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2020 Subaru Impreza Performance


MSRP
$18,695
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Subaru Impreza Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.8

The 2020 Subaru Impreza has composed handling and sharp steering, and its standard all-wheel drive provides great road grip. However, its engine feels underpowered, and unlike rivals, the Impreza isn't available with a more powerful power plant. Fuel economy is great for the class, though.

  • "Aside from poor acceleration and a CVT automatic that doesn't always do as we'd expect, the Impreza performs very well." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "With one glaring exception, the 2017 Subaru Impreza has benefited immensely from its rebirth. The chassis is stiffer, the steering is better, and the interior is larger than before. Like on most Subarus, standard all-wheel drive remains a key selling point. The only thing that's missing is more power." -- Autoblog (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The 2020 Impreza comes with a 152-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated with a five-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available.

The Impreza is too heavy for its underpowered engine, so the car is slow to reach and maintain highway speeds. The CVT is sluggish, but the manual transmission shifts smoothly.

CVT-equipped Impreza sedan and hatchback models gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which are excellent numbers for the compact car class, especially for an all-wheel-drive model.

  • "With only 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque, there’s only so much its engine can do, especially since it is powering all four wheels. And the CVT transmission doesn’t help matters. While Subaru’s continuously variable transmission continues to improve, it can still feel — and sound — taxed under hard acceleration. The manual transmission can rectify at least the latter issue." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Impreza is a tortoise in a class of hares, with a four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. With little low-end punch, the Impreza requires considerable goading to keep the engine where it needs to be to make power. Although the five-speed manual transmission on our Impreza Sport sedan performed less lethargically at our test track compared with the CVT of our long-term Sport hatch." -- Car and Driver
  • "Passing power is also in short supply, but the paddle shifters on the CVT do help a bit in this area. The CVT does have its upsides: It delivers smooth, shift-free acceleration and great gas mileage." -- Autotrader

Handling and Braking

Thanks to its standard all-wheel drive and firm suspension, the Impreza feels secure around turns and planted to the road. It also has a smooth, quiet ride. Steering feedback is good, and the brakes are strong. Available SI-Drive allows you to choose between Intelligent and Sport modes. Intelligent mode works to improve fuel economy, while Sport mode tunes the throttle to enhance handling.

  • "Its stiff body and responsive steering engender a feeling of solidity not usually associated with a compact car." -- Autotrader
  • "The Impreza strikes a near-perfect balance between ride and handling. The body doesn't lean in turns and the quick steering gives the compact car an additional sense of verve. We found the Impreza Sport's relatively firm brake pedal and short stopping distance during emergency-braking situations to be exemplary for the class." -- Car and Driver
  • "The steering feels lively and direct in your hands, and the suspension offers up surprising grip, even on lower-end models. On the highway or around town, it's also quieter than you might expect, thanks to a stiff chassis and impressive sound deadening." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Subaru Impreza

MSRP: $18,695 - $26,295

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