2024 Subaru Impreza Review: Four door no more


Pros: Standard all-wheel drive; good value; hatch offers great utility

Cons: Ho-hum interior, infotainment and engine offerings; no more sedan

From a distance, the 2024 Subaru Impreza may be mistaken for a crossover — perhaps its fraternal twin, the Crosstrek — but up close, this compact is all hatchback. Unfortunately, we mean that all too literally; as of 2024, the Impreza sedan is no more. With it, we also saw the demise of the manual transmission.

But the Impreza hatchback is not merely a kneecapped Crosstrek. It’s lower and missing the crossover’s body cladding, yes, but it also offers a sportier drive with crisper handling. And if that’s your bag, the revived RS model comes with a bigger engine, firmer suspension, bigger wheels and a performance drive mode to tie it all together — and you’ve still got all-wheel drive for when the going gets slick.

It’s no secret that small cars are thin on the ground in 2024, but don’t let the reduced size of the field fool you. Subaru has to compete with the likes of the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Hyundai Elantra. Its standard hatchback configuration and all-wheel drive are a plus in this crowd, and while its interior may not be as fancy as the others’, the Impreza’s cabin is well-built and hard-wearing, and if you really must have the power offered by the turbocharged Mazda 3, the WRX still exists; there’s even a fancy GT model if you’d rather be coddled than play Cosworth. 

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it’s like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What’s new for 2024?

The Impreza was completely overhauled for 2024, but that’s not the biggest news: That honor goes to the demise of the four-door Impreza sedan. There are now just three trims: Base, Sport and RS, and under the hood of the last, there’s a punchy new engine lifted from the Crosstrek Sport. Subaru also updated the Impreza’s EyeSight safety suite to be better at detecting pedestrians and cyclists in the road ahead.

What are the 2024 Impreza’s interior and in-car technology like?

Subaru’s interiors often lean toward the durable and hard–wearing side, rather than the delicate and sophisticated; the 2024 Impreza is no exception. Peruse the option list and you’ll find no leather upholstery or over-the-top tech packages. Practicality is the name of the game here.

The Impreza offers two different infotainment screen setups. The base model makes do with dual/stacked 7-inch touchscreens. It’s an odd (and cheap) look, but you get wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality in the top screen. We still haven’t tested this version of Subaru’s StarLink infotainment, but we have tested the upgrade system. Opt for the Sport or RS, and you get the massive 11.6-inch vertically-oriented touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The screen’s surround is in a glossy black instead of the base model’s flat black look, but it still retains useful physical controls. For example, you can adjust the temperature and activate the defrosters via real buttons. The chunky volume and tuning knobs are appreciated, and the heated seats being activated by switches on the console is way better than doing so on a touchscreen. Stepping up to the Sport or RS also adds USB-C charging (USB-A is standard on the Base), which is becoming a must-have for new smart gadgets. Oddly, the Impreza retains an aux port front and center under the touchscreen no matter the trim level, so good news for folks who hung onto their iPods.

That big 11.6-inch screen may wow in comparison to what you’ll find a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, but do be warned that it’s slow to respond to inputs no matter the task at hand. Its simple menu layout is nice, but tech fiends won’t find any whiz-bang features or innovative software solutions within Subaru’s infotainment software. The instrument cluster is mostly analog save for a small central screen that can be configured to display a number of different items. The gauges themselves are easily readable, but the screen that is controlled via steering wheels buttons is dated, especially when you consider the Impreza is all-new this year.

How big is the 2024 Impreza?

The Impreza is a traditional compact five-door along the lines of the Honda Civic and Mazda3 hatchbacks. The cabin is roomy and the rear cargo area spacious, though it is somewhat compromised by the Impreza’s standard all-wheel drive. Front headroom is almost identical to its compact competitors’, while it has a slight advantage over the Mazda3 in rear head- and legroom.

Cargo room is also similar. The Impreza offers 19.9 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats up. The front-wheel drive Civic hatchback manages 24.7 cubes; the all-wheel drive Mazda offers just 20.1. We’ve not yet published a luggage test of the 2024 Impreza, but we’ve sampled the new Subaru Crosstrek. The results showed the Civic indeed having a bit more space for luggage (though not much), and the Impreza/Crosstrek actually being a bit better than the Mazda.

What are the 2024 Impreza’s fuel economy and performance specs?

The Impreza is offered with two engines, both of which are mated to a continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive. The Base and Sport are equipped with a 2.0-liter boxer-four producing 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. It returns an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined.

The RS gets the punchier 2.5-liter boxer, which makes 182-hp and 178 lb.-ft. of torque. Its fuel economy falls only slightly to 26 mpg city, 33 highway and 29 combined.

What’s the 2024 Impreza like to drive?

The Impreza has always been a solid handler; the 2024 is no different. The boxer engine gives Subarus a nice, low center of gravity and taut, nimble handling without having to sacrifice too much ride quality. The hatchback maintains that character pleasantly in 2024, with flat cornering and reasonable steering feel.

We wish we were as enthusiastic about the Impreza’s engines as we are about its chassis. The 2.0-liter engine is adequate but not spectacular. The 2.5-liter provides sufficiently brisk acceleration compared to the base engine, but lacks the low-end punch offered by the Honda Civic’s small turbocharged four-cylinder.

No matter which engine you get, you’re stuck with Subaru’s CVT. For 2024, the Base gets a “low” ratio in case you need to crawl with it; the Sport and RS have eight simulated “gears” that replicate the behavior of a traditional stepped automatic for spirited driving.

All-in the 2024 Impreza is a solid drive for its price. We could do with a little less wind and road noise, but it’s neither persistent nor intrusive.

What other 2024 Subaru Impreza reviews can I read?

2024 Subaru Impreza First Drive Review: Not everything has to be an SUV

Its sportier looks distance it from Crosstrek. The not-so-sporty drive does not

 

Subaru WRX Long-Term Test Introduction: It’s time for some boost

We’re kicking things off in the WRX’s natural winter habitat

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Review: Adventurer on Sunday, commuter on Monday

The Crosstrek is technically all-new for 2024, but its mission and execution carry over

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Luggage Test: How much cargo space?

The next-generation model is ever-so-slightly less voluminous than its predecessor

What is the 2024 Impreza’s price?

The 2024 Subaru Impreza Base checks in at $24,085 (including destination). There are only two trims above that: Sport ($26,085) and RS ($28,975). Both add a sportier suspension and larger wheels, but only the RS comes with the larger, 2.5-liter engine. If you’re an enthusiast buyer, that’s the one you want.

Key upgrades include USB-C charging and the 11.6-inch infotainment system, both of which are standard on the Sport and RS. A package for the Sport model adds a sunroof, heated seats and mirrors, and some driver assistance items for $1,900; the RS can be optioned with a Harman Kardon audio system, sunroof and power driver’s seat ($2,070).

What are the Impreza’s safety ratings and driver assistance features?

The 2024 Subaru Impreza is as safe as they come. It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick + — the highest rating offered by the watchdog — and received five stars in U.S. government crash testing.

With the demise of the manual transmission, Subaru’s EyeSight safety package is now standard on every model. It includes forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, emergency steering assist, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, rear seat reminder, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering steering assist.

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