2017 Subaru Impreza
The Subaru brand continues to grow and grow with rising sales in each of the last 10-years. The reasons for that are many, but it really comes down to building highly reliable cars and utilities, most with standard all-wheel drive. So let’s see if their newest offering, the 2017 Impreza, can keep that hot streak going.
This 2017 Subaru Impreza compact not only rides on the brand’s new global architecture; but it’s also the first Impreza built here in the U.S., at their assembly plant in Lafayette, Indiana.
Both sedan and 5-door hatchback Imprezas are once again available; we opted for the sportier 5-door. No word on when the STI variants will get the new chassis.
So, there’s still only a normally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer-4 providing Impreza power. But, a host of new parts, as well as direct-injection, result in a small increase in power from 148 to 152-horsepower along with 145 lb-ft. of torque.
A 5-speed manual transmission remains standard, but most will come equipped with a CVT. And while it’s been one of the better CVTs for a while now, others are improving and this one is no longer a standout. All but base trim get manual shift mode with paddle shifters. And, yes, all-wheel-drive is standard.
Exterior styling has certainly been updated; but with such a familiar face, things don’t appear radically different. And most Subaru owners will agree that’s actually a really good thing.
The 5-door hatch is noticeably sleeker than before, and the tail lights take up more real estate.
Space is even more noticeably increased inside, and Subaru trademarks of easy ingress and great visibility are still here.
Seating position is fairly high, while front seats remain on the firm side.
The infotainment system makes a huge jump in usability and that is very much appreciated. The screen itself is bigger, with larger virtual buttons. Traditional control knobs have grown in size as well.
The familiar upper dash display is still present, and there always seems to be something happening on it. It does provide lots of information, although it’s just outside of your normal line of sight.
Over in the driver’s I.P., there’s plenty of data as well, presented in a very clear fashion.
With more space for rear seat passengers, cargo volume falls a bit to 20.8 cubic-ft., but max capacity is “max-er” at 55.3 cubic-ft.
Without a doubt, the Impreza’s new chassis feels much more solid on the road compared to previous generations. Just about every aspect of performance has gotten tighter, throttle response is certainly crisper, and it’s an overall more enjoyable experience behind the wheel.
Yet that tighter demeanor is contrasted with additional sound deadening, leaving you feel a little more isolated in the cabin, due to its now very quiet nature.
And without a doubt, at our test track, the Impreza was much less of a snoozer, and more stimulating than it’s ever been before. It barnstormed through our slalom course with great balance and a “glued to the pavement” feel. Steering feedback is less artificial, and turn-ins were so quick it felt like Subaru also added 4-wheel steering.
It’s not quite Mazda3 or VW Golf fun, but certainly a drastic improvement.
With times of 9.6-seconds to 60, and 17.4 in the ¼-mile at 81 miles-per-hour, it’s not a rocket off the line, but the engine is very responsive which helps it feel better in real world use.
By the way, those times are exactly the same as the last Impreza we tested back in 2012.
Subaru’s available EyeSight includes Pre-Collision braking, and it worked flawlessly as always in our crash barrier test; even in some light rain. This year it adds Reverse Automatic Braking as well.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for our CVT hatchback are 28-City, 37-Highway, and 31-Combined; though our average was a bit disappointing at 28.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Still, the Energy Impact Score is a good one, with use of just 10.6-barrels of oil per year with C02 emissions of 4.7-tons.
Base pricing is up just $100 over last year and remains very competitive considering standard all-wheel-drive. Sedans start at $19,215, hatchbacks at just $500 more.
The 2017 Subaru Impreza, may not be as big of a leap forward as last generation; but truth be told, it didn’t have as far to go to be highly competitive among a host of really great cars in the compact segment. And by offering both more room and comfort, as well as way more handling fun; it has become an even better option than it was before. Consider us Imprezed.
- Engine: 2.0-liter boxer-4
- Horsepower: 152
- Torque: 145 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 9.6 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 17.4 seconds @ 81 mph
- EPA: 28 mpg city / 37 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 10.6 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 4.7 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined