2017 Subaru Impreza Review
Pros & Cons
- Quiet, comfortable and roomy cabin for a compact car
- Standard all-wheel drive delivers secure handling and wet-weather traction
- Long list of available safety features
- Slow acceleration even with the new, more powerful engine
- Transmission is loud under heavy loads
- Lower-quality interior materials than those of some rivals
List Price Range
$12,999 - $17,999
Used Impreza for SaleSee all for sale
Which Impreza does Edmunds recommend?
With a good combination of available features and a low price point, we recommend the Impreza wagon in Premium trim. It comes with tech features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto just like the base model, but it also adds Subaru's Starlink services and standard roof rails. The Premium is also available with safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Aside from poor acceleration, the new Impreza performs well. Handling is confident and flat without much body roll. It has responsive brakes, and the steering is quick even in base (i.e., not Sport) trim levels.
A relatively quiet and smooth ride (especially on the Premium's 16-inch wheels and tires) makes the Impreza a breeze to drive on the highway. The seats are comfortable and well bolstered, but they are a bit firm for long road trips.
The new Impreza's interior is a big leap forward for Subaru, but it's still not as nice as the Honda Civic or Mazda 3. Those two vehicles sit right at the head of the class and edge the Impreza out in most categories.
Of the two available Imprezas (sedan and hatchback), we'd definitely go with the hatch. The sedan we tested has merely average trunk space, but child seat accommodation is excellent.
Tech is much improved with an all-new touchscreen interface as well as the addition of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as standard. Our preproduction test car had some issues with Apple CarPlay, but otherwise the base touchscreen is easy to operate and responds quickly to inputs.
|Overall||3.5 / 5|
Most helpful consumer reviews
2.0i Sport 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
After owning Hondas, Toyotas and a Nissan, we test drove this vehicle on a whim. We were trying to replace a Nissan Versa that was extremely gas friendly, but not great on the interstate. We test drove the Corolla, Mazda 3, and Impreza back to back. The CVT transmission was surprisingly responsive and didn't cause the engine to produce the horrible whining noise I have heard in other cars. The handling was also fantastic. Between the AWD and the boxer engine, the car just sits on the road. The overall experience was very engaging. I don't know if I will ever be able to go back to Toyota and Honda. From the Subaru dealership to the car itself, I was blown away. We are now six months into our Subaru ownership and agree that we will never buy the first generation of a Subura ever again. We continually experience issues with our speaker system including: * Our back speaker was making a crackling noise and after a few weeks of ordering new parts they found it was actually the amp. * Whenever we ignore a call through the audio system, the interface goes silent and we cannot listen to any phone calls/radio stations/etc. There is no easy way to fix the issue. Even after turning off the car and turning it back on, it is still frozen. * Sometimes we experience an issue where our volume will freeze and you are unable to turn it up or down.
2.0i Limited 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
Serious problems with the electronics system. When we bought this car, we loved it, but recurring problems with the electronics system have made it a source of stress. When we bought the car about a year ago, we had no problems for the first three or four months. Then the radio kept cutting in and out, and the presets kept disappearing. In spring 2017 we took the car to the dealer, but they couldn't find the problem. About a month later we took the car in for its six-month service, and told them we were still having problems with the radio. Again, the dealer was unable to diagnose the problem. About a month later, we took the car in for ongoing problems with the Starlink system, Android Auto, and the radio. The dealer said that because this was the third time we'd taken the car in for a recurring problem, they would contact Subaru of America. At that point the Starlink warning light kept coming on. Later that month we took the car back in because of these ongoing electronics problems. The dealer gave us a loaner. Our car was in the shop for three weeks, during which time the dealer replaced the head unit. In late 2017 the electronics problems resumed intermittently. The problems seemed to occur when the temperature got below freezing. In January we took the car in for routine servicing and mentioned the latest electronics problems, and we were told that a new software update should take care of those problems. We're keeping our fingers crossed. To Subaru's credit, the company has given us an extended warranty (seven years or 100,000 miles, $0 deductible Gold Plus Subaru Added Security Plan) because of all the electronics problems we've had with this car. We are considering replacing an 11-year-old car and are in a quandary as to whether to consider a Subaru. One reason we bought the Impreza is because of Subaru's previously good reputation for reliability. But because of our experience with the electronics system and the weak acceleration, we're considering manufacturers other than Subaru.
