The Subaru Impreza gets a makeover for the 2017 model year. It’s the cheapest car available in the U.S. with standard all-wheel-drive, and also delivers a spacious interior and many features for the money.
The five-passenger Impreza is available as a sedan or hatchback in 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Sport and 2.0i Limited trims. Starting prices range from $18,395 to $24,595. Hatchbacks cost $500 more than the sedans.
The Impreza is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a CVT is available.
No, it’s not exactly thrilling to drive but it handles most driving situations pretty well and will reliably get you from point A to point B. It can feel pokey if you need to accelerate quickly or when merging into freeway traffic, especially when going uphill. The ride is smooth, for the most part, but you will notice bumps and rough pavement. The Impreza feels planted when cornering. Visibility is good all the way around.
Fuel efficiency is pretty good for a small car with AWD. EPA mileage estimates for my tester are 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with a combined rating of 30 mpg. I got 28 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior looks better than what’s in the outgoing model but it’s still rather Spartan compared to some competitors. There’s a ton of plastic, many of it hard to the touch. Cloth seats are standard. The good news is the interior is quite spacious for a compact car with decent leg- and headroom in both rows of seating. Even taller adults will be pretty comfortable in both rows.
The Impreza offers a lot of features that cost quite a bit more or aren’t even offered on some competitors. A rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trim levels. Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technologies are available on all but the base trim and include adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, lane keep assist, blind spot detection with lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert.
The newly redesigned infotainment system is user-friendly with its large graphics and easy to reach. A 6.5-inch screen is standard and an eight-inch screen is available. The touchscreen responds quickly. Kudos to Subaru for providing knobs and buttons to adjust audio and climate settings so you don’t have to go through menus on the touchscreen.
The hatchback has 20.8 cubic feet of storage behind the back seats and 55.3 cubes with the rear seats folded. That’s pretty good for a small hatchback and even rivals some small crossovers. The cargo opening is pretty wide, making it easy to load larger items. The sedan version has 12.3 cubic feet of room in the trunk.
Cheapest car to come standard with AWD
Fuel efficiency is pretty good for a small car with AWD
Roomy and comfortable cabin
User-friendly infotainment system
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard on all trims
Lots of driver assistance technologies are available
Hatchback in particular has lots of cargo room
So-so driving dynamics
Interior looks kinda cheap with lots of plastics
My tester starts at $22,495. The Lineartronic CVT is $800. The Subaru EyeSight driver technologies system, moonroof and harman/kardon audio are $2,945. Destination fee is $820 bringing the grand total to $27,060.
The Subaru Impreza offers standard AWD, a spacious interior and lots of available features with a relatively low starting price. Basically you get all the features you’d want in a small crossover or SUV but with better fuel efficiency and at a price that won’t break the bank.