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by Sam Rawlings

The 2017 Subaru Impreza is becoming part of the furniture here at the CarAdvice office. It’s proved to be quite a likable thing with plenty to offer in areas like safety, comfort and tech, but this time we’ll take a look at how it performs in the day-to-day urban grind.

I must say, initial feelings towards the Impreza’s driving manners around town were not begging for praise. There’s a noticeable lack of low-end power and torque. The kind you want when moving away from the lights, moving up hills or overtaking. Not that it needs to be performed at light speed, but you do want a vehicle that can move confidently when you need it to.

The Subaru is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 115kW of power and 196Nm of torque mated to a CVT automatic transmission with paddle-shifters. It’s a pairing that’s indicative of how many manufacturers are choosing to power their cars.

Uninspiring engine and transmission aside, the Impreza’s chassis is very well sorted. And it would want to be, as the underpinnings that form the base of this car are set to underpin many other Subarus through until 2025.

The suspension is tuned well, soft enough that bumps and sharp edges are dealt with well enough, but stiff enough that when matched to the well-weighted steering you can actually extract an enjoyable drive at times.

As far as the driving experience goes, the Impreza’s saving grace is its permanent all-wheel-drive system. As well as giving surety in handling, it also provides the modest drivetrain the best possible chance at getting the Impreza up and moving.

While on the move, though, the Impreza rides very solidly. There’s little wind or cabin noise and, as mentioned, the AWD system does a great job of giving you confidence on poor-quality surfaces or in the wet.

Fuel economy is claimed to sit in the 6.6L/100km and 7.2L/100km bracket, helped in part by the stop-start system. So far, though, we’ve seen the figure sit firmly at 8.7L/100km during our time with it.

Aside from the Impreza’s obvious shortcomings in lower-end oomph, the Subie can still offer a rewarding and comfortable drive. It’s extremely confident when on the move, well built, quiet, loaded with safety tech and sure-footed. All of that adds up to a car that I think hasn’t been sold too far short by its drivetrain. In my time with it, learning how it wants to be driven is part of the experience.

Stay tuned to the next update on the Impreza, where we’ll have a look at how it tackles the open road.

MORE: 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium long-term report one – introduction
MORE: 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium long-term report two – infotainment
MORE: 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium long-term report three – interior
MORE: Everything Subaru






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