The Subaru Impreza has always been a bit of an also-ran in the small car class. Sometimes too sporty, sometimes too bland, it’s struggled to really capture the market like a Toyota Corolla or Mazda 3. In the early 2000’s, Subaru’s rally influence meant that the Impreza was the sportiest small car on the block. However, that sportiness came at the expense of practicality. Then, things flipped: the last-generation Impreza introduced plenty of space but seemingly forgot the sporty touch that buyers loved.
With this all-new fifth-generation Impreza however, Subaru claims that everything is different. The car sits on an all-new platform that will gradually underpin all new Subarus, starting with the new XV small SUV, the North America-only seven-seat Ascent SUV and a new Forester. It has also gained a new engine and what Subaru claims is the best quality interior that they’ve ever made, even better than the fourth-generation Liberty. We spent a week with the all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S hatchback after a week with the Impreza 2.0i-L sedan to see if Subaru’s promises of a much improved small car with identity have come to fruition.
The 2.0i-S hatch variant we reviewed this week sits atop the local Impreza range, and is priced from $29,190 for the sedan – the hatch is $200 more expensive across therange. For the money, the Impreza 2.0i-S is blessed with an extremely long standard equipment list, including leather seats, heated front seats, an electric driver’s seat, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, an eight-inch infotainment system with smartphone mirroring and satellite navigation, an electric sunroof and the full suite of Subaru’s EyeSight active safety systems, including autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality.
All Imprezas come with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, producing 115kW of power and 196Nm of torque, and in Australia at least, is mated only to a CVT automatic transmission. Subaru claims a fuel consumption average of 7.2L/100km and CO2 emissions of 163g/km on this 2.0i-S variant, more than the 6.6L/100km and 152g/km of other 2017 Imprezas due to its larger wheels.
Key specs (as tested)
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