Expert Reviews

2024 Subaru Impreza Review and Video

AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Safety

The compact hatchback segment is much smaller than it used to be, but the remaining players continue to raise the bar and provide affordable and practical transportation.

The 2024 Subaru Impreza might not seem dramatically different from the one that came before it, but it brings this five-door into its sixth generation with upgrades in key areas that add up to make all the difference.

Styling: 8/10

The sedan version of the Impreza was discontinued for this generation, so the hatchback is now the only one available. This sixth-gen version finally gets an infusion of style to shake off the somewhat non-descript vibe of its predecessor. Now with some more aggressive shapes and angular lines, the Impreza has good proportions and a sporty stance. The RS trim tested here also gets some unique details and black wheels to give it an even sportier look.

Inside, red inserts in the cloth seats give the interior some life by adding a pop of colour, but the heavy use of hard black plastics throughout exposes the Impreza’s economy-car roots.

Power: 8/10

Half the lineup uses the same 2.0L four-cylinder engine from the previous generation, but the RS gets an upgraded 2.5L unit that outputs 182 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. While the smaller of the two engines has long been a drag, the 2.5L finally gives this hatchback the power it deserves. The Impreza can now pass a slower vehicle or get up to highway speeds convincingly and without inducing panic.

Of course, all-wheel drive (AWD) is standard, and an automatic continuously-variable transmission (CVT) makes good use of the engine’s extra output. The CVT is smooth and responsive enough, with a strong, almost jumpy takeoff from a stop, and only a bit of hesitation at speed when a sudden burst of acceleration is needed.

Driving Feel: 8/10

The new Impreza is stiffer than the outgoing one, which results in better handling, but not at the expense of comfort. The steering is responsive and accurate, the brakes feel good, and all the powertrain elements work together seamlessly.

The Impreza’s small size and excellent frontward visibility make it easy to manoeuvre and park. Large windows, the side mirror placement, and narrow A-pillars leave the view unobstructed, which adds another level of confidence.

I wouldn’t describe the Impreza as sporty, but it does feel planted and confident, even in a quick corner. The Impreza feels more substantial than the hatchback version of the Toyota Corolla, but perhaps not as solid and upscale as a five-door Honda Civic. Besides the Mazda3, however, there is no other mainstream small hatchback that offers AWD.

Fuel Economy: 8/10

The 2.5L-powered Impreza is officially rated to consume 9.0 L/100 km in the city, 7.2 on the highway, and 8.2 combined. (The 2.0L is marginally more efficient.) After 375 km of mixed testing, this tester returned an average of 8.2 L/100 km, right on target, which is impressive considering the colder weather and winter tires it was riding on.

Practicality: 9/10

The Impreza’s practicality is one of its biggest strengths. The door pockets are big enough for a water bottle, the storage compartments are large, and the seats are straightforward to fold flat. Subaru also knows its audience really well and has included a textured, flat surface inside the rear door jambs that can be used as a step when installing roof accessories or gear. And while the hard black plastics used throughout the cabin don’t look great, they’re easy to clean.

User-Friendliness: 9/10

The Impreza is defined by its straightforward user interface. The tablet-style touchscreen is easy to use thanks to helpful shortcuts that are always visible, physical buttons for often-used controls, a home button, and an intuitive menu structure, all of which make navigating around the system and completing simple tasks less distracting. While some of the iconography could be a bit more obvious, everything is (mostly) intuitive.

Features: 8/10

Keeping the cabin straightforward, the Impreza has all the necessities and no distracting gimmicks. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless phone charger, a sunroof, heated seats, and a heated steering wheel are all standard in this RS trim.

Safety: 9/10

Subaru’s entire safety suite comes standard across the lineup, so everything from adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane-keeping and centring assist, and automatic emergency steering is included. Blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert is included on all but the cheapest trim.

Comfort: 9/10

The Impreza is surprisingly spacious in the front and back, offering decent head- and legroom for all occupants. The suspension is also well calibrated so that it balances handling and comfort well, and the ride is relatively smooth and quiet as a result. The seats feel a bit flat and could also be more supportive for long drives, but they’re fine for most trips.

Value: 9/10

The Impreza remains one of the most affordable ways to get AWD in Canada, which gives it a leg up on its competitors. The only other competitor that offers AWD is the Mazda3 Sport, but it’s more expensive. Otherwise, there’s the Toyota Corolla sedan, or similarly sized crossovers like the Toyota Corolla Cross, all of which are pricier still. The base price for an Impreza is $26,795, plus the $1,995 destination fee. The RS model goes for $31,795, and it’s the one I’d recommend.

The Verdict

The 2024 Subaru Impreza has been improved in all the ways that matter, resulting in a compact car I can now easily recommend because it’s so much better than it used to be. It’s not the flashiest option out there, but it doesn’t try to distract you with gimmicks, so there’s a certain honesty here I really appreciate.

Its straightforward approach allows the Impreza to focus on what’s important in this segment: practicality, usability, and affordability. And now that it finally gets more power, the Impreza is easily one of the best compact cars out there.

Engine Displacement 2.5L
Engine Cylinders H4
Peak Horsepower 182 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Peak Torque 178 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm
Fuel Economy 9.0 / 7.2 / 8.2 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space 578 / 1,586 L seats up/down
Model Tested 2024 Subaru Impreza RS
Base Price $31,795
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $1,995
Price as Tested $33,890
Optional Equipment