1992 was a significant year for Subaru. It was the year in which Subaru Southern Africa officially opened its doors. It was also the year in which the first Subaru Impreza was introduced, sporting an All-Wheel Drive, 2.0 litre Boxer engine.
25 years on, the fifth generation all-new Subaru Impreza sedan has launched in South Africa – a breakthrough performance for the brand. It is a Subaru of many firsts: It is the first Subaru to be built upon the new Subaru Global Platform which allows for improved safety, efficiency, and more dynamic handling. It won first prize in the 2016/2017 Japanese Car of the Year Awards and it is the first car to win the coveted Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) Top Safety Pick ++ award AND the Japanese New Car Assessment Programme (JNCAP) Grand Prix Award – the highest safety rating ever recorded by the JNCAP. The new Impreza is one of the safest cars on South Africa’s roads today.
According to Ashley Lazarus, Marketing Manager of Subaru Southern Africa, this car is a game changer. “This car has shifted the goalposts and defies the conventions for a car in this segment. It’s a whole new class in terms of driving dynamics, interior tech and refinement and of course, safety. Owners will be surprised at the all-round ability and features of the new Impreza.”
The 2017 Subaru Impreza is an all-new vehicle that represents Subaru’s Dynamic + Solid design and engineering philosophy. It has been built to deliver on Subaru’s brand promise of Confidence in Motion.
Subaru Global Platform & New Powertrain
The new Subaru Global Platform enhances all-round safety, interior space and driving dynamics. The platform has been designed to work in tandem with the new FB 2.0-litre Boxer® engine. It’s a direct injection unit that is now 12kg lighter than the previous engine resulting in a smoother drive with improved performance and fuel efficiency. The new engine produces 115kW @ 6000rpm and 196Nm of torque 4200rpm. All SA-spec vehicles will feature the upgraded Lineartronic CVT gearbox that features a 7-speed manual mode with shifter paddles behind the steering wheel. The gearbox too is 7.8kg lighter. Standard on all our cars in South Africa including the new Impreza is the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system through which the power is distributed to all four wheels for maximum grip, stability and performance.
This new platform makes extensive use of high-tensile steel to significantly enhance agility and ride comfort, while making noise, vibration and harshness levels much less evident. The reworked chassis has improved torsional rigidity by up to 70% for a more solid driving feel, while the electric power steering system is lighter, more compact and produces an improved steering ratio of 13:1 for a quicker response to driver input. The suspension systems have also been re-engineered and, when combined with a lower centre of gravity, the result is reduced body roll by 50% compared to the previous Impreza model.
The safety ratings on the new Subaru Impreza are unparalleled. Quite simply, there is no other car in this segment that offers the levels of primary, active, passive and pre-collision safety that are standard in the new Subaru Impreza.
The first notable point in terms of safety is the excellent all-round visibility and the more comfortable driving position. This has been achieved by lowering and widening the floorwell by 20mm and 17mm respectively.
Based on the Subaru Global Platform, the vehicle’s structure has improved crash resistance, increased cabin strength, better load distribution and enhanced continual rigidity, all of which serve to better protect occupants during a collision. The standard features of Vehicle Dynamics Control and symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive ensure driving confidence in every situation. Standard on the launch model 2.0i-S is the inclusion of Active Torque Vectoring for more control during cornering and collision avoidance actions.
Additional safety features available at launch are: Steering Responsive Headlights; High Beam Assist, and Subaru Rear/Side Vehicle Detection which includes Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Steering Responsive Headlights turn in the direction of the corner as per steering inputs, spreading more light across more of the corner for safer driving.
High Beam Assist automatically switches from high to low beams depending on the vehicle approaching from the front.
Subaru Rear/Side Vehicle Detection: When a driver signals a lane change, the system warns them of vehicles in the adjacent lane (Blind Spot Detection), warns them of vehicles approaching at a high rate of speed in the adjacent lane (Lane Change Assist) and, when reversing, warns of vehicles from either side approaching the rear of the vehicle (Rear Cross-Traffic Alert).
This coming October 2017, the 2.0i-S ES Premium Model will be launched with our award-winning EyeSight® Driver Assist System. The system offers four different types of driver assistance functions that are designed to reduce or circumvent collisions caused by driver error and to reduce or circumvent collisions caused by driver fatigue. The system does this by detecting the presence of vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other potential hazards. The results play out in seven vehicle outputs: Pre-Collision Braking; Pre-Collision Throttle Management; Adaptive Cruise Control; Lane Sway Warning & Lane Departure Warning.
The EyeSight® Driver Assist System allows the Impreza to feature additional technologies to further mitigate collisions. When the driver is reversing, four sonar sensors in the rear bumper detect obstructions and will notify the driver and then automatically apply the brakes to avoid or reduce the severity of a collision (Reverse Automatic Braking).
