- Spacious, practical interior, especially in the hatchback.
- Great optional safety features.
- Good all-wheel drive mpg.
- Very underpowered compared to competition.
- Safety features only available with automatic transmission.
- Low ground clearance prohibits even mild off-road activity.
Would we buy one? Yes.
Vehicle Type: 4-door, 5-seat compact AWD sedan or hatchback.
Price Range: Pricing for the Subaru Impreza starts at an MSRP of $19,595 in 2.0i base trim with a manual transmission, and the top end Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited starts at $26,695. Prices include destination, but no optional equipment.
Powertrain: All trims of the Subaru Impreza are powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder boxer engine, making 152 horsepower and 145 pound-foot of torque.
A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, with an optional CVT available.
The Impreza is only available with all-wheel drive.
Competitors: Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Elantra.
Overall Score: 7.4/10
Safety Features: 7/10
The Impreza is available with Subaru's EyeSight safety and driver assist package, though only on models equipped with the CVT automatic transmission. That package includes emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning with lane keeping assist. The Impreza Limited is only available with CVT, and comes standard with EyeSight.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety awarded the 2020 Subaru Impreza with a top safety pick when equipped with the optional SafetySense package, and, in crash tests, the Impreza received a good rating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration similarly scores the Impreza a five-star overall safety rating.
The Subaru Impreza is one of the least expensive all-wheel drive vehicles on sale in the USA. Starting at under $20,000, the Impreza is a great value for those living in temperate or snowy climates who want the security blanket of AWD grip. The base model is sparsely equipped, but undercuts the Mazda 3 AWD by four-thousand dollars. All trims also include basics like power locks, keyless entry, and power windows.
In more luxurious trims, the Impreza delivers the all safety features and tech one could expect in a modern compact car.
The Subaru Impreza includes a 3 year/36,000 mile limited warranty with 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain coverage. Also included is 3 years of roadside assistance.
Tech Features: 7/10
Subaru's Starlink infotainment system runs through a 6.5-inch touchscreen in base trim, 8.0-inch touchscreen in Sport and Limited trims, and all models include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The user interface is intuitive and good-looking. USB ports are available in the center console, and the system has Bluetooth capability.
A Harman Kardon audio system with amplifier is available for those looking for premium sound. Other premium available features include a moonroof, automatic climate control, but conspicuously absent is an available heated steering wheel.
The Subaru Impreza, with standard all-wheel drive, is a sensible option for those looking for a reliable all-weather vehicle, without the need to go off-road. With only 5.1-inches of ground clearance, 3.6-inches less than its burlier counterpart, the Subaru Crosstrek, the Impreza is not the best option for those looking to get off the beaten path. It is, however, an excellent car for areas with occasional snowfall, and Subaru's AWD system is generally highly regarded.
Opting for the Impreza hatchback only adds to the practicality the roomy, for its class, 5-door has an almost SUV-like cargo space of 55.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded away, which almost doubles the Corolla hatchback.
Styling & Design: 6/10
The Subaru Impreza receives a refreshed design for 2020 with a new grille, front fascia, and new taillights. Both sedan and hatchback body styles are attractive, but not jaw-droppers in the segment. All trims above the base feature alloy wheels, though the Impreza Sport and Limited wear 18" wheels compared to the 16" of the Impreza Premium.
Inside, upholstery ranges from cloth in the base, to leather in the Impreza Limited. Front seat legroom is as good as anything in the class, and rear seat passengers also have decent space for a compact car.
Driving Experience: 7/10
The Subaru Impreza does not have a peppy engine, with lackluster acceleration to say the least. Those looking for speed and excitement, should look to the Impreza's sporty stablemate the WRX. The five-speed manual transmission delivers more fun than the more fuel efficient CVT. However, the CVT is one of the better units on the market
While the anemic engine won't thrill drivers, the handling is just right. The Subaru Impreza delivers a comfortable ride, while not compromising handling characteristics. It feels sure footed and nimble, while still soaking up reasonably sized potholes.
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10
When equipped in Base 2.0i trim with the 5-speed manual transmission, the Subaru Impreza sedan receives an EPA estimated fuel economy of 31 mpg highway, 23 city, and 26 combined. When optioned with the CVT, those numbers are significantly elevated to 36 mpg hwy, 28 city, and 31 combined.
The 5-door Subaru Impreza hatchback with the manual transmission receives 31 mpg hwy, 24 mpg city, and 26 combined mpg. With the CVT, the Impreza hatchback rates out at 36 hwy mpg, 28 city, 31 combined, matching the Impreza sedan. Sport trim levels see a slight drop of about 1 mpg compared to their similarly equipped, non-sport counterparts.
Though these aren't the highest numbers in the compact class, they are better than the Impreza's only true AWD in-class competitor, the Mazda 3 AWD.