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Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept Previews Next-Gen Compact in L.A.

Uses more aggressive, "Prominence 2020" design language.

Hoping to continue the sales tear it is enjoying in the U.S. and other markets, Subaru unveiled its Impreza sedan concept at the Los Angeles auto show, showing a pretty slick, contoured design for the compact four-door.

The Subaru Impreza Sedan concept’s design scheme, part of a plan and vision the company is calling “Prominence 2020,” indicates that Subaru is trying to ditch some of its Birkenstock-on-wheels image without losing the reliable, trusted image to which its customers have long been attracted.

We’ll see in the future how close the production 2017 Subaru Impreza adheres to the concept, but it’s not typical of Subaru these days to head-fake too much with concepts previewing its bread-and-butter cars. The first things we notice, compared with the current Impreza, are the raised rear haunches. Then there’s the character line that extends from the front fender to the door panels and rear shoulder. The C-pillar is much more angular than the current model, and the tail lamps look vaguely aviation-like.

The wheel wells flare a bit more than the current model, as Subaru looks to accent its all-wheel-drive, go-anywhere credentials in all of its vehicles—even its lowest-priced offering.

The Subaru Impreza Sedan concept’s wheelbase grows an inch from the current model, to 105.1 inches. It gains less than an inch of height at 58 inches. Overall length is actually shorter, going from 181 inches down to 179.3 inches, but the concept is noticeably wider than the outgoing Impreza. Pretty soon, even compact cars are going to have a hard time fitting in between the lines of out–of-date parking lot spaces.

Like the current Subaru Impreza, this platform and styling language will have to be interpreted for the all-important hatchback, WRX and Crosstrek variants. Unfortunately, no powertrain or performance info is being offered yet. But we’ll stay tuned, as the production 2017 Subaru Impreza should debut sometime next year.

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2017 Subaru Impreza

2017 Subaru Impreza

MSRP $24,095 2.0i Limited w/PZEV Sedan

EPA MPG:

24 City / 32 Hwy

Safety (IIHS):

Best Pick

Horse Power:

152 @ 6000