by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2017 Subaru Impreza is a bit polarizing. Some of us, myself included, think that it’s one of the best vehicles in its class. It has an excellent chassis, a likable interior and the added benefit of all-wheel drive, which is rare among compact sedans. The color is even appealing.
For others, the Impreza is a nonstarter. Whether it’s the underwhelming powertrain, the seating or the lackluster fuel economy, there are definitely varied feelings about the sedan. This month it did regular commuting around town, which kept fuel economy down, but we also got it out on the open road, inspiring some strong opinions from editors.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Despite a road trip to Arizona and back this month, our Impreza didn’t wow us with any high mpg numbers. Over its lifetime, fill-ups have generally ranged between 20 and 30 mpg, depending on driving style and conditions, and we still haven’t beaten the EPA’s highway estimate of 38 mpg. Our lifetime average is pretty abysmal, too, falling below even the EPA’s city estimate of 28 mpg or the combined estimate of 32 mpg. After 13,000 miles, that’s a big letdown.
Average lifetime mpg: 25.5
EPA mpg rating: 32 combined (28 city/38 highway)
Best fill mpg: 32.6
Best range: 364.1 miles
Current odometer: 13,308 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
“This Impreza feels so much more grown-up than our previous long-termer. All the exterior styling and interior treatments feel more mature. Unfortunately, the powertrain is still as uninspiring as ever, but everything else, especially the interior, feels way more upscale. It helps put the Impreza on almost equal footing with the current Civic and Mazda 3.” — Travis Langness, automotive editor
“The Impreza handled the drive decently, but I was surprised by the amount of interior noise. You really have to crank up the stereo to overcome the noise, which is a problem when your fiancée has sensitive hearing.” — Carlos Lago, senior writer
“With designers placing window sills higher and higher, it was nice to get into the Impreza and revel in its outward visibility. Sight lines to the front quarters are particularly good thanks to door-mounted mirrors that provide additional glass area in this usually blocked-off area. It seems that the Impreza’s overall greenhouse (the top part of the sedan that’s covered by glass) is larger than other cars of its size.” — Calvin Kim, road test editor
“I don’t often complain about seat comfort, so I did OK on our road trip, but my fiancée found the passenger seat quite uncomfortable after only an hour or two.” — Carlos Lago
“I leaned heavily on the adaptive cruise, which worked pretty well. It can sometimes take a little too long to apply the brakes when traffic starts to slow down, so I caught myself hovering over the brake pedal when traffic got heavy.” — Carlos Lago
“After a few hours of driving, the Impreza flashes a funny little warning that advises you to check for rest stops through the navigation system. It does the same thing for gas stations when you run low on fuel. I like these well-intentioned little reminders.” — Carlos Lago
“So the infotainment system uses two screens, and as others have noted, it’s one of the better executions. This is in part because the two screens are completely different in format and can show vastly different things. The top screen, for example, can show an accurate line-art image of the car, complete with matching headlights and taillights that turn on and off with its full-size physical counterpart. It’s all very cute, except for the fact the turn-signal blinker speed doesn’t match.” — Calvin Kim