2019 Subaru Impreza

Performance


#10 out of 13 in Compact Cars

MSRP
$18,595
U.S. News Best Price Program

2019 Subaru Impreza Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.9

The 2019 Subaru Impreza has only one available engine, and it feels underpowered in most situations. This Subaru is passable as a daily driver, though it doesn't accelerate or merge on the highway with any conviction. It provides a generally smooth ride, and while it's not an athletic car, its steering is lively, and the standard all-wheel drive adds grip around corners and security in inclement weather.

  • 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

Every Subaru Impreza, regardless of body style, features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 152 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available. The Impreza is adequate as a daily driver, but this vehicle’s lethargic acceleration means it struggles to produce enough power for quick highway passing and merging. Its transmission is also slow to respond.

With the CVT, the Impreza sedan earns an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. That’s impressive in the class and especially so considering the standard all-wheel drive, as AWD vehicles are usually less fuel-efficient. Hatchbacks earn similar ratings of 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.

  • "There's no escaping it: The 2019 Subaru Impreza is lacking under the hood. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder puts out 152 horsepower, but it has more than 3,000 pounds of Subaru to lug around, and it never feels sporty. It's a shame, because the chassis feels like it could easily handle more power." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Impreza's most significant drawback is its lackluster powertrain. … we've found the Impreza is one of the slowest cars in its class. Matters aren't helped by the car's continuously variable automatic transmission. It isn't quick to react to driver inputs, and when it does finally rev the engine high enough for a speed burst, there's not enough power on tap to muster any meaningful acceleration. Constantly shoving the gas pedal just to keep up with traffic means the Impreza also has a hard time meeting its fuel economy estimates in the real world." -- Edmunds
  • It's quick enough in traffic, but foot-to-the-floor acceleration (merging onto freeways and passing on 2-lane roads) isn't as urgent as we'd like." -- Autotrader (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Subaru Impreza has a smooth ride, though you'll feel the occasional jolt in the road. Its handling is poised, and it has sharp, lively steering. It’s also fairly quiet on the highway. The Impreza draws lots of praise for its standard all-wheel drive, which adds security when cornering and when the road is slippery. Aside from the other Subaru in the class (the WRX) and some performance models, no other compact car even offers all-wheel drive.

  • "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
  • "A relatively quiet and smooth ride makes the Impreza a breeze to drive on the highway." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "We'd argue that the Impreza's best safety feature is all-wheel drive. Although it's often perceived as being most useful in snow and rain -- which, no question, it is -- all-wheel drive improves traction on dry pavement, too. Combined with standard electronic stability control, all-wheel drive makes the Impreza more likely than most cars to go in the direction you point it." -- Autotrader (2017)
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2019 Subaru Impreza

MSRP: $18,595 - $25,690

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