The recipient of the 2016-2017 Japanese Car of the Year, and the first to make use of the brand's new Global Platform architecture, the fifth generation Impreza will initially be available as a sedan only with a single powertrain and in one trim level with more models due in October.
Limited to the mid-range S-Premium for now with the base 2.0i and flagship S-ES to follow, the Impreza comes powered by a brand new 2.0-litre flat-four Boxer engine weighing 12 kg less than before, and producing 115 kW and 196 Nm of torque. A new CVT, tipping the scales at 7.8 kg less than the unit in the old Impreza, remains the sole transmission option with drive again going to all four wheels via Subaru's rally derived Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system.
Aside from the new drivetrain and platform, additional under the skin changes consist of a reworked chassis, lighter electric power steering with a 13.1 steering ratio for quicker response, lower ride height and re-engineered suspension.
Known internally as the G5 series Impreza with the sedan carrying the GT designation, the newcomer features the latest iteration of Subaru's Dynamic + Solid styling language, with the biggest departure from the outgoing model being a completely new interior.
Highlighted by a new eight-inch infotainment display incorporating TomTom satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Siri Eyes Free, the cabin also benefits from upgraded materials, black and chrome detailing and new finishes for the steering wheel, gear lever and seats.
Standard spec includes 17-inch alloy wheels, tilt-sliding sunroof, heated front leather seats, keyless entry, push button start, electric windows all around, dual-zone climate control, Hill Start Assist, cruise control, reverse camera, dual USB ports, reverse camera and Active Torque Vectoring.
Claimed to offer unparallel levels of safety, the Impreza comes fitted as standard with High Beam Assist, Steering Responsive Headlights, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, seven airbags, four channel ABS with EBD and BAS.
Building on this, the flagship S-ES will feature Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist System as standard with the full suite of safety tech made up of Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Lane Sway Warning, Lead Vehicle Start Alert and Reverse Automatic Braking.
While pricing for the base and S-ES are yet to be announced, the S-Premium will retail for R399 000 with a five year / 150 000 km warranty and three year / 75 000 km maintenance standard, although the latter can be upgraded to five years / 150 000 km.