Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2017 Subaru Impreza. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Interior materials on top trim
  • Ride and handling balance
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Rear legroom and headroom
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • New multimedia system
  • Front and rear visibility

The Bad

  • Cheap interior materials on base and mid-level trims
  • Advanced safety features not available on base model
  • Road noise
  • CVT drone
  • Trunk space
2017 Subaru Impreza exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2017 Subaru Impreza

  • Completely redesigned for 2017
  • Offered as a sedan or hatchback
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • New Sport trim
  • New available safety technology

2017 Subaru Impreza Road Test

Jennifer Geiger
The Verdict:

A redesign for 2017 morphs the Impreza from unlovable underdog to a promising player in the compact class thanks to a slick new multimedia system, composed road manners and an impressive value proposition, though some quirks — like an unrefined powertrain — remain.

Versus The Competition:

Although it’s at times slower and louder than many other compacts, the Impreza still offers something special that they don't: standard all-wheel drive.

The 2017 Impreza is a significant redesign for Subaru. Not only is it the first Impreza built in the U.S. (in Indiana), it's also the first to ride on Subaru's new Global Platform, which will eventually be used throughout the lineup. The new model still comes in sedan and hatchback versions, but both have grown about 1.6 inches longer for 2017.

The Subaru Impreza competes against sedans like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra; compare them here. The hatchback version goes up against hatchback versions of the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic and Mazda3; compare them here.

Subaru says hatchbacks make up 60 percent of Impreza sales. I drove two of them: the mid-level Premium and the top-level Limited trim.

Exterior & Styling

The previous Subaru Impreza's styling emitted an air of economy, but the new model sheds that dullness with a look that's much more upscale and expressive. And though it's not as evocative as the concept version that debuted in 2015, the production model doesn't disappoint.

Its wider, lower stance adds a sporty flair, and several distinctive cues have carried over from the concept, including a strong bodyside character line, muscular wheel arches, a larger grille and hook-like LED headlights. Instead of blending into the class, it holds its own solidly next to the Honda Civic's crisp lines and sharp angles and the Hyundai Elantra's sweeping, classy curves.

How It Drives

The past Impreza underwhelme...

The 2017 Impreza is a significant redesign for Subaru. Not only is it the first Impreza built in the U.S. (in Indiana), it's also the first to ride on Subaru's new Global Platform, which will eventually be used throughout the lineup. The new model still comes in sedan and hatchback versions, but both have grown about 1.6 inches longer for 2017.

The Subaru Impreza competes against sedans like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra; compare them here. The hatchback version goes up against hatchback versions of the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic and Mazda3; compare them here.

Subaru says hatchbacks make up 60 percent of Impreza sales. I drove two of them: the mid-level Premium and the top-level Limited trim.

Exterior & Styling

The previous Subaru Impreza's styling emitted an air of economy, but the new model sheds that dullness with a look that's much more upscale and expressive. And though it's not as evocative as the concept version that debuted in 2015, the production model doesn't disappoint.

Its wider, lower stance adds a sporty flair, and several distinctive cues have carried over from the concept, including a strong bodyside character line, muscular wheel arches, a larger grille and hook-like LED headlights. Instead of blending into the class, it holds its own solidly next to the Honda Civic's crisp lines and sharp angles and the Hyundai Elantra's sweeping, classy curves.

How It Drives

The past Impreza underwhelmed with its loud, plodding powertrain - it was no WRX. The new version is better but still needs work. The revised 2.0-liter flat-four cylinder makes 152 horsepower — up slightly from last year — and 145 pounds-feet of torque, but it's still poky. I drove the new Impreza through the mountains, which only served to highlight its challenges. From a stop, power spools out leisurely, accompanied by the sort of engine drone common to cars with continuously variable automatic transmissions — of which there are several in this class. A five-speed manual is standard on base models; the CVT is standard on all other trims.

On the highway, mid-range power is stronger, with more responsive delivery. At higher speeds, the CVT's simulated stepped gears kick in, making it feel more like a conventional automatic with more oomph (or at least the impression of it) and less drone. Wind noise is well-checked, but road noise is a nuisance.
 

The Impreza's comfort and driving dynamics impress. Bumps are well-damped, and it handles well, with reactive steering, a planted feel at highway speeds and flat cornering. Aside from the CVT drone, it's pleasant on long trips.

All-wheel drive is again standard on both the hatch and the sedan, and mileage is similar to the outgoing model. The five-door hatchback with the CVT is EPA-rated 28/37/31 mpg city/highway/combined, lower fuel economy than the automatic Cruze (29/38/32 mpg), the Civic hatch with a CVT (31/40/34 mpg) and the automatic Mazda3 hatch (28/37/31 mpg). The sedan's fuel economy numbers tell a similar story. With an EPA rating of 28/38/32 mpg, it trails base automatic versions of the Civic sedan and Hyundai Elantra by a couple of mpg, and it nearly matches the Corolla's mileage.

