The all new 2017 Subaru Impreza brings home car of the year honors in its home country of Japan.
2017 Subaru Impreza
Describing the 2017 Impreza with the words "all-new" is hardly hyperbole. In addition to sharing not a single body panel with the outgoing model, its design reflects a new language that incorporates the brand's signature hexagonal grille and "hawk-eye" headlights. The 2017 model is also the first Subaru to be based on the new Subaru Global Platform.
For 2017, the wheelbase is up by 1.0 inch to 105.1 inches while overall length for both the sedan and 5-door hatchback has been increased 1.6 inches to 182.1 and 175.6 inches, respectively. The width is unchanged, while the height is down by 0.4 of an inch for better aerodynamics.
Under the hood there's a revised version of Subaru's 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine. For 2017, it gains direct fuel injection. Along with other enhancements, this results in a boost in horsepower from 148 to 152.
According to Subaru, the new platform has increased the Impreza's overall rigidity by more than 70 percent, while crash energy absorption has been improved by 40 percent over the outgoing model.
Buyers looking for a bit more sportiness without having to drop the coin for a WRX can now opt for the Sport model that comes with an upgraded interior, special exterior trim, a sport suspension and Active Torque Vectoring.
Car of the Year Japan 2016-2017
Unveiled at the 2016 New York International Auto Show this past March, it was announced earlier today that the 2017 Impreza had garnered the Car of the Year Japan 2017 award by the Japan Car of the Year Committee – beating out the new Toyota Prius by 29 votes.
For those unfamiliar with the award, here is how the committee explains it:
"Japan’s COTY organization is made up of 59 jurors who each start with 25 votes and must give their most highly rated vehicle 10 votes. Their remaining 15 votes are then spread across their next best 4 cars. Each juror must vote for 5 cars out of the final Top 10."
The last Subaru to be named the Car of the Year Japan was the Subaru Legacy in 2004. The 2017 Impreza is only the second Subaru to win this award.
Impreza chief engineer Kazuhiro Abe commented, "When we started developing the Impreza over 4 years ago, never did I imagine I’d be standing here today with such a prestigious award. This must be what it feels like to win an Olympic gold. The Impreza’s new global platform has great meaning for the company moving forward and will underpin nearly all of our cars over the next decade. On behalf of all of my R&D team, I’d like to thank the jurors for their support of this car."