These days it’s tough to make an objectively “bad” car. That’s why it’s always great when we have an opportunity to take a vehicle on an Extended Ride—providing more time to evaluate the nuances of each main feature, raise constructive observations, and ask more informed questions about the vehicle.
In short, it leads to greater balance.
The 2018 Subaru Impreza hatchback is our first Extended Ride.
It starts at $19,995. We are, however, test driving the Sport trim with Eyesight, which considerably bumps up the price to $30,995.
2018 Subaru Impreza—Background
As I wrote about here, the Subaru Impreza is the only AWD option in its class. That alone is a big boon for this nameplate.
It’s also Subaru’s first vehicle to feature their all-new Global Platform.
The automaker’s list of highlights about the new platform is deep, but the main things that stand out include: reduced cabin noise and vibration, sportier handling, greater crash energy absorption, an ability to use it across segments (compact to SUV), and flexibility to incorporate different powertrains (from gas to EV).
The Impreza also captured a Top Safety Pick+ rating—the highest available— from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
2018 Subaru Impreza—First Impressions
The Impreza is sharper than I remember. Its lines come to life, especially around the backend and hatch. For some reason I always thought of the Impreza as the stately character amongst the current compact offerings, but I’m starting to shift from that stance.
The initial drive feels sportier than expected, which perhaps changes my perception of its appearance. While we don’t have an older Impreza with the previous platform to compare, let’s just give (some) credit to the new platform for the sporty ride.
There’s a spring in the steering, which is tight and takes a little extra muscle (compared to the likes of the Civic, Elantra etc.) to operate. So far, I like that. A lot. And the gas pedal almost sticks to your foot, moving in sync with even the slightest movement.
The Impreza uses the same 2.0L 4-cylinder Boxer engine across all trims, so you’ll experience the same ride no matter which model you opt for.
Subaru’s updated infotainment system is fine thus far. It was incredibly simple to pair my phone. Beyond that, though, it doesn’t stand out—positively or negatively—at this point.
Also, its seats are noticeably firm. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing yet. We’ll be taking it on a longer journey in the coming weeks to determine the answer.
2018 Subaru Impreza—What’s Next
Next week we’ll take a more critical look at the 2018 Subaru Impreza hatchback. This will include a deeper look at its infotainment system, ride quality (and yes, we’ll answer if those firm seats are a good thing or not!), and the nuances of what might be missing.
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