As the core of Subaru’s vehicle line and an icon in its own right, the Impreza plays a key role for the brand. It pulls duty as the workhorse affordable family car but also as the basis for the next WRX and STI. It’s important to get those bones right. Fortunately, Subaru seems to have done just that with the 2017 Impreza.
The new 2017 Subaru Impreza is the first model to be built on Subaru’s new global modular platform. The architecture that underpins its mellow-but-crisp new looks will be shared with everything from the Forester and the Outback, to upcoming hybrids and EVs. That might sound like a recipe for disaster, but in the case of the Impreza, it means buyers will get an entry-priced sedan with the bones of a far more expensive car. That translates to greater rigidity, ride quality, comfort, and performance.
Speaking with Dominick Infante, national manager of product communications for Subaru of the Americas, we learned some of the best new features of the Impreza, as well as what they may portend for the upcoming performance versions of the car.
1. Stiffness. Because of the new global modular architecture, the base Impreza is 70 percent stiffer than the car it replaces. Fans of fast driving know a stiff chassis means the engineers have more leeway to create a suspension that combines compliance with body control, enhancing both road-going comfort and at-the-limit performance. Couple that with the Impreza’s new interpretation of its “Sport” trim line, with 18-inch wheels and tires, a sport-tuned suspension, and torque vectoring tech borrowed from the WRX, and you have a recipe for a car that’s both affordable and fun.
2. Steering. All 2017 Impreza models also get a much quicker steering ratio, brought over from the BRZ sport coupe. Previous Imprezas offered a 16:1 ratio, while the new car’s ratio is a snappy 13:1.
3. Body roll. In part because of the enhanced stiffness of the chassis, but also thanks to the new suspension tune and a lower center of gravity, the new Impreza has 50 percent less body roll than the car it replaces.
4. Direct injection. While the BRZ uses a direct injection system borrowed from Lexus via its partnership with Toyota, the new Impreza gets a lighter, more compact system developed in-house by Subaru that helps achieve that lower center of gravity. It also gives Subaru a point of pride in the joint partnership with Toyota.
5. Technology. The new Impreza will arrive in the U.S. with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as NFC connectivity, in its new infotainment system.
Wrap all of this up in a very affordable price tag and you have an entry-level family sedan that’s absolutely anything but boring.