2017 Subaru Impreza: Monthly Update for May 2017
by Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Not everyone on the Edmunds team has had a chance to sit behind the wheel of our newish long-term 2017 Subaru Impreza, yours truly included, but the overall sentiment continues to be favorable. Solid build quality and a nicely executed infotainment system are the predominant observations. What hasn't impressed us about this Impreza? There are a few surprises in the comments below, but mainly it's fuel economy.
Road Test Editor Calvin Kim logged some solid highway miles driving from our offices in Santa Monica to Flagstaff, Arizona. Despite traveling nearly 1,000 miles on the highway, our fuel economy average didn't improve. Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya was able to utilize the Subie's rear seat to safely transport a 10-year-old 40-inch Samsung flatscreen across the city of L.A. Of note, Ron says anything bigger likely wouldn't have fit, especially if you stand the television up as the manufacturer recommends.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The Impreza's fuel economy numbers last month failed to impress at an average of 26.3 mpg, and they seem to be moving in the wrong direction despite logging some decent highway-heavy tanks. Our most efficient month occurred in March, when most of the Impreza's break-in miles were performed and we had an rpm limit.
Average lifetime mpg: 25.6
EPA mpg rating: 32 combined (28 city/38 highway)
Best fill mpg: 32.6
Best range: 364.1 miles
Current odometer: 4,107 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I like the Impreza's touchscreen interface. The graphics are colorful and crisp like a smartphone, and response times seem quick. Better than our departed long-term Civic's touchscreen? I'd say it's not even close. Subaru takes this round in a landslide." — Josh Sadlier, senior manager of content strategy
"I managed to find the setting for how aggressively our Impreza's adaptive cruise control will accelerate, and switched it to 'Dynamic' from 'Standard.' I'm pretty sure the car went full throttle whenever a space opened up. Not that full throttle is overly impressive in this car. I guess it's nice to have that setting, but in slow-n-go traffic it was way too aggressive." — Will Kaufman, associate automotive editor
"It's a little thing but I like the top infotainment screen that's atop the dash. It's perfect for a quick glance of what's up, i.e., time, temperature and satellite radio station. Sort of like the Apple Watch to the iPhone. Another thoughtful design is that the screen is recessed and shaded by a hood so you can always see it even at high noon. Plus it won't suffer that 'screen too hot' issue that cars like our Mazda MX-5 did." — Caroline Pardilla, copy editor
"I was a bit skeptical of the dual screen display in the 2017 Subaru Impreza at first. This setup has never really worked well for me in Hondas, Acuras and Infinitis. But the Impreza's implementation is different. Rather than split your gaze vertically, to illustrate different pieces of information, like the other systems, Subaru opted for the top screen to function more like a secondary information display. It offers information like fuel economy, audio information, weather, compass and additional gauges, not unlike what you'd see in the center cluster in other cars. I prefer to keep the top screen for audio information, as it tells me what track is playing, while I use the center screen for navigation." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice Editor
"Android Auto is still a relatively new feature for both cars and phones, so there are bound to be bugs, but our Impreza has given me more consistent issues than any other car I've driven. Sometimes, Android Auto just fails to connect, and there's no way to force it to work. Manually launching the app, unplugging and replugging the phone, restarting the phone, restarting the car ... unplugging the phone, restarting both it and the car, and then plugging the phone back in.... The only cure seems to be patience. After a while, it starts working again. It's a frustrating issue, especially during my morning commute when I rely on Google Maps to tell me if there are major traffic issues I need to avoid." — Will Kaufman
"It's my first time in this new Subaru, and the interior quality has taken a palpable step up since the last one. And the driving position is easy to set to my liking thanks to a generous range of telescopic adjustment in the steering column." — Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing
"Interesting choice by Subaru on the level of steering effort here. It's unusually high at low speeds and takes a little more muscle to maneuver the car than you'd think. I don't mind it myself as it arguably imparts a sportier, more connected feel. But shoppers looking for fingertip-light power assist may well be disappointed." — Josh Sadlier
"I'm a fan of the Impreza's steering wheel buttons. The volume lever in particular juts out like a light switch, which makes it easy to locate and operate. It worked so well that I preferred it to the actual volume knob on the dash, which traditionally has been my 'crank it up' method of choice." — Ron Montoya
"Certain freeway surfaces or circumstances trigger a surprisingly persistent low-pitched thrum from somewhere low in the car, such as the tires. Not what I would have expected, as these are roads I generally don't characterize as noisy. I'll need to spend more time in this car at a wider range of speeds to get to the bottom of it." — Dan Edmunds
"This horn is from 1982. It's from a 1982 Subaru GL. There's no other way to explain it." — Kurt Niebuhr, photo editor
"Let's talk about the Impreza's keyfob. Of course this little nit is inconsequential to someone who owns this car, but at first glance it seems there's no way to unlock the doors. However, if you look closely (and have great eyesight) you'd see that teeny-tiny unlock symbol to the right of the Subaru logo. Kind of like they realized people wouldn't guess where the unlock button was otherwise and squeezed the symbol in there." — Caroline Pardilla