Subaru’s Impreza has always been a popular car for those who pay for the driving experience. The 2017 Impreza has been shown off at the New York International Auto Show and in many ways it seems very familiar. There’s the standard all-wheel-drive and 4-cylinder boxer engine and it certainly looks like an Impreza. The biggest change is that this model is all about tech to make your ride safer and more comfortable. Oh, and there’s no manual transmission.
Purist drivers everywhere are screaming in horror! No manual transmission? In an Impreza? What is the world coming to? Well, it’s not all bad. It’s a single transmission but the steering wheel does have shifters for a simulated manual mode. It’s all digital and more about the programming than the actual transmission but if you really need to feel like you’re moving between gears then it’s always there.
Subaru clearly wants us to know that they’re thinking about connectivity and smart features in their latest vehicles. The 2017 Impreza has a host of tech goodies that including upgrades and new additions. At the top of the windscreen there’s the EyeSight camera, which combines with other tech to provide useful warnings and driver assistance. If the camera spots a car suddenly slow down ahead of you, the Impreza can automatically brake to avoid a collision. The EyeSight also provides warnings if you drift out of lanes while driving and it provides feedback for the adaptive cruise control.
The new Impreza doesn’t just pay attention to the road ahead; it also keeps an eye on what’s happening behind you. In recent years it’s become commonplace for new cars to show rear video or to beep when you get too close to an obstacle while reversing. The 2017 Impreza now ties the obstacle-detecting system into the automatic braking. Technically you shouldn’t slide backwards into a bollard ever again.
On the dashboard, Subaru has included the usual touchscreen STARLINK system and it’s available in 6.5″ or 8″ options. Although the system can do a lot on its own, like weather and traffic updates, it’s also compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You’ll be able to wirelessly connect your smartphone and access its maps, messages, music, and navigation through the car’s system.
We love seeing more and more tech make our cars safer and more comfortable but it will be interesting to see how popular the 2017 Impreza is with purists who expect this model to deliver a great driving experience before all else. Tech is cool but not everyone wants to lose that manual transmission.
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