Lifestyle

Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S Hatch road test and review

WELL-OPTIONED Subaru's Impreza in higher specification 2.0i-S guise features excellent cabin features and cutting edge safety to go with a quality chassis.
WELL-OPTIONED Subaru's Impreza in higher specification 2.0i-S guise features excellent cabin features and cutting edge safety to go with a quality chassis.

SUBARU Impreza owners are a loyal lot, and the model's just-released fifth generation is giving them plenty of reasons to upgrade.  

And many have already.  

Subaru pre-sold 700 Imprezas ahead of its launch, the buyers enamoured by the same all-wheel-drive security, 2.0-litre boxer engine and reputation for reliability.  

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S

But the new model - available as a hatch or sedan - offers plenty more.   

An all-new platform to increase driver reward, crash protection and efficiency, a leap ahead in cabin design and finish, plus the brand's comprehensive EyeSight active safety system, using a high-res camera to prevent accidents, are key upgrades.  

Prices start at a sharp $22,400 and there are four grades to choose from.   

I tested the top-spec 2.0i-S, and when eyeing the specification list, it offers comprehensive inclusions for around $30,000.   

Comfort

Subaru has really upped its game with the new Impreza's cabin.   

Typically not renowned for much jazz or style inside, the new model embraces simplicity and elegance with solid feeling switchgear and a sea of soft touch plastics.  

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S

As this is the top grade you settle into leather heated power seats - they're firm but remained comfortable on our lengthy test drive - and sporty alloy pedals.  

You score plenty of screens too.   

An 8-inch touch-screeen controls your navigation and excellent Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity, while a high-mounted second screen clearly shows you the likes of climate settings. Then there's a third screen behind your steering wheel showing driver information.

It's all very cohesive and attractively designed, with a special mention for the angled and tall air vents in the centre of the dash. Stylish stuff.  

On the road

If outright performance isn't vital to you, the Impreza's a pretty cracking drive.  

Its 115kW/196Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder still takes over ten seconds to hit 100kmh so it's by no means a quick thing, but sling it on a highway and it's a brilliant cruiser. Its chassis is also a bit of a revelation.  

Stable and safe in feel, the car's body sits impressively flat in corners - even when pushed hard - giving the driver strong confidence.   

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S

With the all-wheel-drive system too, it would be an excellent choice for safe motoring for those who often use unsealed roads.   

This range-topping version also scores active torque vectoring (there to improve handling and response), so if there's any complaint it's that this chassis could handle a bit more power easily. It's really that good.  

Letting the side down a bit is the Subaru CVT auto gearbox - no conventional auto or manual is available here. This single-speed CVT auto has had steps added to make it feel like a more natural transmission, and if you're gentle on the throttle it's a pretty good thing.   

It becomes whiny and slow to keep up if you get heavier on the throttle though, and I noticed it felt a big sluggish around town at times, as if it were stuck in wet mud.  

On the whole though, it's a safe, comfortable and cosseting car to live with.  

What do you get?

Goodies include an 8-inch touch-screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, driver info colour LCD, 18-inch alloys, side skirts, dual zone climate control, EyeSight driver assist systems, Vision Assist active safety (blind spot monitor, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert), electric sunroof, sat nav, heated front seats, leather trim, power driver's seat and steering responsive LED headlights.  

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S

Practicality

The hatchback rather than sedan Impreza gives a better opening for loading luggage, but a boot space of 345-litres is a bit small (VW's Golf has 380-litres).  

As a six-footer I was well accommodated in the back seats for head and leg room, so a couple of adults across the back or three kids would be suitable.  

This new generation Impreza has addressed a problem Subaru has had in the past: a short service schedule. The new car now only needs serviced every 12,500km or 12 months, and capped pricing means you know it'll cost you a total of $1298 over the first three years.  

Our week long test returned 7.3-litres/100km.  

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S

Funky factor

The new Impreza design is best described as safe rather than ground-breaking, probably just how typical buyers like it.  

