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Subaru Impreza Review

Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza

1/10

Subaru Impreza

2/10

Subaru Impreza

3/10

Subaru Impreza

4/10

Subaru Impreza

5/10

Subaru Impreza

6/10

Subaru Impreza

7/10

Subaru Impreza

8/10

Subaru Impreza

9/10

Subaru Impreza

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2018
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Japanese Focus rival. Not great.

Best bits

  • Lots of standard equipment provided
  • Decent balance of ride and handling
  • Absolutely loads of clever safety kit

Not so great

  • Not as cheap to buy as it should be
  • Standard four-wheel drive means high fuel consumption
  • Interior not as posh as those of rivals

Read by

Subaru Impreza Front Side View

Overall verdict

Subaru Impreza Front Interior

On the inside

Subaru Impreza Rim

Driving

Subaru Impreza Side Rear View

How much does it cost to run

Subaru Impreza Bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Judged in isolation, the Subaru Impreza is a decent car, with a reasonably comfortable driving experience, decent cabin space, solid build quality, lots of standard kit and an impressive safety record. However, it’s expensive, both to buy and to run, and it trails key rivals in several key areas, and by some distance."

Subaru Impreza Front Side View

Subaru Impreza. If you recognise those words, they probably conjure up images of blue paint, gold wheels and spectators being pelted with gravel as Colin McRae storms along another of the world’s great rally stages at breakneck speed. However, all that was back in the nineties, and things have changed a bit since then, not least the Impreza.


These days, the Impreza is no longer the turbocharged, rally-bred nutcase it once was. Like all louts eventually do, it grew up. It’s now a sensible, conservative and upstanding member of the family hatchback community, with plenty of room for four, a sizeable boot and a long warranty.


It hasn’t abandoned its roots entirely, though. In-keeping with Subaru tradition, it’s offered exclusively with four-wheel drive, giving it a very distinct USP in the family hatchback market, which might give the car an edge for those who live out in the sticks. 


That said, you’d better make sure it’s a USP you really need before buying, because it makes the Impreza much, much less efficient than the vast majority of rivals, so it’s much more expensive to run. It’s really not what you’d call cheap to buy, either. What you might use the word ‘cheap’ to describe, though, is the interior. It’s very robust and solidly made, but the hard plastics on display don’t have the tactility or the lustre of those in many rivals. 


There’s no denying the amount of standard equipment that’s provided, though. The car comes in a single fully-loaded trim, so all the luxury kit you could reasonably expect is present-and-correct. Safety is also incredibly well catered-for, with some really clever kit and some really impressive crash-test performances.


It’s not a bad car to drive, either. The ride is comfortable and reasonably well controlled, while the standard four-wheel drive helps make the handling safe and stable. The naturally aspirated petrol engines are a wee bit flat compared with turbocharged rivals, and the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) won’t be to everyone’s taste, but this is still a civilised and secure way of getting around. 


Ultimately, the Impreza is a car that will suit a handful of people very well, and those people will probably be very happy with it. For everyone else, though - those who aren’t in such need of the all-weather ability of standard four-wheel drive, and who certainly don’t want the elevated running costs associated with it - one of the Impreza's many brilliant rivals will probably be a better fit.

Is the Subaru Impreza right for you?

Like the rest of the country, do you have a space in your life that the humble family hatchback is perfectly placed to fill? However, are you unlike the rest of the country in that you live on the side of a Scottish mountain that’s often sprinkled with rain or snow?



If you are, and the Impreza’s standard four-wheel drive can actually be of some use to you, then it might be a match. Even if you never venture off-road, the Subaru’s 4x4 know-how can be useful in particularly slippy conditions. However, if you live in cities, town or suburbs like the rest of the population, then you’ll get very little use out of the system, and its presence will mean the Impreza costs you far more to run than rivals.

What’s the best Subaru Imperza model/engine to choose?

Truth is, there aren’t that many choices to make with the Impreza. For starters, there’s only one highly-stocked trim level on offer. Known as the SE, it provides all the creature comforts most drivers could ever want. That said, given the car’s high price, some customers might have appreciated a more affordable option. 


All Imprezas also get a CVT automatic transmission as standard, so there’s no choice to make on that score. Early cars did come with a choice of two engines, though a 1.6 with 114PS and a 2.0 with 156PS. Neither is especially quick, but the bigger engine’s extra urge makes it the one to go for. Bear in mind, though, it was discontinued later in the car’s life, so if you want a late, or pre-reg example, you might be disappointed.

What other cars are similar to the Subaru Impreza?

If you view the Impreza particularly as a four-wheel-drive family hatchback, then pretty much no car is like the Impreza. It’s more or less in a class of one on that score. 


Chances are, though, that you’ll ignore the 4x4 bit and concentrate on the family hatchback bit, and on that score there are loads of rivals. Some of the most popular rivals come in the form of the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra, while others include the Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Peugeot 308, SEAT Leon, Skoda Octavia, Renault Megane, Kia Ceed, Hyundai i30 and many more.

Learn more

Subaru Impreza Front Interior

On the inside

Subaru Impreza Rim

Driving

Subaru Impreza Side Rear View

How much does it cost to run

Subaru Impreza Bootspace

Prices, versions and specification