2.0i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
We purchased a new red 2017 basic Impreza on Valentine's Day. After two years, wheel bearing failures make this a bad purchase and risk into the future. Even a CV joint failed due to a ckamp failure. Best to avoid this car... History follows below. Our car needed an alignment in the first 100 miles--when aligned it drives very well. Dealer was embarrassed and very apologetic. I recommend requiring your dealer to align any new car your purchase, regardless of brand. And any dealer would sell tons more vehicles if they aligned every vehicle as it came off the truck. There is nothing as sweet as a car that tracks right and hugs the road. The backup screen froze at 120 miles but Subaru had a full-blown recall on the basic head unit ready just five days from the incident. Remember this is a brand new design throughout the vehicle, so glitches happen. I was called within hours of the local dealer receiving the recall and they had the revised software installed minutes after I brought it in that evening. We have not seen any sign of the problem since. Negatives: -Unreliable wheel bearings. -Poor quality CV boot clamps -Poor quality oil pan drain plug bolt. -No place to put change for tolls. -Lack of a CD player--they are hardly no longer in use. CPAs, attorneys, use them. Libraries use them for talking books. -The rear deck is rather high, so visibility out the back is not very good. Of course the camera makes up for that a lot. -Power steering is slow to respond, much like a very large (think Cadillac) car might. If you are a jittery driver like me, this can make the car feel unresponsive until you get used to it. I would suggest this be adjustable through software, or that it be set a little bit faster for all vehicles. I will try to keep this updated if anything else shows up. 9/2019. After 30000 miles, dealer replaced the right rear wheel bearing under warranty. 9/2019. If you change your own oil, two things are odd. One is it is a very low car, so you will find it harder to drain the oil. Two is the drain plug is short with less to grab onto, and made of softer than normal steel. It is easy to round off. Use a six point socket with very little radius at its rim, and firmly press onto the bolt when turning. Use a washer, and do not overtighten. Mine came overtightened from the factory, and I ruined it trying to get it off. Dealer replaced it for free. 1/20/2020. Took in for recalls for faulty rubber brake lines and pcv valve, which were replaced at no charge by dealer. Right front CV shaft was replaced at no charge for boot failure. 6/2019. Damaged a tire. Replaced all 4 at 38000. 11/2019 Replaced rear brake pads with ceramic pads due to squeaking pads. Possibly related to earlier bearing issue. Pads did not appear worn oddly or excessively. 9/2019 We got 43 MPG US on a 600 mile trip at 65 to 70 mph. Very happy! 7/9/2020 Replaced second wheel bearing at 40200 miles, on left front. Car has had 2 wheel bearings and one CV shaft replaced in 40k miles. Very unreliable. Poor engineering.
2.0i Sport 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
My wife and I were both civic owners for 13+ years each. She got a Crosstrek a few years back, which has been really good to us so far. So when my civic started overstaying its welcome I decided to include subaru in my search. Also test drove a honda civic and toyota corolla. While the Subaru does't exactly have the most potent acceleration- slowest of this group - it is the most fun to drive, in my opinion. The sport trim has a differently-tuned suspension and a tighter steering ratio. Combine these features with the all wheel drive and what you get is a car that you just want to drive. Subaru also got their act together with the interior. The visibility on the subaru is great (corolla is good too). However, the civic's rear visibility was lacking because of the car's aggressively sloped rear end. Plus, the subaru just feels way more solidly built than the corolla or civic.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Impreza models:
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Gives an audible warning when vehicles are approaching from the side, such as when backing out of a parking space.
- Subaru EyeSight
- A package of safety equipment that includes features such as adaptive cruise control, emergency braking and lane keeping assist.
- Subaru Starlink
- Optional emergency roadside assistance, automatic collision notification and stolen-vehicle recovery service.