NY LIVE: 2017 Subaru Impreza Sedan, Impreza Hatch

The new Impreza is a heavily toned-down version of the Impreza Sedan Concept

Subaru has introduced the long-awaited 2017 Impreza at the New York Auto Show.

Brand new from A to Z, the fifth-generation Impreza is a heavily toned-down version of the two Impreza concepts that were introduced last year in Tokyo and in Los Angeles, respectively. Its front end is characterized by more realistic-looking lights that replace the concept's sharp LED units, and a hexagonal grille with wing-like inserts. Out back, both the sedan and the hatchback models feature sharper tail lamps than their predecessors.

The Impreza Sport model benefits from 18-inch alloys, gloss black trim on both ends, body-colored rocker panels, black cloth upholstery with red stitching, and a specific instrument cluster. More importantly, it offers better handling thanks to a firmer suspension and a torque vectoring system.

Subaru has put a big emphasis on making the Impreza much nicer inside. That means you can expect to find higher quality materials, niceties such as contrast stitching, and an eight-inch touch screen that runs Subaru's Starlink infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter direct-injected flat-four engine that makes 152 horsepower. All models regardless of trim level get Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel rive system, though transmission options remain largely unconfirmed. All we know at this point is that higher trims receive a CVT with seven pre-programmed virtual "gears."

The 2017 Impreza is much more rigid than the 2016 model because it's built on a new modular architecture called simply Subaru Global Platform (SGP) that will eventually underpin the Forester and the Outback. Switching to the SGP platform promises to make the Impreza more comfortable, to reduce body roll by 50 percent, and to lower the center of gravity. Finally, the increased use of high-tensile strength steel improves energy absorption in the event of an accident by up to 40 percent.

Subaru's EyeSight suite of driving aids has been expanded to include adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, and a lane departure warning system. Buyers can also order the Impreza with a novel reverse automatic braking technology that warns the driver if he or she is about to hit an obstacle while backing up, and automatic applies the brakes if necessary.

Built in Indiana, both the hatchback and sedan variants of the 2017 Subaru Impreza will go on sale nationwide later this year. The lineup will be broken down into four trims called base, Premium, Sport, and Limited, respectively. Impreza off-shoots like the Crosstrek and the WRX STI won't be revealed for at least another few months.

Live images by Brian Williams.

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