We’re back in the 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium, this time taking a look at the interior. Yet another area where I think the Subie excels.
First impressions are great. A large 8.0-inch screen finished with piano black accents sits prominently in the middle of the dash, soft-touch plastics, chrome accents and faux carbon-fibre are scattered around the cockpit, and it becomes clear that Subaru has gone to great lengths to make the interior of the Impreza feel more upmarket than it really is.
One area, however, that lets the interior down is the seats. While the cloth trim is hard wearing and plenty comfortable, they seem somewhat out of place in a cabin where every other square inch has been dressed up.
I counted six different materials on the door trim alone. Six! There’s carbon-fibre, chrome, satin chrome (all fake of course), cloth and two types of plastic. Some might call that overkill, but I think it works.
The seats however... Just one. Cloth. And you can’t even option leather seats in the lower grades, they’re only offered as standard in the range-topping 2.0i-S variant.
The overall fit and finish of the interior is good. In the time I’ve spent in the Impreza, I haven’t noticed any buzzes or rattles. The thing that comes close would be the sunroof cover has a tendency to shake slightly when the music is a little too loud, but that isn’t helped by my preference to perhaps pump the tunes a little too much.
Overall, the driver and front passenger are treated to an upmarket-feeling cabin that has all the conveniences one would expect. There’s plenty of storage, dual-zone climate control to keep you comfortable, as well as a cabin that is generally very spacious.
Rear-seat passengers, however, aren’t served the same level of quality. Fitting three adults comfortably across the back seat is essentially impossible. Not only is it a struggle to fit them across without the middle passenger contorting themselves to be as thin as possible, the unlucky person in the middle really has nowhere to put their feet thanks to an intrusive driveshaft hump. If you plan on regularly transporting rear passengers over the age of 12, you may want to look elsewhere.
There’s very little in the way of creature comforts in the back either, with passengers missing out on rear air vents and any kind of USB charging. The centre armrest does have two cupholders, but that’s it.
The 460-litre boot, while not setting any records, can still easily gobble up enough luggage for whoever you plan to cart around.
While the front cabin is full of tech that all adds up to what could be considered class-leading packaging, it seems amiss that has not flowed to the rear.
Broadly speaking, the Impreza’s interior is one that, aesthetically at least, deserves praise. The front cabin is a genuinely pleasant place to be.
If you’re planning on using the Impreza as a family hauler, there are areas that may let you down. Though it’s safe to say that for car buyers these days who plan on transporting a full complement of passengers and their luggage, an SUV is probably more likely in their sights.
With its solid build quality, hard-wearing and good-looking materials and a quality infotainment system, the Impreza would serve well as a daily runabout or company car.
Stay tuned for our next update on the Impreza 2.0i-Premium, where we’ll take a look at the Subie’s driving manners around town.