Saturday, 25 February 2023 19:15

2024 Subaru Impreza - First review

Subaru Impreza Subaru Impreza

Subaru is rolling out the sixth-generation Impreza for the 2024 model year, and with it comes new looks, new technology, and a new powertrain option. The new Subie made its debut at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show just as it did when it showed face for the first time in 1992. Like the '90s original, the 2024 Impreza will be once again offered in sporty RS guise, powered by a 182-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder borrowed from the Crosstrek SUV. Lower-priced and lower-powered base and Sport models get a 152-hp 2.0-liter instead. Subaru says the 2024 Impreza's chassis is stiffer than before and the compact hatchback's all-wheel-drive system now features active torque vectoring. We won't know if any of that adds more spark to the Impreza's personality until we get our hands on one, but for now, we'll say things look promising.

What's New for 2024?

So far, we know about several key changes to the Impreza model line. For starters, Subaru has made the continuously variable automatic (CVT) standard on all 2024 Imprezas. Unfortunately for three-pedal advocates, the automaker hasn't mentioned the availability of a manual transmission. Additionally, the Impreza is slated to be offered exclusively in a five-door hatchback body configuration–something WRX fanatics will surely envy, as they've been hoping for a WRX hatchback since it was discontinued after the 2014 model year. Speaking of the WRX, updates to the Impreza's exterior are similar to the design language seen on the latest generation of both the WRX and Crosstrek. Unlike those two models, though, the next-gen Impreza rolls without any plastic cladding clinging desperately to its body. Changes to the interior design make it almost identical to that of its newer stablemates, particularly the Crosstrek. The 11.6-inch Starlink touch display is available in the Impreza for the first time and is standard on Sport and RS trim levels.

Given our natural disposition towards sports-oriented vehicles, plus the power of nostalgia, we're most interested in the reborn Impreza RS, which comes with a more powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, unique 18-inch wheels, artificial carbon fiber interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum-finished pedals, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, and USB charge ports for rear passengers.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Impreza retains its meager naturally aspirated 2.0-liter flat-four engine, which musters the same 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque as before. A larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine will be exclusively available for the new RS model, providing a power bump of 30 horsepower and 33 pound-feet of torque for a total output of 182 horses and 178 pound-feet. A CVT is standard on all 2024 Imprezas as is Active Torque Vectoring, which improves upon the capable Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. For an extra sprinkling of its rally racing sportiness, Subaru has equipped the new Impreza with a version of the dual-pinion electronic power steering rack found in the WRX. The automaker says that it has increased the chassis stiffness of the next-gen Impreza by 10 percent, too, which in theory should help both handling and ride. We'll update this section with performance figures once we've driven and tested the all-new Impreza.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Since the base Impreza and Impreza Sport models will both make use of the same 2.0-liter engine in the outgoing model, we think it's safe to assume that EPA ratings will be similar to those of the current five-door hatchback equipped with the CVT: 28 miles per gallon in the city and 36 on the highway. We'll update this section once the EPA has published its ratings and after we've run the Impreza through our 75-mph highway fuel economy route which is part of our extensive testing regimen.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Subaru interiors are known for being pragmatic rather than posh, and that trend continues with the 2024 Impreza. Dual-zone climate controls are standard for the entire model line as are 60/40 folding rear seats. The automaker says it focused its efforts on an ergonomic front seat design and also hushing the cabin–we'll verify whether it's more comfortable and quieter than the fifth-gen model once we've had the chance to get behind the wheel. From what we can tell so far, the updates appear to be similar to the changes found inside the 2022 WRX, including a larger center stack display. The revisions in the WRX sports sedan felt and looked like a natural progression from the interior design of the preceding generation, and we expect the same from the new hatchback since their interior designs are nearly identical.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The 2024 Subaru Impreza offers the automaker's Starlink multimedia system standard on Sport and RS models. It is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and features an 11.6-inch touchscreen display with controls for the sound system, HVAC, and certain vehicle functions. For models equipped with Starlink, Subaru also offers its Safety and Security Connect Services, such as SOS Emergency Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, as well as conveniences like Remote Vehicle Locator. On top of that, the new Impreza provides its passengers with an auxiliary input jack, a USB-C port, and a USB-A port, so you're set regardless of which smartphone you happen to have. There's also an available Harmon Kardon 10-speaker sound system, though it's only offered on the range-topping RS model.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

In addition to the aforementioned Safety and Security Connected Services available for models equipped with Starlink, Subaru has made its EyeSight Driver Assist Technology standard for all three Impreza trim levels. Automatic emergency steering is included on models fitted with the optional blind-spot detection system, which is already packaged with lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert—all of which are standard on the new RS model. Subaru is also introducing a few new services to the 2024 Impreza, including Valet Mode, Trip Log and Driving Journal, and Remote Vehicle Configuration. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites have crash-test results for the next-generation Impreza yet. Key safety features include:

Standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist
Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
Available automatic emergency steering

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The Impreza's warranty is average for the class and not as generous as that of the Hyundai Elantra or the Kia Forte, both of which offer powertrain coverage for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
No complimentary scheduled maintenance

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