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2020 Subaru Impreza Review

The 2020 Subaru Impreza offers a roomy, comfortable interior and a composed ride, but most compact cars rank higher because of their superior cabin materials, stronger engine options, and better predicted reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious seats
  • Great fuel economy
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Underpowered engine
  • Some subpar cabin materials
  • Poor predicted reliability rating

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Subaru Impreza's #10 ranking is based on its score within the Compact Cars category. Currently the Subaru Impreza has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 34 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 7.7
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Subaru Impreza a Good Car?   

The 2020 Subaru Impreza is a good compact car. Its cabin is comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped with easy-to-use features and controls. Standard all-wheel drive is a highlight and helps this Subaru maintain road grip on a variety of surfaces. Still, the Impreza’s performance is hindered by its engine, which feels underpowered for a vehicle this heavy.

Should I Buy the Subaru Impreza?

With a low base price, some handy standard tech features, and good fuel economy, the Impreza is an excellent bargain in the class. It’s also the only compact car that comes with all-wheel drive, which can be a boon to those who frequently drive on wet roads.

Despite these positives, it's best to shop around. Most cars in the class have a higher predicted reliability rating, more trunk space, stronger engine options, and nicer cabin materials than the Impreza. The Kia Forte is another affordable car with lots of features and more trunk space than the Subaru, and the Mazda3 offers a slightly more powerful engine and agile handling.

Compare the Impreza, Forte, and Mazda3 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Subaru Impreza?

You should buy a new Subaru Impreza if you’re interested in getting lots of standard safety features. For 2020, Subaru makes the EyeSight safety system standard in all models that come with the continuously variable automatic transmission. This suite of advanced driver assistance features includes forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

If you can do without these features or don’t mind shopping for a used Impreza that has some of them, you could save money buying an older model. We recommend sticking with models from the current generation, which started with the redesigned 2017 Impreza. These models feature a retuned suspension and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which make it a superior choice compared to older Imprezas.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Impreza, 2018 Impreza, and 2019 Impreza reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Impreza »

We Did the Research for You: 34 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 34 Subaru Impreza reviews – along with performance specs, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if this is the right new car for you.

This 2020 Impreza review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2017.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain unbiased, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Subaru Impreza Cost?

The 2020 Subaru Impreza is one of the least expensive cars in the class. It starts at $18,695 for the sedan and $19,195 for the hatchback. The top sedan trim has a starting price of $25,795, and the highest hatchback trim is $26,295.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Subaru dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Subaru deals page.

Subaru Impreza Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Subaru Impreza or Toyota Corolla?

Both the 2020 Toyota Corolla and the Impreza offer below-average base prices, great fuel economy, and a few convenient features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. You can get both in hatchback and sedan body styles as well. Both cars also have similar downsides, like underpowered engines and automatic transmissions that are slow to respond. The Impreza has standard all-wheel drive (the Toyota doesn't offer it as an option), but the Corolla’s great predicted reliability rating (versus the Subaru's bottom-of-the-barrel rating) makes it the smarter buy.

Which Is Better: Subaru Impreza or Subaru Crosstrek?

If you like the extra storage that’s available in the Impreza hatchback, consider the Subaru Crosstrek, which has the same overall cargo capacity. Both vehicles feature the same user-friendly infotainment system, a similar features list, and standard all-wheel drive. On the down side, they also offer the same underpowered engine. If you don’t mind spending an extra $3,000, the Crosstrek is the better vehicle overall. You’ll get nicer cabin material materials and a slightly higher predicted reliability rating than you will with the Impreza. Still, some shoppers may prefer the Impreza’s more lively driving dynamics over the Crosstrek’s softer ride.

Compare the Impreza, Corolla, and Crosstrek »

Impreza Interior

How Many People Does the Impreza Seat?

The five-seat Impreza comes with cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver's seat are available.

The Impreza offers long-haul comfort and support up front, and the seats are plenty roomy, even for 6-footers in the second row. Visibility is good in all directions.

Impreza and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the Impreza’s rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has an upper tether and the ability to borrow a lower anchor from each side. For ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system its top rating of Good+. All of the anchors are easy to find and access.

Impreza Interior Quality

Interior materials are a mixed bag, with some low-grade plastics and several high-quality soft-touch surfaces. Some rivals, like the Honda Civic, have more upscale interiors.

Impreza Cargo Space

With 12.3 cubic feet of space, the Impreza sedan has one of the smallest trunks in the compact car class. However, the hatchback offers SUV-like cargo room, with 20.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 55.3 cubic feet with them folded. A 60/40-split-folding rear seat is standard.

Impreza Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The standard StarLink infotainment system includes a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Aha smartphone app integration, a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

Available features include automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, a moonroof, a six-speaker stereo, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, and an 8-inch touch screen with navigation.

Reviewers appreciate Subaru’s simple dashboard layout. Unlike some rivals that overwhelm you with technology, Subaru has opted for straightforward cabin controls that make it easy to adjust climate and volume settings while keeping your attention on the road. The infotainment system is quick to respond and features crisp graphics and legible menus.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Impreza Performance

Impreza Engine: Can’t Carry the Load

The 2020 Impreza’s 152-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine isn't strong enough to move this car with any urgency. The all-wheel-drive system adds to the car’s heft and taxes the engine at higher speeds. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and it shifts quickly. The available continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is less responsive.

