The Subaru Impreza is one of the oldest names in the compact car segment. Available in sedan and hatchback body styles, the Impreza is also the only model in its class that provides standard all-wheel drive.
2012 to Present: Subaru Impreza
The fourth-generation Subaru Impreza was released for the 2012 model year. From 2012 to 2014, the Subaru WRX was part of the Impreza line. Starting in 2015, Subaru began marketing its high-performance compact as a standalone model.
The Impreza is available as a sedan or a hatchback. Standard Impreza models are marked by a sporty fascia with wraparound headlamp assemblies and a narrow horizontal grille. A lower grille opening is hemmed in by the openings for available fog lamps.
The Impreza features a rising beltline, upper and lower profile character lines and alloy wheels. To the rear, this model has wraparound combination lamps. The hatchback adds a rear spoiler. Reflector lights and one or two exhaust tips (depending on the model) are included.
The WRX edition brings in more powerful turbocharged engines, as well as body skirting, a hood scoop, performance wheels, a trunk lip spoiler and quad exhaust ports in a diffuser.
Seating is for five with standard or sport bucket seats up front and a 60-40 split-folding seat in the rear. In the sedan, that seat provides access to the trunk, expanding upon its 12 cubic feet of storage room. In the hatchback, there's 22.5 cubic feet of storage space, which can be expanded to 52.4 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.
The Subaru Impreza’s interior features a two-gauge analog instrument panel with a digital driver’s information display in the center. Depending on the model, a color display featuring Subaru’s infotainment system marks the center console.
Subaru’s EyeSight system became available starting with the 2015 model year. EyeSight adds safety technology like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. This technology helped the Subaru Impreza earn a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
All Impreza models come with cloth trim, power side mirrors and power windows and door locks. Bluetooth and USB connectivity were added to the list of standard features for the 2013 model year and a rearview camera became standard on the 2014 model.
Upon its debut, the fourth-generation Subaru Impreza offered a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine making 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are available.
The Subaru Impreza’s top competitors include the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Volkswagen Jetta and Nissan Sentra. This model also competes with the Dodge Dart, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 and Kia Forte.
Earlier Subaru Impreza Models
Subaru introduced the Impreza in 1993 and offered the first-generation model through the 2000 model year. In 2001 and running through 2007, the second-generation model was sold. Beginning in 2008 and lasting through 2011, the third-generation Impreza was offered.
Throughout most of its run, the Impreza offered two engine choices: a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and a turbocharged version of the same. A five-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic were typically offered.
Buyers could also choose the WRX with a turbo engine making 224 horsepower and 226 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. Beginning in 2009, the Impreza WRX lost the optional automatic and Subaru upgraded the engine to generate 265 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque.
In the WRX STI, a six-speed manual was the lone transmission offered. The WRX STI’s engine also benefits from extra boost, delivering 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque.