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2019 Subaru Impreza Review

The 2019 Subaru Impreza is fairly roomy inside, and its technology is easy to use. However, many rivals have more upscale interiors and feel more engaging from behind the wheel. That's why the Impreza finishes in the bottom half of our compact car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Excellent fuel economy estimates
  • Spacious seats
  • Lackluster engine
  • Middling cabin quality
  • Subpar predicted reliability rating

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Subaru Impreza's #10 ranking is based on its score within the Compact Cars category. Currently the Subaru Impreza has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 8.0
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Subaru Impreza a Good Car?

The Subaru Impreza is an OK compact car. It comes in sedan and hatchback body styles, and if you can look past the low-rent materials, the cabin is pretty nice. The seats are spacious and comfortable, and a user-friendly infotainment system comes standard.

That said, the Impreza's performance is a mixed bag. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is uncommon in this class, and it gets good gas mileage. However, it's plagued by a lackluster engine, and several rivals are sportier. The Impreza's predicted reliability rating is also below average.

Should I Buy the Subaru Impreza?

The Impreza makes a decent choice for getting to and from work, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily the right buying choice for you. It provides a relatively smooth ride and outstanding road grip. It also comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is rare among compact cars, even as an option. Still, there are many vehicles in this class worth considering, including the Honda Civic, which retails for about $900 more than the Subaru, and the Kia Soul, which is around $2,100 less.

Compare the Impreza, Civic, and Soul »

Should I Buy a New or Used Subaru Impreza?

Subaru redesigned the Impreza for the 2017 model year. Neither the 2018 nor 2019 model received any substantial updates. Because of that, the 2017 Impreza is nearly identical to the new model, but it's much less expensive.

You could save even more money by shopping for a previous-generation Subaru, but you’d miss out on the benefits of the redesign, which included exterior and interior styling updates, a slight bump in horsepower, a revised infotainment system with a larger touch screen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a wider trunk.

Read our review of the 2017 and 2018 Subaru Impreza for more information. You can also check out our review of the previous-generation 2016 Subaru Impreza. If you decide an older model is right for you, visit our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Subaru Impreza »

We Did the Research for You: 30 Reviews Analyzed

To make our car rankings and reviews as consumer-oriented as possible, we do not rely on our personal opinions. Instead, we analyze hard data such as crash test results and reliability ratings, as well as the opinions of the automotive press. This Subaru Impreza review draws on 30 reviews and incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Subaru Impreza Cost?

With an MSRP of around $18,600, the 2019 Subaru Impreza's retail price is about average for the class. However, many of the vehicles that cost less than the Impreza are only a little less, while many of the more-expensive cars cost a lot more – a few thousand dollars in many cases. Even the top-of-the-line five-door hatchback Subaru Impreza Limited ($25,690) undercuts the starting prices of some rivals. The Volkswagen GTI, for example, is expected to retail for more than $26,400, while the sporty Subaru WRX starts at just shy of $27,200.

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 Subaru WRX?

The all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX is a great car for driving enthusiasts, and the WRX STI's turbocharged engine makes more than twice the horsepower of the Impreza. The WRX also offers sporty upgrades, including high-performance Brembo brakes and a sport-tuned suspension. Unlike the Impreza, the WRX is only available in a sedan body style. The WRX has spacious seats, but the Impreza has more overall room for passengers. Both vehicles offer comparable features. One of the biggest differences is price. The WRX has an MSRP of $27,195, and the performance-oriented STI models start at $36,595. Both prices exceed the cost of even the high-end Impreza Limited. Sport-oriented shoppers will prefer the WRX. Otherwise, the Impreza is a fine pick.

Which Is Better: Subaru Impreza or Honda Civic?

The Honda Civic is a great compact car. Available as a sedan, hatchback, or coupe, this vehicle’s deft handling and powerful engine lineup make it a blast to drive. It also gets higher fuel economy estimates than the Impreza. The Civic does not offer all-wheel drive, but it does have a high-grade cabin with plenty of space. Unless you want all-wheel drive, the Honda Civic is the better choice.

Compare the Impreza, WRX, and Civic »

Impreza Interior

How Many People Does the Impreza Seat?

The Subaru Impreza seats five people on standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are available. Unlike some rivals with cramped interiors, the Impreza has plenty of space for adults in both rows. The seats are comfortable, and it’s easy for drivers to find a suitable driving position. Visibility is excellent in all directions.

Impreza and Child Car Seats

The Impreza has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats and an additional tether anchor for the rear middle seat. Both the upper tethers and lower anchors are easy to find and identify, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the setup a Good+ rating for ease of use. That's the highest rating a car can earn.

Impreza Interior Quality

This Subaru has a nice interior with some high-quality materials, though there are also a few hard plastics scattered about. Some rivals look and feel more upscale.

Impreza Cargo Space

The Subaru Impreza sedan has 12.3 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s a little below average for the class, even among sedans. The hatchback has more room, however, offering 20.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 55.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. That’s more space than you’ll get with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Hyundai Veloster.

