2017 Subaru Impreza: Monthly Update for September 2017
by Rex Tokeshi-Torres, Vehicle Testing Technician
Where Did We Drive It?
What happens when you use our 2017 Subaru Impreza as a commute vehicle numerous times at the height of Los Angeles gridlock? Your mpg continues to drop and you get to know the vehicle really well, both the good and bad. Road Test Editor Calvin Kim alluded to the "wonky infotainment system" last month, and Senior Writer Carlos Lago and I can further attest to the wonkiness with said system using our Google Pixel phones.
Infotainment system aside, the Impreza impressed others in many ways. One of our freelance contributors, who owns a previous-generation Impreza, noted the improvement in the current car's interior quality. He was also happy with more interior room, a larger infotainment display, and the better leather and soft-touch materials used throughout.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The use of our Impreza dropped slightly in September, logging only 1,300 miles on the odometer. Since it was primarily used as a commute warrior, our lifetime mpg took a hit by 0.3 mpg, dropping it to 25.3 mpg. The best mpg we could muster for September was a measly 24.2 mpg, which falls well short of even the EPA's city rating. The month's average was 23.2 mpg, while the best range we eked out was only 246.6 miles.
Average lifetime mpg: 25.3 mpg
EPA mpg rating: 32 mpg combined (28 city/38 highway)
Best fill mpg: 32.6 mpg
Best range: 364.1 miles
Current odometer: 9,700 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Subaru's adaptive cruise control system is pretty trick, though it has a somewhat small window of effectiveness. In my experience, it's best when freeway traffic moves at a consistent pace, and during the 0-10-mph, bumper-to-bumper city traffic that often clogs my commute. In these situations, it maintains a comfortable following distance but not so much that other drivers will easily fit in between. I like that you can adjust the aggressiveness of the acceleration; the engine's pretty pokey, so it needs more gas than the default setting delivers. You can also just hit the gas to keep pace with traffic and then release to let the cruise control take over.
"On the downside, the system waits a little too long to apply the brakes when you're approaching stopped traffic ahead, as if it's not scanning far enough ahead. I also don't like that the system deactivates if you stop for more than five or 10 seconds, as I often do in stop-and-go traffic. Other adaptive cruise systems have no problem resuming acceleration after a brief stop. Why can't the Impreza's?" — Carlos Lago, senior writer
"I echo Jonathan's complaint about the backwards cruise control adjustment. Tapping the rocker changes the target speed in 5-mph increments, while holding it up or down adjusts in 1-mph increments. I'd rather have it the other way around, so you can make quick, minor adjustments with a few taps, instead of big, 5-mph changes. It's a minor annoyance, sure."
— Carlos Lago
"The Impreza has been super comfortable during my two-hour commute. It's only 30 miles, but being in this thing really eases the usual tension. I will say that when I spot open [traffic] pockets, I wish it had more power. Then again, they have a WRX for that." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician
"Noticed a bit of wear on the Impreza's inner side roof pillar. Looks like it's from the metal part of the seat belt repeatedly banging against it. You'd figure an automaker would expect serious wear here, considering how people let seat belts fly after undoing them." — Carlos Lago
"From the rally cars in the '90s to the HyperBlue and Series.Blue special editions of the BRZ and WRX, I've come to know Subaru as a brand that gets pretty adventurous with its blues. As for the Island Blue Pearl on our Impreza? That might be a little too adventurous, but it sure makes our sedan pop out in traffic and super easy to spot in a parking lot. I can accept the color, but I have a harder time with the chrome trim surrounding the windows and on the door handles that comes standard on Limited trim levels. Any enterprising Impreza owners with black door handles want to trade?" — Carlos Lago
"That Android Auto startup issue I experienced seems to be related specifically to the Bluetooth connection. I leave Bluetooth off to conserve battery life, and normally when I plug my phone into a car with Android Auto, it automatically activates and pairs Bluetooth as part of its startup process. The Impreza doesn't do this process so easily. It activates Bluetooth, pairs, and displays the Android Auto button on the infotainment screen, but pressing it does nothing. The only way I've been able to get Android Auto to boot without issue is to activate Bluetooth and wait for it to pair before plugging in my phone. A minor annoyance, and I wonder if anyone has had similar issues with Android or iOS phones." — Carlos Lago
"Carlos and I have experienced similar issues connecting our Google Pixels and using Android Auto on the infotainment system. When we plug in our phones immediately after starting the car, Android Auto doesn't start. The button appears on the display, but tapping it does nothing. However, after unplugging and plugging the cable in again, it works just fine. If we wait 10 or 15 seconds after starting the car, Android Auto works as intended. Otherwise, everything else is flawless." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres