Subaru seeks to impress with its Impreza. Available in sedan and hatchback body styles, the Impreza sits just below the Legacy among Subaru's non-SUV offerings. A lifted version with crossover styling is sold as the Subaru Crosstrek, and a sport-focused, rally-inspired model is sold as the WRX. Subaru introduced the current, fifth-generation Impreza for the 2017 model year. It competes with other compact sedans and compact hatchbacks including the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda 3.
Standard AWD and strong safety scores are not enough to propel the Impreza to the top of its segment. Alongside those strengths, the compact Subaru also offers a spacious, solidly built cabin, an intuitive infotainment system, and impressive outward visibility.
That said, we take issue with the sole available powertrain. With substandard performance, you'll find yourself flooring the accelerator and listening to the thrashy engine at high rpms just to ascend a light grade or pass on the highway. We also wouldn't recommend the Sport model, which has larger wheels and a sport-tuned suspension, resulting in a noisier cabin without providing any noticeable handling benefit.
The Impreza is not without its strengths, but in a segment as competitive as this one, there are better-rounded, more appealing options.
The Impreza only has one engine option: a 2.0-liter flat-four developing 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is standard on entry-level models and available on the Impreza Sport hatchback, but those who'd rather not control the transmission themselves will be pleased with the CVT automatic fitted to the Premium, Limited, and Sport sedan. Unimpressive performance numbers read 0-60 in 9.0-9.7 seconds.
Like most Subarus, AWD is standard on all trims of the Impreza sedan and hatchback. Fuel economy varies based on body style and transmission, with manual Sport hatchbacks rated at 22/30 mpg city/highway and CVT sedans returning up to 28/36 mpg.
Every CVT-equipped Impreza includes Subaru's EyeSight collection of driver-assist active safety features. That means every Impreza with a CVT includes automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. An option package available on Premium and Sport trims adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist (the features are standard on the Limited model).
With the EyeSight suite and the Limited trim's LED headlights, the Impreza is a 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick. Models without the LEDs receive a Marginal headlight rating, and all trims have good crashworthiness scores. The Impreza also earns a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.
Both the sedan and the hatch offer seating for five with 43.1 inches of legroom up front and 36.5 inches in the rear. The rear legroom number bests those of the Corolla and Mazda 3, but the Honda Civic provides more space. Cargo volume for the sedan measures 12.3 cubic feet; the hatchback offers 20.3 cubes behind the rear seat or 55.3 with the seat folded down, though hatchback and sedan cargo capacity figures are measured differently in the U.S.
Although lower-spec Imprezas (base and Premium) work with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Sport and Limited models feature an 8.0-inch display. Both systems include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, and navigation is available on the top-spec Limited model.
|$500||Subaru announces a Lease Loyalty program which allows current lease customers to have their first payment and disposition fees waived when leasing a new vehicle through SMF. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||12-31-2021|
|$500||Subaru announces Military Discount program to active-duty and reserve members of the US Military. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||12-31-2021|
|$0||0% Financing available for varying term lengths : 24, 36, 48, 63 Months - Subaru announces APR rates on select models.||02-01-2021|
|$0||0.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Subaru announces APR rates on select models.||02-01-2021|