Impreza Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Every 2019 Impreza has the StarLink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, a four-speaker sound system, and Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Aha smartphone app integration. A larger 8-inch touch screen with a built-in navigation system, a six-speaker stereo, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot are available.

The infotainment system is easy to use. The graphics are crisp and clear, and the touch screen responds quickly to inputs. Redundant buttons and knobs can be used to control audio and climate functions. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a plus.

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

Read more about interior »

Impreza Performance

Impreza Engine: Unimpressive

All Impreza models have a 2.0-liter flat-four engine that makes 152 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard. A continuously variable transmission, a type of automatic, is available.

Whether in a sedan or hatchback, the engine is noticeably lethargic. The automatic transmission can be slow to react, and when it does, the engine lacks satisfying bursts of power. Most competitors deliver better acceleration, feel more energetic, or offer a turbocharged engine option.

Impreza Gas Mileage: More Impressive

With its automatic transmission, the Subaru Impreza sedan gets 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway (28/36 mpg with the hatchback). Those are excellent numbers for the class, especially considering the Impreza has standard all-wheel drive (AWD vehicles typically get worse gas mileage). You’ll spend about as much on gas per year with this Subaru as you would with the Hyundai Elantra or Honda Civic sedan with a manual transmission.

Impreza Ride and Handling: The Rare AWD Compact Car

This Subaru has a smooth and quiet ride on the highway. Its steering is responsive, and it has great road grip in both good and bad weather conditions. What really makes the Impreza stand out is its standard all-wheel drive. Other than the Subaru WRX and the high-performance Volkswagen Golf R, no other compact car offers all-wheel drive.

Read more about performance »

Impreza Reliability

Is the Subaru Impreza Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2019 Impreza a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five.

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. Most compact cars have similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

Impreza Safety

Impreza Crash Test Results

The 2019 Subaru Impreza aced every crash test conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+, giving it the highest rating in every area tested.

Impreza Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in the Impreza. Several other safety features are available, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and Subaru’s EyeSight safety system, which adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

Read more about safety »

Which Subaru Impreza Model Is Right for Me?

Subaru offers the 2019 Impreza in four trim levels and two body styles (sedan and hatchback). All trims have a four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. Every five-door hatchback trim costs $500 more than the four-door sedan trims.

There’s not a huge price gap between trims, so you could step up to the top-of-the-line Limited trim and still save money compared to the starting prices of some rivals. The Limited trim will get you the EyeSight suite of safety features, as well as some comfort upgrades such as leather seats and automatic climate control.

Subaru Impreza 2.0i

The base Subaru Impreza 2.0i has an MSRP of $18,595. For that price, you’ll get a five-speed manual transmission, cloth upholstery, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, a rearview camera, and the StarLink infotainment system with a four-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Aha smartphone integration, and a 6.5-inch touch screen. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is offered for $1,000. No packages are available, though the EyeSight suite of safety features is offered for $845.

Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium

The Subaru Impreza Premium starts at $21,595. In addition to the base trim’s features, the Premium comes with a CVT, alloy wheels, heated front seats, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot with cloud-based apps such as Yelp and iHeart Radio. The EyeSight suite of safety features is available for $1,395. This package includes fog lights, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and all the normal features in the EyeSight suite (forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control). Other notable options include a moonroof ($1,000) and remote start ($461).

Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport

The Subaru Impreza Sport ($22,195) reverts back to the manual transmission. It also has larger, 18-inch alloy wheels, sharper handling and cornering with Active Torque Vectoring, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, sport-styled seats, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, HD Radio, and an 8-inch touch screen.

A CVT is available for $800.

Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited

The Impreza Limited starts at $25,190. The Limited comes with the automatic transmission and adds automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and leather seats. Two option packages are available.

The first package costs $1,400 and adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a moonroof. The second package costs $2,750 and includes those features plus the larger 8-inch touch screen with a navigation system and an eight-speaker Harmon Kardon premium audio system.

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 2019 Subaru Impreza specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Subaru Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive – a rarity in this class – and is available in sedan and hatchback body styles. It has good fuel economy, plenty of passenger space, a perfect safety score, and easy-to-use technology. However, this Subaru’s ranking suffers from a dull, underpowered engine and a below-average predicted reliability rating. In the competitive compact car class, many rivals are just better all-around.

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

  • "In the 2019 Subaru Impreza, you'll find a comfortable compact with a big back seat, impressive fuel economy and the added bonus of standard all-wheel drive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are along for the ride, too, as is the availability of Subaru's excellent EyeSight driver-assist system." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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)
  • "While Impreza's primary attraction has long been its available all-wheel drive, that's no longer the only reason to buy one. Overall, it's at least class-competitive in space, fuel economy, and driving dynamics, but stands out for its great visibility, sensible control layout, and full range of safety and convenience features. So if Impreza hasn't previously been on your compact-car shopping list, it really should be now." -- Consumer Guide (2017)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: November 7, 2019

Slipping Sales: Subaru is selling 15.5 percent fewer Imprezas in 2019 than it did during the same period in 2018. 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 outselling the Impreza by 5 to 1 and 4 to 1, respectively.

Research more buying advice »
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