Interior

The Premium model's name is deceiving. It's a step up from the base model but feels very base inside. Hard plastic lines the cabin, though surfaces are padded in key areas, such as the door armrest. What's chintziest is the unconvincing faux metal along the dashboard and plastic that's painted to look like metal near the gear selector. Not fooling anyone.
  
The Limited's cabin, however, befits its spot at the top of the lineup. Its leather seats and surfaces feel high-end, as does the detail stitching on the dash. It still wears faux-metal plastic paneling, but it looks and feels more believable here. Both models have wider, more bolstered seats than the outgoing car, and they provide long-drive comfort.

In the backseat, legroom has increased a bit in both the sedan and the hatchback, and I found the backseat roomy except for the middle spot. A narrow seat and large floor hump make it usable only for short trips. By the numbers, both the sedan and hatchback are mid-pack when it comes to rear headroom and legroom.

Cargo & Storage

There isn't a ton of storage space for small items in the cabin, but the center console is deep and has three charging ports for devices. Behind the seats, the hatchback offers 20.8 cubic feet of space, a bit less than last year. It's slightly more than the Mazda3 hatch but less than the Civic and Cruze hatchbacks. The sedan also offers more trunk space than last year, with 12.3 cubic feet — still less than sedans like the Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra. Both body styles' cargo areas have a wide mouth for easy loading and seats that easily fold nearly flat for more cargo space.

Ergonomics & Electronics

The new Subaru Impreza is the first vehicle to use Subaru's next-generation multimedia system. All trim levels offer a standard touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; I tested the 6.5-inch screen in the Premium and the 8-inch unit in the Limited. Both are straightforward, with a logical menu structure, clear home button, and large tuning and volume knobs. It looks fresh, too, with crisp resolution and modern-looking graphics.

Safety

The 2017 Subaru Impreza earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top score. Subaru says the Impreza's collision energy absorption rate is 40 percent better than the old model's, which also got top safety scores from IIHS and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A backup camera is standard. In terms of active safety features, the Impreza is among the more advanced cars in the compact lineup thanks to an optional EyeSight collision avoidance system that's available on all models except the base version. Newly available safety features include a cruise control that is adaptive, lane-keeping assist, backup automatic braking system and steering-responsive headlights that swivel as the car turns. An automatic high-beam system joins EyeSight on Limited models; the system automatically turns the high beams on and off based on driving conditions. Subaru's subscription-based Starlink Safety and Connected Services system returns, as well.

Value in Its Class

Value is often a high priority for compact-car shoppers, and the Subaru Impreza delivers big there. Prices are up only slightly this year; the hatchback starts at $19,715 (all prices include destination). Similar body-type competitors such as the Mazda3 hatchback ($19,930), Honda Civic hatchback ($20,535) and Chevrolet Cruze hatch ($22,115) start higher and don't offer all-wheel drive even as an option. The sedan's value is also strong. With a base price of $19,215, it's a bit less expensive than the base Civic and Corolla sedans, but costs about $1,000 more than a base Elantra.


With this redesign, Subaru now has an underdog worth cheering for. The new Subaru Impreza has its quirks, but so did baseball's ultimate underdog, the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.


2017 Impreza Video

The redesigned 2017 Subaru Impreza made its debut this week at the New York Auto Show with fresh styling, updated technology and a new trim level that should be both more luxurious and more fun to drive.

Latest 2017 Impreza Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Good safety features

by Dolphin from Santa Monica, CA on May 3, 2018

The Impreza station wagon is comfortable and easy to drive, but the most valuable aspect of this car is the safety features. The backup camera is super good and the blind spot beep and blinking light ... Read full review

(5.0)

Beautiful in every way.

by Rkmetz9530 from TOMS RIVER on May 3, 2018

Perfect in comfort, design, handling, affordable maintenance and style. Hate to have to sell. Georgous ice blue in sun and steel when cloudy. Awesome car...buy it ! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 Subaru Impreza currently has 2 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
good

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Headlights
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
good
Restraints and dummy kinematics
good
Small overlap front
good
Structure and safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Subaru

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance and Carfax vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    Powertrain: 7 years/100,000 miles from original date of first use. Roadside assistance: 1 year from date of purchase
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 85,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 152 point inspection and reconditioning.

Change Year or Vehicle

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Impreza received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

N/A

Latch or Latch system

A

Infant seat

A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A

Booster

(second row)

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker