2017 Subaru Impreza

2017 Subaru Impreza Review

The 2017 Subaru Impreza gets a roomier interior, more power and several new safety features.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor
Completely redesigned for 2017, the Subaru Impreza is available as a compact sedan or hatchback. Known in the past for its roomy interior, Subaru has moved the wheels even farther apart to open up additional space in the cabin. The interior has also been upgraded with better materials, more modern technology and several useful safety features. Along with fresh exterior styling and additional power for the four-cylinder engine, this Impreza is well positioned in this competitive segment. Even with all its upgrades, though, the Impreza still has a few key faults. Even with the addition of extra power for 2017, the standard four-cylinder engine is underpowered. The quality of the interior materials isn't quite at the top of the class either. The optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) can be a little loud at times as well, but none of these shortcomings is enough to cross it off your list.


what's new

The 2017 Subaru Impreza is completely redesigned and built on an all-new platform. It's wider, longer and lower, and it features a fresh new look. Other highlights include a roomier interior, a more powerful engine, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a suite of new safety features.

we 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.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Subaru Impreza is available as a four-door sedan or a hatchback. It comes in 2.0i base, Premium, Sport and Limited trim levels. The base trim level has enough equipment to be considered more than just basic transport, but the Premium, Sport and Limited models really step up the game for Subaru.

The Premium has a few basic tech items, while the Sport is the driving enthusiast's choice. The Limited trim level is loaded with almost every feature as standard. New options for the Impreza include an optional Harman Kardon sound system, adaptive cruise control and reverse automatic braking.

The base 2.0i comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (152 horsepower, 145 pound-feet), a five-speed manual transmission (a continuously variable transmission is optional), cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power windows, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The base-level touchscreen and Android/Apple integration are both new to the Impreza this year and bring it more in line with competitors.

A model you're more likely to see on dealer lots, the Premium trim is a bit better equipped than the standard 2.0i base. It gets the CVT as standard, plus 16-inch alloy wheels, Subaru Starlink services, heated front seats, windshield and exterior mirrors, and automatic headlights. Premium Impreza hatchbacks also feature standard roof rails. At the Premium level, there are also a few more available options including a power sunroof, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and steering-responsive foglights.

For drivers who want a more exciting version of the Impreza, there's the Sport. It builds on the Premium trim and adds 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, unique suspension tuning, keyless entry and ignition, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a Harman Kardon audio system, unique interior and exterior trim, and active torque vectoring for improved traction. Also notable for the Sport is the availability of a five-speed manual transmission if you prefer to do the shifting yourself.

At the top of the Impreza range, there's the Limited model. It gets most of the Sport trim's tech equipment (the Harman Kardon system becomes optional) and also gets 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat and automatic climate control system.

Options for the Limited include a Harman Kardon premium audio system, automatic high beams, navigation and Subaru's EyeSight system (adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert and lane keeping assist). Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and reverse automatic braking are also available.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2017 Subaru Impreza Premium (2.0L 4-cyl.; CVT).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration2.5 / 5.0
Braking4.0 / 5.0
Steering3.5 / 5.0
Handling4.0 / 5.0
Drivability3.0 / 5.0

Comfort

3.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0
Climate control3.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5.0
Driving position4.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.5 / 5.0
Visibility4.5 / 5.0
Quality3.0 / 5.0

Utility

3.0 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0
Cargo space3.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
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.

acceleration

edmunds rating
We haven't been able to do an instrumented test with the new Impreza yet, but what we've experienced on-road isn't promising. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine only gets 4 additional horsepower, and it just isn't enough to make it feel quick.

braking

edmunds rating
Brake performance is strong, especially around town. You get lots of pedal pressure up high in the travel, and the brakes inspire confidence when you're driving fast on a back-mountain road.

steering

edmunds rating
The steering is quick and responsive and doesn't require much effort. There isn't a very direct connection between the steering wheel and the tires, but for most shoppers, the overall feel is just right for most types of driving.

handling

edmunds rating
Handling is a strong point for this Impreza regardless of trim. Even in the Premium model, it corners flat and doesn't push wide in corners.

drivability

edmunds rating
Between the lack of engine power and the lazy feel of the continuously variable transmission, the Impreza doesn't comes across as particularly quick or responsive around town.

comfort

edmunds rating
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.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The base cloth seats are comfortable, well bolstered and filled with a good amount of seat foam. They're a bit firm, though, and can get tiring after a few hours.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
Ride comfort is especially good with the wheels and tires that come on the base and Premium trim levels.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
Wind noise is very minimal on the highway. Road noise is a bit more pronounced, however, even with the base tires. There is a pronounced whining from the engine under full throttle, but there's also a nice rumble as it moves up to higher engine speeds.

climate control

edmunds rating
The knobs are large, legible, tactile and easy to use, with a quiet fan (even on full blast). On the downside, the vents are right next to the steering wheel, so your hands easily block the airflow.

interior

edmunds rating
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.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The radio controls, touchscreen interface and climate control knobs are generally easy to read and use. Most controls are well laid out too.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The seats are mounted high enough that sliding in and out isn't a problem for most average-height adults. Also, the Impreza's roof, while lower than the outgoing model's, is still high enough that you don't have to duck your head too much to get in.

driving position

edmunds rating
The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel allows for a lot of adjustment, and the seats are adjustable four ways, so there's plenty of wiggle room to get a good fit.

roominess

edmunds rating
Massive amounts of headroom, along with tons of front and rear legroom. Even when you've got one 6-foot adult sitting behind another, there's space to spare. This Impreza is bigger than ever before, and it's noticeable on the inside.

visibility

edmunds rating
Forward visibility is great thanks to a big windshield, thin windshield pillars and small sectional windows near the windshield. A big rear window in both the sedan and the hatchback makes for excellent rear visibility as well.

quality

edmunds rating
While the interior of this redesigned Impreza is a big improvement, it still isn't a class leader, especially not on lower trim levels.

utility

edmunds rating
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.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
Small item storage is good but limited compared to similar storage in class leaders such as the Civic. The center storage console and door pockets aren't as deep or long as we'd like. There are several cupholders, though, all capable of holding a standard water bottle or soda can.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Access to the trunk is much wider this year (4 inches wider on the hatchback, 5 inches wider on the sedan), but the trunk still offers only 12.4 cubic feet of storage. That's less than in the Mazda 3, Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra. If you want a utilitarian Impreza, go for the hatchback.

child safety seat accomodation

edmunds rating
Car seat accommodation is as excellent as it ever was in the Impreza. There's easy access to rear latches through Velcro straps, and there are three anchor points behind the rear seats. There's plenty of space for a big rear-facing seat, too.

technology

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.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.