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New Subaru Impreza promises more space, less weight

Four-wheel-drive five-door hatch on sale later in 2017

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The latest Subaru Impreza is debuting at the Frankfurt show and like its predecessors will be a permanently all-wheel-drive option to rivals such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

Using the same Global Platform architecture as the Subaru XV launched at the Geneva show in March, the fifth generation of the five-door hatch is 10mm lower, 35mm wider and with a 25mm longer wheelbase compared to its predecessor. This translates to a cabin 29mm wider at the front and 34mm at the rear, with 26mm more rear seat legroom and 10 litres of extra luggage space in a boot extended by 41mm.

Engines on a diet

The Impreza will be offered with Subaru’s familiar and highly compact Boxer flat-four engines. The 1.6-litre 114hp launch engine is said to have had 70 per cent of its components redesigned, shaving 14kg from its weight. Similarly, the 156hp 2.0-litre unit, that will join the range at a later date, has been 80 per cent redesigned, shaving 12kgs.

The Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) has also undergone a redesign, with yet more weight savings of 7.8kg and wider ratios to improve acceleration. Meanwhile, the Impreza’s chassis is significantly stiffer, improving both handling and refinement with less noise and vibration entering the cabin.

When it goes on sale later in 2017 the Impreza will be fitted with Subaru’s complete Eyesight safety package, ranging across Pre-Collision Braking and Throttle Management, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure & Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Lead Vehicle Start Alert.

Subaru is not currently saying whether the Impreza range will eventually include a WRX model – these rally-inspired versions were once a core part of the model line-up.

Subaru Impreza Frankfurt The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.