Subaru is a special automotive brand for special individuals who enjoy the naturalistic side of life. Adventure is in the blood of their veins and the oil of their rides. So it’s no wonder that each influences the other to maintain consistent activity levels, load the family calendar with excitement, and habitually hit trails, lakes, and campgrounds on weekends. So of course when our Venetian Red Pearl 2017 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited rolled into the driveway the only thing on the top of my mind was how many times I would mountain bike that week and what new parks I would visit. It’s instinctual when you have the keys to a Subie!
First things first, with 28 city and 37 highway mpg the small, sporty Japanese hatchback was able to escort me to places out of my typical vicinity and far more often than the usual routine without having to worry about fuel costs or frequent gas station stops. The 13.2-gallon tank feeds a pretty peppy DOHC 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter Boxer engine with Direct Injection. Although it only puts out 152-horsepower the 3,181-pound vehicle moves swiftly and effortlessly, especially when utilizing the paddle shifters that are paired with the Lineartronic 7-speed Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
As a Fit Father I do most of the caretaking for our sports focused daughters. During the week of testing my teen, who plays on multiple soccer teams, volunteered me to shuttle teammates to their tournaments and practices. The three 14-year olds were comfortable in the second row and of course had enough leg and shoulder room to engage one another, although loudly as usual. Jumping in and out the vehicle with dirty cleats, soiled uniforms, grungy soccer balls, and large duffle bags was actually welcoming in the Impreza. On the other hand my youngest daughter (age 11) competes in four sports between middle school and MSI so the 7-day period was jammed packed with action between the two student athletes.
The Impreza 2.0i Limited looks modest but is actually tougher than its visual persona showcases. I was impressed with its true roof rails, Stablex suspension dampers, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, grippy 205/50 R17 Firestone all-season tires, a 4” wider tailgate opening, and 55.3 cubic feet of space when the 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatbacks are down, which is enough to load a full-size men’s mountain bike without removing the front 27.5” wheel. The only problem was that the rear seatbelt kept getting tangled with the frame. Yet, it is always a delight to get away from the madness of society and ride out in the woods to discover the beauty of Mother Nature.
Inside, our leather trimmed cabin was highlighted with some respectful features and amenities starting with the carbon fiber simulated door touches, heated front seats, and a sporty, thumb indented, multifunction steering wheel. I specifically admired the placement and tactile feel of certain switches such as volume control. The Head-up Display showcased road speed limits so I could stay cognizant of traffic cameras; alerts would notify me of inadvertent lane changes or when the car in front of me moved forward after sitting at a light; and a Harman Kardon audio system kept us rocking after connecting Apple Music through Apple CarPlay as part of the STARLINK 8.0 Multimedia Navigation system. Dully note that the touchscreen smartphone integration froze up on me twice which was quite frustrating. Once it happened while listening to NFL Sunday games! In addition, I had no need for some of the other STARLINK Cloud Apps like iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Yelp, Glympse, and Magellan.
Safety and technological conveniences come in the form of EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist, and Reverse Automatic Braking. Collectively, the Impreza monitors its driving antics as well as surroundings and will intercede to keep itself within the lane and apply full brake pressure if needed in emergencies. See, the Impreza is much smarter than imagined.
Offered as a sedan and hatchback, the 5-door variant will always be my top choice. MSRP is $24,595 with a destination and delivery fee of $820. EyeSight + moonroof + navigation + Harmon Kardon audio comes as a commingled $3,845 optional package. Exciting experiences are a part of the Impreza’s DNA and certainly a part of mine. Continue to live the life you love and love the life you live.