If the Impreza is any indication, Subaru's jump to a modular vehicle platform is off to a promising start.
When the fifth-generation Impreza launched late last year as a 2017 model, it was the first model designed on the Subaru Global Platform, a flexible architecture intended to share technical features and improvements across multiple models.
Impreza sales through September totaled 64,589 units in the U.S., up 43 percent from the same period in 2016.
Those figures buck the declining compact car trend and make the Impreza one of the few bright spots in a segment that is down 4.9 percent overall through September.
Jeff Walters, Subaru of America's senior vice president of sales, credits the Impreza's one-two punch of offering both a sedan and five-door as a reason for its sales success.
"We have the advantage of having a nice four-door and a five-door," Walters told Automotive News. "Two-thirds of sales continue to be five-door. That's where people are going."
Mike Wasserman, general manager at Subaru Superstore of Chandler in suburban Phoenix, said Impreza has done well since the redesign, especially the five-door, given its looks and extra utility.
"Most of the focus today is on SUVs, not on passenger cars," Wasserman said. "The five-door sort of acts as an SUV for some people."
Another segment trend the Impreza has managed to skip is the use of fat, profit-eroding market incentives. Walters said Subaru is able to support the Impreza with relatively low incentives, all while getting feedback from dealerships that the car remains competitive in the segment.
The Impreza is bringing new customers over to the Subaru brand, Walters noted.
When its national ad campaign launched in February, the commercials focused on youth and safety. Those characteristics appear to be resonating with customers.
"The age has gotten younger," said Walters. "At least 35 percent, maybe even more, of these buyers are 35 and younger, which is good. That's 10 percent better than the previous generation."