Eyes on NZ-bound new Impreza

The next-generation Impreza will deliver better smarts in all areas, the New Zealand distributor assures.


PRESENT lack of a safety system that is proving popular in other Subaru product will be rectified when the new-generation Impreza lands here in early 2017, the distributor has confirmed.

Though Subaru New Zealand is not yet in the position to be too specific about what we will see with the next generation of the small sedan and wagon, launched overnight at the New York Motor Show, it says the model that debuts the brand’s new global platform will deliver with the EyeSight crash avoidance system that now outfits fully in the larger Outback and Legacy and has also come to one version of the Forester.

Most collision mitigation systems are effective over a limited speed band, yet they can still make that key difference due to their super-human reaction and Subaru’s version, which uses cameras to work out the risk of a collision then - if a potential impact is ascertained - will start self-braking the car, has been widely lauded as a key safety function.

Current Impreza has never had the set up however Daile Stephens, Subaru New Zealand marketing manager, has assured that will change with the new range that, she says, “will be arriving on NZ shores early 2017.”

Whether Subaru here will take both body shapes - the hatch has always carried the load but the sedan has been restricted to WRX duty previously - is not clear. She asserts the model will continue as now, with Symmetrical All Wheel Drive as standard and a newly developed 2.0-litre direct injection Boxer petrol engine. However, there’s expectation it will have sharper dynamics and also introduce a new premium look and feel to the interior.

Stephens says current generation Impreza has reprised since it underwent drastic price reductions, which now means the entry car costs $29,990, and a model realignment.

“The current generation Subaru continues to be a strong seller, which is only limited by production … every Impreza that arrives in NZ is delivered to customers within weeks of arriving.”

The new generation model … will no doubt ensure it continues to appeal to both adventure seeking loyalists and new Subaru customers.”

The sedan and five-door hatch models’ styling is faithful to a concept shown at last year’s Los Angeles show and brings the car more in line with the Legacy/Outback.

The platform is also of great interest because it will underpin most Subaru models in the future. Next in line for the underpinning is the next XV, arriving about the third quarter of next year.

Also in the future are an all-new Forester and the next generation of WRX/STI performance cars. There's talk the flagship performance model is set to take a turbo 2.0-litre petrol engine up front an an electric motor driving the rear wheel set.

Subaru says the platform can house all manner of modern powertrains, hybrids included, and has promised its “biggest leap forward” in dynamic ability. Specifically, it says, the car rewards with tidier handling through having a lower centre of gravity and also delivers higher comfort levels and less noise and vibration.

The Impreza is longer and wider than before and 10mm lower so has a better drag coefficient than the cureent model.

The cabin refit is extensive, with Subaru promising a more premium look and feel. The Impreza also features the brand's latest infotainment system, which features voice control and a range of apps that can sync with a mobile phone.

The Impreza variant Subaru chose to unveil to journalists and pictured here is the 2.0i Sport sedan.