2017 Subaru Impreza: Monthly Update for July 2017
by Will Kaufman, Associate Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
This July, our 2017 Subaru Impreza made the trip out to our Fresno branch office where it spent most of the month with Senior Editor Brent Romans handling both long and short commutes. So if you've ever wondered what Senior Editor Brent Romans thinks about our Impreza, you're in luck.
The Subaru continues to have its ups and downs, remaining likable if imperfect. Keep reading to find out what Senior Editor Brent Romans liked and what he thinks needs improvement.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Fuel economy for the blue Subie continues to disappoint. We put almost 1,500 miles on the "Blubie" in July, many of those on the freeway. In spite of those extended freeway stints, we failed to set a new tank record; our best fill in July was only 32 mpg. All those freeway miles marginally increased our lifetime fuel average to 25.8 mpg. Those numbers fall substantially short of the EPA estimated 32 mpg combined (28 city/38 highway).
Average lifetime mpg: 25.8
EPA mpg rating: 32 combined (28 city/38 highway)
Best fill mpg: 32.6
Best range: 364.1 miles
Current odometer: 6,845 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"We've had very little to say about our Impreza's engine and CVT that's positive in the last few months. I'm keeping that streak going in July, unfortunately. There's some odd low-speed hesitation going here. In heavy traffic situations, say when you might be frequently getting on and off the gas at around 20-30 mph, the Impreza can stumble or hesitate for a moment when you get back on the gas.
"Around that same speed, I've also noticed a lack of smoothness when slowing down with the brakes, as if the CVT is disengaged, eliminating the otherwise expected engine braking effect. Both of these issues seem more prominent when first starting up." — Brent Romans, senior editor
"I dig the way our Impreza takes a set around turns. Interestingly, though, it's not a quality that's immediately apparent. Unlike, say, the Mazda 3, the steering is a bit heavy and not particularly quick. It doesn't encourage you to drive with enthusiasm, at least initially. But grab the Impreza by the proverbial scruff of the neck and turn in with authority. It rewards you with impressive stability and balance, and the all-wheel-drive system allows you to feed in some gas without losing traction. It's a fun car to drive around turns once you're familiar with it. In fact, it's my favorite quality about our long-termer right now." — Brent Romans
"I'm thinking the rear shocks are a little on the soft side. Going over a speed hump at 15 miles an hour, there's so much travel in the rear that I think I'm hearing the trunk floor/spare tire cover lift up and then thump back down. Otherwise, the ride in the 'Blubaru' is pretty good around town and on the highway." — Kurt Niebuhr, photo editor
"I've driven our Impreza about 800 miles in the past week, and much of that was on the highway. Overall, it's decently comfortable for long drives. Wind noise isn't very noticeable, but there is a fair amount of tire noise, particularly on concrete roadways. The ride is choppy on rough pavement. As for the driver's seat, I've been comfortable enough for four or five hours of driving. But I could see where others won't be. My co-worker Cameron, for instance, told me how he dislikes the forward-canted head restraint, cramped footwell next to the gas pedal, and lack of a tilt function for the power seat base. It's a deal breaker for him. I can see his point." — Brent Romans
"I like the layout and look of the Impreza's interior. The physical shortcut buttons below the touchscreen are useful, as are the audio volume and selection/tuning knobs. They combine nicely with the other functions available through the touchscreen. The three-knob automatic climate control system is easy to set and use, too. Visually, there's just enough metallic accents to break up the monotone black plastic. The stitched seam along the passenger side of the dashboard is kind of cool, too." — Brent Romans
"Sightlines in the Impreza are very good. It's an easy car to see out of. The nose of the Impreza is visible from the driver's seat, which helps make parking easier. I also like the door-mounted side mirrors that free up some extra visibility to the side, the relatively thin roof pillars and the clear view out the back." — Brent Romans
"I like the view provided by the rearview camera and 8-inch touchscreen. It's easy to see what's behind you thanks to the crisp graphics. Our Impreza's rear cross-traffic alert system and dynamic guidelines (they bend when you turn the wheel to show your route) are useful in parking lots, too." — Brent Romans
"This has to be the buggiest infotainment system I've seen in years. While using Android Auto, something went wrong and the volume control got stuck on navigation volume, and the stereo output was only coming from the rear-seat speakers. So I couldn't adjust the music volume, and the sound was tinny and awful.
"I tried unplugging my phone and plugging it back in, switching audio sources, playing with the audio settings, turning the head unit on and off. Nothing worked. Finally, I put a new route into my phone's nav, and when the voice guidance went off it returned the system to normal.
"I guess it's nice to see a new car with some quirks in its personality?" — Will Kaufman, associate automotive editor