New Subaru Impreza makes Frankfurt 2017 debut

Published: 12 September 2017

► New Scoobie arrives in Frankfurt
► All-new platform and revised engines
► Is it a proper Impreza?

Subaru’s updated Impreza hatchback has made its European premier at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. At first glance, it doesn’t look massively different from the outgoing car.

However, Subaru claims it’s new from the ground up, so what’s all the fuss about?

What’s new on the outside?

Subaru will tell you the design of the new Impreza is ‘a dynamic urban influenced design contrasted against a fit-for-purpose aesthetic.’

Rear of the Subaru Impreza at Frankfurt 2017

We can’t make head nor tail of that so you can just look at the pictures and decide if you like it or not. There’s a slight whiff of Vauxhall Astra and pre-SPA Volvo going on though, with sharp LED daytime running lights and neatly-shaped grille and simple overall design.

It’s actually quite effective and avoids the trend for being overly fussy. Which is refreshing.

What’s under the bonnet?

A Boxer engine, of course. From launch it’ll be a 1.6-litre petrol that’s already seeing service in the current Impreza with 112bhp, but a more powerful 2.0-litre unit with 154bhp is joining the range later on.

Subaru claims the engines have been revised to reduce vibration and noise, so they should be much more refined than before.

What’s the interior like?

Some big changes have happened inside over the old model, with a sweeping, more sculptured look to the dash and plenty of tech on board.

New Subaru Impreza interior at Frankfurt 2017

The material quality looks and feels much better than before, although Subaru claims the Impreza’s interior won’t lose its hard-wearing nature – a key selling point.

Redesigned seats are both squashy and cosseting, offering good lateral support without compromising comfort.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available through the 8.0-inch touchscreen media system, and Subaru’s still sticking with its extra set of car info located on top of the dash.

Repackaging means the new Impreza is lower and wider than before, giving it a sporty stance, plus there’s a longer wheelbase, meaning passengers have more room to spread out. There’s more space for things in the boot, too.

What else do I need to know?

The new Impreza sits on the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) that also underpins the latest XV revealed earlier this year.

This platform has better torsional rigidity, and the suspension mounts are also more solid, enabling improvements in both ride and comfort, says Subaru.

As well as being better to drive, Subaru promises more refinement and safety than before.

Subaru Impreza 2017

In terms of safety, the new Impreza comes with EyeSight driver assistance tech consisting of pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and an alert that tells you when the car in front is moving off when you’re not paying attention.

Sitting on the new platform means it’s more refined as well, reportedly. Chassis rigidity has improved, noise and vibration have been reduced and ride comfort has been designed to be “firm but comfortable”. We’ll be the judge of that.

Enough of that, where’s the WRX?

Nowhere to be seen, currently. For now, the most potent will be the 2.0-litre with 154bhp and 145lb ft of torque, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t see an STi like there is currently.

Click here for the full A-Z of Frankfurt 2017 on CAR magazine

By Tom Goodlad

Bauer Automotive's continuity editor and CAR contributor