These include Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning and Lane Keeping Assist. Also included are Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Reverse Automatic Braking (the capitals are all courtesy of Subaru). These are vital safety assist features. Frankly, there are many luxury and near-luxury vehicles that are not as well equipped. 

In use, we lit up the lights once when we triggered pre-collision braking. And, we discovered the switch to turn off the lane departure warning. Blind spot detection uses bright lights on the exterior mirror housing. Rear cross traffic alert is very handy in a small car when you’re backing out of parking spaces. 

Cargo capacity is very good at 20.8 cubic feet normally and 55.3 cubic feet with the rear seat backs lowered. Those seat backs fold easily to create a flat floor that can hold golf bags. Additional interior storage consists of a cubby at the base of the center stack and a small center console/arm rest.  Rear seat leg room is good, excellent for a compact car, thanks to the 1.0-inch increase in wheelbase in the redesigned Impreza.. Also, the rear seats are comfortable. While the rear floor is flat, center seat foot room is compromised by an extension to the center console. Subaru is all about a lot of glass, so rear seat visibility is very good. Quite often, rear seat passengers can get claustrophobic, but a good amount of glass can ease those fears. 

All in all, though, the Subaru Impreza is a very good compact car in a crowded market segment.

(c) 2017 The Auto Page Syndicate

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