New Subaru Impreza in the US first drive report: active items

New Subaru Impreza in the US first drive report: active items

Fashionista but hate SUVs? Subaru has the right car for you.

Subaru unveils the new Impreza. However, first in the USA, we in Europe have to wait a little longer for its arrival. Our colleague from USA reveals how the 2.5 liter, which is available in the US, drives.

All automakers have enough data about their customers to know them down to their favorite toothpaste, but Subaru seems to know their drivers better than themselves to target the outdoorsman who would rather drive something sporty than an SUV.

In terms of performance, the new RS model is sporty enough to enjoy any exciting roads its drivers might encounter in the wilderness, but its standard performance and CVT transmission don’t make it a good choice for Hatch STI Memorial Tours. Now only available as a hatchback in the US, the new Subaru Impreza features several upgrades to suit lifestyle customers.

Technical specifications
2024 Subaru Impreza RS
Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer
Performance: 182 hp (185 hp) / 241 Nm
Usage: 29 mpg combined (8.1 liters)
Base price: $22,995 + $1,090 transfer
Measure the price of a car: $31,045 (approx. 28,400 euros)

Targeted hatchback

The all-new 2024 Subaru Impreza is a small hatchback built on the Subaru Global Platform, which the Crosstrek (as the successor to the XV) and every other current Subaru not named BRZ also uses. The new Impreza, for which the WRX was released as a stand-alone model a few years ago, is further differentiated from its sports sedan sibling as it now only has five doors. The hardware variants are now reduced to three variants.

The base and Sport models have a 2.0-liter flat-four engine that produces 154 hp and 197 hp of torque – an engine that was almost enough in the Crosstrek. The displacement of the RS increases to 2.5 liters and output to 185 hp and 241 Nm of torque.

In all versions, power is routed through a continuously variable transmission, with the Sport and RS models having eight manual shifts operated by paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. All Imprezas send power to all four wheels, which are controlled by an active all-wheel drive system that distributes power evenly to the axles but distributes torque by braking to each wheel when needed.

Looking for a manual transmission? Sorry, but the lack of interest in the earlier model years has prevented Subaru from releasing one, even though you and your car friends may think so. But the WRX still offers an opportunity to lend a hand. (Editor’s note: Even with the current Euro-Impreza, manual transmission is now a thing of the past.)

The new Impreza brings a fresh, streamlined look, but mercifully avoids the bloat that often accompanies generation changes. It shares the same exterior dimensions as its predecessor, while aerodynamics have been improved thanks to grille shutters and an RS-specific engine cover that improves downforce and high-speed stability. Fortunately, it also doesn’t have the clutter of plastic covers that plague its sibling cars.

And you’re finding your way back to Subaru-typical blue, because the new Impreza adds a few of them to the model lineup. Rich sapphire blue is available on all models, while the more striking Oasis blue is an option on Sport and RS trim levels.

Big screen

The interior of the Impreza is true to the spirit of Subaru, designed to withstand the demanding lives of its users. At its heart is the 11.6-inch touchscreen that houses all the infotainment features, although Subaru retains the useful knobs and buttons despite the available digital space.

The redesigned front seats are designed to fit better in the hip area, while the second-row seats fold flat to increase cargo space for adventure gear. Overall, there’s between 577 and 1,586 liters of boot space to fill before you have to put anything on the roof racks’ mounting points for the luggage racks.

An improved version of the Subaru EyeSight driving assistant makes its way into the new hatchback. Newly developed cameras increase the system’s detection range and ensure more accurate behavior with cruise control and a lane departure warning system. The system also includes a pre-collision function and automatic emergency steering for better collision avoidance. If all those systems fall short, Subaru is confident the new Impreza will retain its five-star IIHS crash rating.

Good care

The 2.5-liter engine in the RS is a version of the same engine found in other Subarus such as the Crosstrek. It has been redesigned compared to the base engine to achieve higher torque sooner rather than later. However, the non-turbo Impreza takes a little longer to get up to speed.

But once you get up to speed, the Impreza’s handling is very satisfying. Find the right track and the Impreza will respond to your rallying fantasies. Much of what Subaru offers comes down to increased stiffness, and thankfully it delivers in that regard.

Options such as locking the seat rails to the chassis and a double-spoke steering wheel help connect the driver to the car to avoid aggressive driving and allow instant response to input. Design improvements allowed Subaru to smooth the handling without compromising performance, allowing the hatchback to negotiate road surfaces without chattering teeth.

maintain speed

From sun-baked asphalt to loose gravel, the Impreza’s all-wheel drive had a solid grip on the road, only faltering when it came to pulling out of corners. In those situations I wished for a more responsive gearbox and not too much grip.

The CVT transmission was capable of being independent in a sporty setting, but even in manual mode the built-in shifters – all eight of them – were spread out in such a way that they were of little use in power mode. “Shift” dropped too far and not fast enough, and once it obeyed the command the gain was minimal. When trying to brake the engine hard, the power train was more loud than helpful.

Subaru emphasized the variety of the Impreza, as customers like to take long trips with the hatchback, saying that the Base and Sport can go 500 miles (800 km) on one tank of gas, while the RS can go 480 miles (770). etc.). With that in mind, it was nice to discover the Impreza’s composure on the road sections of the trip.

Improved noise insulation and reduced vibrations made the Impreza’s interior a comfortable place to endure long journeys – better than one would normally expect from a car in this segment.

the price is hot

All in all, the Impreza 2024 left me with mixed feelings. With a starting price of 24,085 dollars (about 22,000 euros), it fulfills all the criteria that Subaru intended for it. He is a solid all-rounder and while I was having fun on our little walks down country roads, there was no lingering thought about him when it was over. There was no spark that flew. It was great though! But the safe bets, historically speaking, are not the ones that pay exciting wins.

Subaru’s lineup makes the Impreza fall short in one particular department: it’s fun but not great, it’s roomy but not roomy, it drives easily and confidently but isn’t in one way or another awe-inspiring.

Despite the improvements to the RS, the current Impreza lacks something that would help the balance. In its current form, the new Impreza certainly lives up to expectations, but it would be nice if it exceeded.