As with all Subaru vehicles, the Impreza is equipped with: seven airbags to protect occupants in the event of a collision including a driver’s knee airbag; whiplash reducing front seats; ABS, BAS and EBD as well as ISOFIX child seat anchors in the rear for the protection of infants and children.
The new Impreza equipped with the EyeSight® system has been awarded the highest safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS Top Safety Pick) as well as the Japanese New Car Assessment Programme (JNCAP) where EyeSight®-equipped vehicles achieved the Advanced Safety Vehicle (ASV ++) award which is the highest safety rating possible within the JNCAP programme.
In late 2016, after a series of comparative tests with six other vehicle manufacturers last year, four of which were labelled ‘premium’ brands, the German Automobile Club ADAC rated the Subaru EyeSight® assistance system as the best. Whilst this particular test was conducted using the Subaru Outback, the smaller Subaru Impreza makes use of the very same technology.
The car has also scored 5-stars in the Euro NCAP and Australian ANCAP ratings.
Striking New Design Inside and Out
The sharper body style of the new Impreza illustrates its dynamic and elegant design cues. The Subaru hallmark hexagonal grille is flanked by the traditional C-shaped LED headlight clusters that sit above the chromed fog lamps and air intakes. It’s from here that a strong body line crease extends over the wheel arches slanting up to finish at the rear of the car giving the Impreza a slicker and more aerodynamic profile. Aerodynamic efficiencies were a key consideration in the new Impreza design. A longer, wider wheelbase from the previous Impreza has resulted, not just in more cabin space but a lower exterior height that improves aerodynamics. Changes to the front bumper, fog lights, the door mirrors and roofline all contribute to improved aerodynamics. The profile is enhanced by side sills, chrome door handles and 17-inch alloy wheels that also add to the sporty and elegant design. The resultant shape adds a 5.4% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency with the Impreza turning in a 0.278 Cd value.
The cabin of the Impreza is a bold step forward in Subaru interior design. The interior panelling layout has strong hints of the exterior design and is unmistakeably a more Dynamic + Solid playout of the design. The steering wheel, switchgear, gear lever, materials, dials and seats reveal a sense of quality and tactility never seen before. There’s a sporty and elegant mixed use of black and chrome contrast in the overall layout. Chrome accents elegantly touch the air vents, buttons, gear lever and dials; also complemented by the same touch on the aluminium brake and accelerator pedals.
The centre stack is dominated but the new 8-inch LCD Infotainment screen which allows access to a choice of connectivity options, in-car applications and media options. SatNav is one of these applications, loaded with TomTom navigation software and functionality too. It’s a large, clear screen that is touch, swipe, pinch and pull-controlled, making it easy-to-use and very intuitive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available as one of the connectivity options while Siri Eyes Free allow the driver to direct functions using their voice, while their hands remain on the wheel. The leather wheel itself is tilt/telescopically-adjustable and features the audio, cruise control and mobile phone controls.
There are a number of one-touch functions throughout the cabin, notably the electric windows which feature one touch open and close on all windows, electronic park brake as well as the keyless entry push-button start system that allows you to keep the keys on your person whilst still being able to operate the functions required.
This new interior has already been listed as one of the Top 10 Best Interiors by WardsAuto, an independent American insights organisation. The specific areas in which it has been recognised is in the design & styling and intuitive multimedia. This all works to provide a connected yet comfortable experience in the new Impreza.
Comfort is also provided courtesy of a new air-conditioning system that ensures a more consistent airflow and cabin temperature and a much more effective defroster.
The launch model for South Africa is available with a choice of eight exterior colours to suit individual tastes: Crystal White Pearl; Ice Silver Metallic; Dark Gray Metallic; Crystal Black Silica; Quartz Blue Pearl; Dark Blue Pearl; Pure Red and Venetian Red Pearl.
Interior colour options are Black or Ivory.
At launch (June 2017) the Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S Premium CVT is available for R399,000.
To further enhance the value proposition, Subaru has upgraded the 3-yr/100 000km Warranty to a new 5 year / 150,000km warranty period as standard, specifically for the new Impreza. The 3 year / 75,000km standard Maintenance plan is upgradable to a 5 year / 150,000km period at a subsidised rate to the customer.
In October 2017, the 2.0i-S will be joined by two additional Impreza models: The 2.0i Lineartronic CVT standard grade model and the EyeSight® equipped 2.0i-S ES Lineartronic CVT which will be the flagship of the range. These are already available for pre-order through the network and will be offered, at this stage, with the same Warranty and Maintenance Plans. Pricing is to be confirmed closer to October.