New super-safe Subaru Impreza launched in SA

  • New generation of Subarus on the brand’s global platform
  • Award-winning safety, smart technologies
  • Impreza as 2016/17 Japanese Car of the Year
2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Image: Subaru

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – The first Subaru Impreza. complete with a then awesome all-wheel drive and a two-litre Boxer engine, reached South Africa in the same year as did the brand – 1992

Now, a quarter-century later, comes the fifth generation of the same car, one the automaker describes as “a performance breakthrough for the brand” and built on a global platform which allows improved safety and efficiency as well as dynamically improved handling.

It won the 2016/2017 Japanese Car of the Year title and is the first car to win simultaneously the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ‘Top Safety Pick’ ánd the Japanese New Car Assessment Programme’s (Grand Prix – the highest safety rating yet recorded by the programme.

2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Image: Subaru

“”That,” Subaru SA told The Corner in a media release, “makes the new Impreza is one of the safest cars on South Africa’s roads.” And Ashley Lazarus, Subaru Southern Africa’s marketing manager, added car is “a game-changer”.

NEW GLOBAL PLATFORM

“It’s 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,  refinement and, of course, safety.

“Buyers will be surprised by its  all-round ability and features.”

The new global platform is said to enhance general safety and create interior space and driving dynamics, all supported by the latest two-litre Boxer engine, a direct-injection unit that’s 12kg lighter than the previous unit.

It makes 115kW at 6000rpm and 196Nm at 4200rpm. Each SA-spec unit will have a Lineartronic constantly variable transmission supplement by a seven-speed manual mode with shift paddles behind the steering wheel.

2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Image: Subaru

The gearbox is 7.8kg lighter than that of the previous model and, of course, sends drive to all four wheels. The suspension systems has been re-engineered the resulting lower centre of gravity is said to have reduced body roll by 50% if compared to the previous Impreza.

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.

READ MORE Subaru features on Carman’s Corner

Other safety features include auto high-beam on steering-responsive headlights,  rear and side vehicle detection activated by the car’s indicators, and cross-traffic alert.

A two-litre i-S ES premium model will join the range in October 2017 and bring with it Subaru’s  EyeSight system that can activate four types of driving assistance intended to reduce or avoid a collision caused by driver error and/or driving fatigue by detecting vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other hazards.

The results play out in seven vehicle outputs: pre-collision braking; pre-collision throttle management; adaptive cruise control; and lane-sway and inadvertent departure.

GERMAN ‘PREMIUMS’ BEATEN IN SAFETY TESTS

Eyesight will also activate four sonar sensors in the rear bumper to detect any obstruction and apply the brakes. The cabin has seven crash bags, whiplash reducing front seats, and rear IsoFIx child seat-anchors .

In 2016, after a series of comparative tests of a Subaru Outback against six other vehicle manufacturers – four them labelled ‘premium’ – the German Automobile Club ADAC rated the Subaru EyeSight assistance system as the best.  The smaller Subaru Impreza has the same technology.

The car also scored five stars in the Euro NCAP and Australian ANCAP ratings.

2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Striking design, inside and out. Image: Subaru

The Subaru hallmark hexagonal grille is still flanked by the trademark C-shaped diode-lit headlight clusters above the chromed fog lights and air intakes. “It’s from here,” Subaru says, “that a strong body-line crease extends over the wheel arches then slants upward to the tail give create a slicker and more aerodynamic profile.”

Aerodynamic efficiencies, Subaru says, were a key consideration. A wheelsbase longer and wider than the previous Impreza has resulted in not only more cabin space but a also a lower overall height.

Changes to the front bumper, fog lights, external mirrors and roofline also claim to contribute to improved aerodynamics. The profile is enhanced,” Subaru says, “by sills, chromed door releases and 17” alloy wheel rims that also add to the sporty and elegant design.

“The overall shape improves aerodynamic efficiency by 5.4%.”

2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: Image: Subaru
2017 SUBARU IMPREZA: More models will arrive in October 2017. Image: Subaru

The cabin’s centre stack is dominated by a new 20cm LCD infotainment screen to display connectivity options, in-car applications and media options one of them satnav.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available as connectivity options; Siri Eyes Free lets the driver direct functions by voice. The leather-clad steering-wheel itself is fully adjustable and carries audio, cruise control and mobile phone controls.

The power windows are one-touch, the parking brake electronic and entry keyless with a start/stop button.

Eight exterior colours are available: white, silver metallic, dark grey metallic, black, blue, dark blue and three shades of red. Cabin colour choice is black or ‘ivory’.

PRICE – AND MODELS YET TO COME…

The Subaru Impreza 2.0i-S Premium CVT is available for R399 000. It comes with a five-year or 150 000km warranty, a three-year or 75 000k, maintenance plan (upgradable to five years or 150 000km period at a subsidised rate).

A 2.0i-S arrive in October 2017 along with the 2.0i Lineartronic CVT standard model and the EyeSight equipped 2.0i-S ES Lineartronic CVT – flagship of the range. Prices will be announced closer to launch.

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