Impreza Gas Mileage: Surprisingly Efficient

Both sedan and hatchback models with the CVT return an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which is above average for the compact car class. It’s even more impressive considering the Impreza has standard all-wheel drive, which often results in worse fuel economy.

Impreza Ride and Handling: AWD Anomaly

The Impreza is the only compact car that comes standard with all-wheel drive, and it’s available in only a couple of rivals. Routing power to all four wheels gives this car excellent road grip on both dry and slick surfaces. The Impreza has a fairly balanced ride, and steering is responsive. Sport models feature performance upgrades like Active Torque Vectoring and adjustable drive modes.

Read more about performance »

Impreza Reliability

Is the Subaru Impreza Reliable?

The 2020 Subaru Impreza has a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Subaru Impreza Warranty

Subaru backs the Impreza with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Impreza Safety

Impreza Crash Test Results

The 2020 Subaru Impreza earned the top rating of Good in all six tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and was named a Top Safety Pick+, the organization’s highest honor. The Impreza’s standard headlights received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well they illuminate the road ahead, while models with the optional LED projector headlights earned a Good rating.

The IIHS has a different scale for grading active safety features. In front crash prevention testing, the Impreza earned the highest rating of Superior for the effectiveness of its available EyeSight driver assist system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Impreza an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Impreza earned five stars in the frontal and side crash tests, as well as in the rollover evaluation.

Impreza Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in the Impreza. For 2020, Subaru made the EyeSight safety system standard in models with a continuously variable automatic transmission. This suite of safety features includes forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and lead vehicle start alert, which alerts you when the vehicle ahead of you has moved after being stopped.

Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beam headlights are available.

Read more about safety »

Impreza Dimensions and Weight

The Impreza is 14.7 to 15.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,976 to 3,150 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Subaru Impreza Built?

Subaru builds the 2020 Impreza in Indiana.

Which Subaru Impreza Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Subaru Impreza is available in four trims: Standard, Premium, Sport, and Limited. Two body styles are available: sedan and hatchback. A four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive come standard. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available. All hatchback models add an additional $500 to the base price, except for the hatchback Sport trim, which costs $600 less than the sedan Sport.

The base Subaru Impreza is a great value. It comes with many appealing features, including a user-friendly infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We recommend this trim with the optional CVT, as it adds a host of driver assistance features.

For better performance, consider the Impreza Sport. This model includes Active Torque Vectoring, two drive modes, and a CVT with seven-speed manual mode and paddle shifters.

Subaru Impreza Standard

The base Impreza Standard has a starting MSRP of $18,695. It comes with a rearview camera and the StarLink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Aha smartphone integration. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a CVT is available for $1,300.

Models with the CVT come with the EyeSight suite of safety features, which includes forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and lead vehicle start alert.

Subaru Impreza Premium

The Subaru Impreza Premium has a starting price of $22,095. In addition to the base trim’s features and the EyeSight suite, the Impreza Premium comes with a CVT, alloy wheels, heated front seats, a six-speaker audio system, and satellite radio.

A $1,970 package adds a moonroof, blind spot monitoring with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and keyless entry.

Subaru Impreza Sport

The Impreza Sport has a starting MSRP of $23,495. It comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, Active Torque Vectoring, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, sport seats, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, an 8-inch touch screen, an additional USB port, and a Wi-Fi hot spot with cloud-based apps like Yelp and iHeart Radio.

It also comes with a CVT with seven-speed manual mode and paddle shifters, as well as the SI-Drive system with Intelligent and Sport modes. The hatchback model comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, and a CVT is available for $1,100.

A $2,470 package adds an eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and blind spot monitoring with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.

Subaru Impreza Limited

The Impreza Limited starts at $25,795. This trim includes LED headlights, leather-trimmed upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, and a leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter. Adaptive headlights, automatic high-beam headlights, reverse automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert are also standard.

A $2,350 package adds a moonroof, navigation, and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Subaru dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Subaru deals page.

See 2020 Subaru Impreza specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Subaru Impreza offers good fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive, and a handful of desirable standard tech features for less than the cost of most compact cars, making it a great value. It also has roomy seats, which isn't the case with many rivals.

That said, its negatives will outweigh its positives for some shoppers. It has a poor predicted reliability rating, some down-market cabin materials, and lackluster engine power.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Is the Impreza a good car? Yes, and it could possibly be the best car depending on your needs. As a compact sedan or hatchback, it’s efficient, reliable, practical and has great resale value. With standard all-wheel drive, some would consider it a must in cold-weather states." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It may not be the most stylish or fun-to-drive compact car, but when it comes to safety, reliability and all-weather capability, the 2020 Subaru Impreza wagon and sedan are nearly impossible to beat." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2017 Subaru Impreza is an excellent car in search of a bigger engine. For those who simply want practicality and all-weather capability without making the jump to a crossover or SUV, it's darn-near perfect." -- Left Lane News (2017)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: July 16, 2020

Plunging Sales: Subaru has sold 37.3 percent fewer Imprezas in 2020 than it did during the same span in 2019. In addition, Impreza sales sit in the lower half of the compact car class this year. Class titans like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are each outselling the Impreza by more than 5 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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2020 Subaru Impreza

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