Im­preza makes an im­pres­sion

Re­designed Subaru is a game-changer

Lethbridge Herald - - WHEELS & DEALS - Al Bee­ber LETH­BRIDGE HERALD

Stun­ning. How else can an auto writer de­scribed the re­designed 2017 Subaru Im­preza? How about “ab­so­lutely stun­ning?” Shar­ing lit­tle else be­sides a name and all­wheel-drive with its pre­de­ces­sor, the new Im­preza is a game-changer in its seg­ment.

Rid­ing on an all-new plat­form and avail­able in both four-door and five-door mod­els, the Im­preza is a rev­e­la­tion. The ex­te­rior de­sign is more aero­dy­namic and sporty — in fact, I know one WRX owner who prefers the look of this Im­preza to his more pow­er­ful car. That’s the kind of im­pact Subaru’s de­sign team has made — the Im­preza looks the part of an up­scale sports sedan, which is go­ing to give this car more ap­peal than ever be­fore.

What’s also ap­peal­ing is the in­te­rior, which is gor­geous. The cabin is more spa­cious and fea­tures re­designed front seats to en­hance rear seat room. And the rear bench has ex­cel­lent legroom for lanky adults and plenty of shoul­der room, too. While the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion was rel­a­tively snug, the in­te­rior of the new Im­preza feels par­tic­u­larly roomy. A low en­try height and wide-open­ing rear doors will make this AWD car es­pe­cially child­friendly.

Where Subaru aced the Im­preza in­side is on the dash­board with com­pletely new in­stru­men­ta­tion and a fully mod­ern tech­nol­ogy suite. This is an in­te­rior done right.

Be­hind the steer­ing wheel, the driver has a su­perb view out any win­dow in­clud­ing the rear, which has a thin spoiler mounted atop the trunk lid.

The driver’s seat — leather cov­ered and heated in the 2.01 Sport-Tech tester — has ex­cel­lent bol­ster­ing and is made for long-range com­fort. Some­how Subaru has man­aged to cre­ate an in­te­rior am­bi­ence where the driver feels low be­hind the seat as if pi­lot­ing a sports car but with equally low win­dow sills, still has a feel­ing of airi­ness.

The Lithium Red Pearl tester, priced at $31,298.25, comes pretty much fully loaded with the ex­cep­tion of a cou­ple of items that are avail­able with the op­tional tech­nol­ogy pack­age.

Like all Im­prezas, the tester is pow­ered by a 2.0 litre, dual over­head cam, 16-valve hor­i­zon­tally op­posed four-cylin­der, di­rect in­jec­tion Boxer en­gine. Horse­power is 152 at 6,000 rpm while torque is 145 lb. ft. at 4,000 rpm. The en­gine is mated to a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion with lockup torque con­verter and a man­ual mode.

Trans­port Canada fuel econ­omy is rated at a su­perb 34 mpg city and 44 mpg high­way for a com­bined rat­ing of 38 mpg. In met­ric, this trans­lates to 8.3L/100 km city, 6.4L/100 km high­way and 7.5L/100 km com­bined.

The tester fea­tures all the good­ies a driver could want in­clud­ing a pow­er­ful eight-speaker Har­mon Kar­don sound sys­tem and an eight-inch high­res­o­lu­tion touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with StarLink phone in­te­gra­tion, dual USB ports and SMS text mes­sag­ing ca­pa­bil­ity.

It has heated seats up front, a tele­scop­ing steer­ing wheel, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, six-way power ad­justable driver’s seat and a sun­roof.

With its red ex­te­rior and black in­te­rior, the tester is gor­geous.

This car could eas­ily be mis­taken for a high-end sport tour­ing sedan.

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