Long-Term Review

2017 Subaru Impreza: Long-Term Wrap-Up

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author photo by Autotrader February 2018

For the last six months, we've spent a lot of time driving our long-term 2017 Subaru Impreza Sport sedan. Now, after putting the compact car through its paces in a lot of real-world situations, it's time to give back the Impreza -- but not before we sum up our thoughts on six months behind the wheel of Subaru's latest small car.

Our Impreza

We chose a 2017 Impreza 2.0i Sport, finished in Lithium Red with attractive 18-inch alloy wheels. The total MSRP of our Impreza was just a little under $27,000. We also chose some important options, including Subaru's EyeSight suite of safety features (blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and automatic forward-collision braking), as well as a power moonroof, the HomeLink garage door opener and an automatic transmission.

The Good

Early on in our Impreza experience, most people commented on how much they liked the car's styling. One staffer, Tommy Flanagan, noted the Impreza "looks great" with the color and wheels we selected, while another, Jessica Shea Choksey, calls the Impreza a "handsome vehicle" -- and while she notes "it's not the most stylish vehicle in its class," she also mentions, "you get the feeling it won't look dated in a few years."

The Impreza also received a lot of positive comments about its interior styling, with staffer Rob Nestora noting that the "Sport Cloth" interior "has an athletic equipment quality to it that I just love ," and further remarking that "the seating surfaces on our Subaru are some of my favorites out of our long-term cars from the past year."

Beyond style, however, the Impreza impressed us with its substance: One staffer who spent some time with the car, Dwight Cunningham, appreciated the infotainment system, noting that it "provides mobile phone or tablet-like gestures that are familiar to the majority of people today." He also praised the system for being easy to use and intuitive. We also appreciated the EyeSight safety tech, especially in such a relatively inexpensive car. Tommy called it "quite a bargain" when looking over the list of equipment included in its $26,900 sticker price.

On the road, we also enjoyed the Impreza's driving experience. Sure, it's no sports car, but it's still fun to drive -- especially for a vehicle in this class. Our executive editor, Brian Moody, noted that the Impreza handles "as if it knows where you want to go and makes it easier for you to get there." Several other testers also commented on its driving prowess, but Brian remarked on one other important aspect: "The car feels remarkably settled in the rain," he noted, adding that even after constant rain "the Impreza handles it without missing a beat."

But despite the excellent driving experience, several testers noted strong fuel economy, with many reporting 27 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving and another reporting up to 36 mpg on the highway.

The Not-So-Good

In the end, after six months with our 2017 Subaru Impreza Sport, we have just one real gripe: the transmission. Like most Impreza models, ours was equipped with the CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic, and several drivers complained about it. Tommy noted it can be a bit jerky when downshifting or in heavy traffic, while Jessica said the one in a Subaru Legacy we tested was smoother. Over time, the issue seemed to improve -- or maybe we just acclimated to it.

Our Take

In the end, it's hard to deny that our whole staff appreciated the 2017 Subaru Impreza. It's rare you find a car that's loaded with safety tech and fun to drive, efficient and attractive both inside and out -- but the Impreza is that. As Brian noted: Spend a little time driving the Impreza "and it quickly becomes like a necessary tool. It's like a favorite kitchen knife … something that you just can't live without."

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Used 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium Sedan
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Used 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited Sedan
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Subaru Impreza: Long-Term Wrap-Up - Autotrader