In the metal it's a nice enough looking thing, and is at its best in this range-topping 2.0i-S guise with its larger 18-inch wheels and side skirts to boost the sportiness.  

Other options

How important is all-wheel-drive to you? If it's integral then the Impreza is your only small car option at this price; you'd need to go small SUV shopping otherwise, and even then it's hard to find much below $30k.  

Subaru's own XV small SUV (from $26,490) would be your best bet (but wait for the new one this year) if you want all-wheel-drive.  

Front-wheel drive small car options include the VW Golf Comfortline ($28,340), Mazda3 SP25 GT ($29,990), Ford Focus Titanium ($32,690), Holden Astra 1.6 RS-V ($30,990) or Honda Civic RS ($31,790).  

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S

The lowdown

Having tested the full range of Imprezas, it's the 2.0i-L hatch variant ($24,690) that looks the best value versus specification in the line-up.  

But this 2.0i-S is certainly the one to go for if you can afford the $30k, as the cabin leather, included toys and that desirable full suite of safety kit still makes it look good value.  

The Impreza is a solid choice deserving of its all-wheel-drive-loving loyal customers, and this latest version can't help but look decent value against the competition.  

What matters most

What we liked: Excellent chassis offering a smooth and assured ride with excellent all-wheel-drive cornering skills, desirable cabin design, EyeSight safety is extensive.  

What we'd like to see: Chassis could handle more power, CVT auto is whiny and unrewarding when pushed, body design is safe rather than inspiring.   

Warranty and Servicing: Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty with 12,500km/12-month capped price service program costing a total of $1298 over the first three years.   

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S

The verdict

Driving experience  15/20   

Features and equipment  17/20   

Functionality and comfort  17/20   

Value for money  17/20   

Style and design  14/20   

Total  80/100

Vital statistics

Model: Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S Hatch.  

Details: All-wheel-drive five-door small hatchback.  

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine generating maximum power of 115kW @ 6000rpm and peak torque of 196Nm @ 4000rpm.   

Transmission: CVT auto with seven-speed manual mode.   

Consumption:  7.2-litres/100km (combined average).   

Bottom line plus on roads: $29,190.     

2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S
2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S

Topics:  2.0i-s eyesight hatch hatchback motoring review road test subaru impreza



BRRRR! Qld and Northern NSW set to shiver this Friday

QUEENSLAND is set to shiver through one of its coldest mornings

Indigenous health clinic now open

ABOVE: Page MP Kevin Hogan with Uncle Harry Walker Mundine at the opening of the $4.7 million Djanangmum Health Clinic in Casino.

Service to improve quality of life for community

Local Partners

Carrie Bickmore caught out before the cameras rolled

CARRIE Bickmore pulled up like a pro on Monday night’s live broadcast of The Project after partying hard the previous night following the Logie Awards.

Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin given overhaul by stylist

The Croc Hunter family before their transformation. Picture: Nigel Wright

Family matriarch Terri was reportedly the most hesitant to change

Play School live concert coming to Fraser Coast

Come and celebrate with Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty and Jemima at the Birthday Party for Play School.

Find out when and where to get tickets.

Toowoomba 'already proud' of singer ahead of TV debut

STAR: Brittania Clifford-Pugh is on The Voice tonight.

'We've applauded her many times in her performances'

Madonna biopic in the works

A biopic is being developed about Madonna’s life in New York City in the early 1980s.

MADONNA’S life as a pop star will be documented in Blonde Ambition.

Billionaire Elon Musk and Amber Heard hit Shingle Inn

Amber Heard and Elon Musk enjoy a bite to eat at the Shingle Inn, Broadbeach.

Actor Amber Heard and billionaire Elon Musk are enjoying Qld

New Netflix doco on JonBenet Ramsay's death makes huge claim

A new documentary will air claims that child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsay was murdered by a paedo sex ring.

New claims that JonBenet Ramsay was killed by a paedophile sex ring

Couple gets rich transforming run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!