Subaru brand enthusiasts have been compared to VW and Jeep fans for their endearing commitment (whether to aesthetic or engineering, performance or reliability). All are desirable traits for a modern brand that pins its modesty on its ability to go just about anywhere.
NEW & NOTABLE
BRZ: Subaru’s rear-wheel-drive coupe enjoys the introduction of new LED headlights and taillights, a distinctive aluminum rear wing and brash 10-spoke wheels to help emphasize its sporty attitude. This sportiness (and the RWD) make the BRZ an oddity among the AWD Subaru lineup. What is not odd is the BRZ’s young attitude and the 2.0-liter flat-four that gets a slew of new composition with new heads, valves, and cams along with reworked intake and exhaust manifolds.
Forester: The new Forester offers a base 2.5-liter flat-four powerplant with a special emphasis on Subaru’s claimed 2-mpg city fuel economy improvement. When you are running all four wheels, anything that can be done to help mpg is appreciated. In addition, Subaru has enhanced the new Forester with a driver-assist technology suite called EyeSight, which includes lane-keeping assist and optional reverse automatic braking. While the Forester gets lighter, it manages to do it while adding insulation beneath the floor, improved door seals and thicker panel glass to reduce noise.
Impreza: The 2017 Impreza is available as a four-door sedan or hatchback. Some may whine about the loss of the manual transmission variant, but the CVT automatic, with the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, easily offsets any fun factor lost. Look for the 2017 to offer enhanced roll resistance, stability and ride quality.
This year’s fresh Impreza, the first to be perched atop the new global platform, delivers a lower and longer shape. Not new is the expected 2.0-liter flat-four with direct injection and 152 horsepower. Subaru will now offer a 2.0i Sport model with a stiffened suspension and big 18-inch rims.
Minor changes: Crosstrek, Legacy, Outback, WRX STI