2017 Subaru Impreza offers new look, high-tech options

If you're in the mood for a compact car but you like being a little different, you can look much further down the compact car sales charts and consider the Subaru Impreza.

The Honda Civic has been a popular choice for many, many years, as well as the Toyota Corolla. It passed up the VW Beetle as the best-selling car on the planet - 43 million worldwide and counting.

But if you're looking for something not many people have, check out the new Subaru Impreza. It's a new design for 2017 and has gotten lots of updates to help it keep up with others in the segment.

Like some others, the Impreza is available as either a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. And, it's now built in the U.S. for the first time at Subaru's factory in Indiana.

Under the hood is a familiar Subaru sight, the horizontally-opposed, or "flat," four-cylinder engine. It makes decent power and sends that power to the pavement via all-wheel drive. Don't look for an Impreza without all-wheel drive, as that's how they all come.

And while all-wheel drive is certainly beneficial to drivers in areas where it snows, it can also be a help on wet roads or even on dry pavement. But if you live here in Southern California and don't really need all-wheel drive, are you still paying for it anyway in the Impreza?

Subaru has priced the car competitively, so it's not really more expensive than other compacts. Prices for the basic 2.0i sedan start at just under $19,000, but you can start piling on the options. For example, a limited trim five-door that gets you all the bells and whistles to bring up the luxury level of the interior a notch starts at around $25,000.

Another option that's cool - but also raises the sticker price by $1,400 dollars - is Subaru's EyeSight system. It gets you advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking and the luxury of adaptive cruise control. The twin cameras high behind the windshield are like having another set of eyes on the road for you. But with that feature and a moon roof, plus the navigation system, the Impreza Limited knocks on the $30,000 price door when everything's totaled up.

At the other end, the Impreza is a compact car that can be had for under $20,000. You'll still get a very nice vehicle and you'll be getting a car that's not the most popular choice. For some people, that's just fine.
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