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



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Reports of 'big cat' sightings are mounting

THIS BIG: Curra resident Milan Katic shows the size of the 'big cat' he saw crossing his property.

'Big cat' sightings continue

Why it's right to compare Gympie Show to the Ekka

Gympie Show Rodeo - Rory Payne

Last Saturday's Show crowd was the best in 24 years

Stud cattle winners from the Gympie Show

Supreme Exibit of the Gympie Show Lauren Kelly Oakwood Zone out, Oakwood Black Sable Paul Forman and Show girl Wendy Ward.

Did you or someone you know enter the Gympie Show?

Local Partners

Rooftop cocktails and canapes in Gympie

CLOUDLAND will be a fun night of music, provided by Sista Lee and The Strangest Dreamers, with cocktails and canapes included in the ticket price of $50.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Is this the talent you get when you limit electronics?

Cassidy Kilburn in the Get the Beat International Dance Competition.

Cassidy, 11, preparing for national dance championships

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!