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2019 Subaru Impreza Review

The comprehensive Subaru Impreza review

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finder score: 77.75%

Avg. critics score: 77.75%
4 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Car Advice, CarsGuide, WhichCar and Motoring to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
finder.com.au is personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn
how we work and how we make money.

Critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
Car Advice74%"Subaru has the makings of a proper range-topper here, but the powertrain in the i-S drags it down. The Impreza has its strengths, but value just isn't one of them at this point in the range."Read more
CarsGuide73%"Because it has been built for a world where SUVs dominate, it's a better commuter car than ever before, just don't expect it to have that wild rally spark from days past."Read more
WhichCar90%"In this new-generation Impreza, Subaru has built a very practical small hatchback and sedan that can engage someone who appreciates a sporty car."Read more
Motoring74%"The Impreza does everything Subaru says it will – honestly and relatively proficiently. While elements of the driving experience feel off the pace of rivals, safety, comfort and cabin ergonomics remain redeeming features.
"
Read more

How does the Subaru Impreza compare with its peers?

1 - 12 of 12
Name Product Boot displacement ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score
Volkswagen Golf
374L
5 stars
$32,790
84.4%
Mazda 3
295L
5 stars
$25,590
83%
Mazda 2
Mazda 2
250L
5 stars
$20,990
82.5%
Hyundai i30
Green Company
Hyundai i30
378L
5 stars
$20,440
82.2%
Ford Focus
341L
5 stars
$25,990
82%
Holden Astra
Holden Astra
445L
5 stars
$21,490
81.2%
Toyota Corolla
333L
5 stars
$36,600
80.25%
Volkswagen Polo
280L
5 stars
$18,790
79%
Honda Civic
Honda Civic
414L
5 stars
$23,590
78.6%
Subaru Impreza
345L
5 stars
$23,080
77.75%
Suzuki Swift
Suzuki Swift
242L
5 stars
$17,690
76%
Nissan Leaf
5 stars
$49,990
76%
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A comprehensive review of the Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza pricing

Subaru offers four different Impreza models (not including the WRX performance variants), all as either a sedan or hatchback.

2.0i AWD

A 2.0i sedan starts from $25,490 driveaway. A hatchback carries a $200 extra charge, with a sticker price of $25,690. Highlights include AWD, a CVT transmission with manual paddle shifters, air conditioning, cloth seats, an electronic parking brake, smart key and push-button start, 17-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured mirrors and door handles, Halogen headlamps with auto-off, reversing camera, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, a 6.5-inch LCD touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB, Siri compatibility and USB charging ports.

The biggest stand-out feature of the Impreza range has to be all-wheel drive (AWD) on all models.

2.0i-L AWD

For buyers who desire additional comforts and extra features, the 2.0i-L AWD starts at $28,490 as a sedan. The hatchback body can be yours from $28,690. This trim builds upon the base 2.0i spec, adding dual-zone air conditioning, a leather steering wheel and gear shifter, premium cloth upholstery, a tyre pressure monitoring system, door mirror indicators, halogen daytime running lights, front fog lights, an 8-inch touchscreen in addition to a 6.3-inch LCD multi-function display.

Subaru also installs the EyeSight driver assist safety system, which features the following:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Brake Light Recognition
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane Sway Warning
  • Lead Vehicle Start Alert
  • Pre-Collision Brake Assist
  • Pre-Collision Braking System
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management

2.0i Premium AWD

Starting from $30,490 for a sedan or $30,690 in hatch-guise, the Premium line Impreza brings a power sunroof and satellite navigation.

2.0i-S AWD

The top-of-the-range 2.0i-S AWD is fully optioned. It costs quite a bit more than other models, at $33,590 as a sedan or $33,790 for the hatch model. For the extra outlay, you'll receive: an 8-way power adjusting driver's seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a leather-appointed steering wheel and gear shifter, sports pedals, 18-inch alloys, heated and power-folding door mirrors, LED daytime running and fog lights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, self-levelling LED headlights with dusk-sensors, side sill skirts and steering-responsive headlights.

This model also has Subaru's Vision Assist, which is made up of:

  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Lane Change Keep Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Reverse Automatic Braking

Click on a price to compare car loans for the Subaru Impreza.

2.0i AWD2.0i-L AWD2.0i Premium AWD2.0i-S AWD
2.0-litre petrol, auto CVT, hatchback: $25,690
2.0-litre petrol, auto CVT, sedan: $25,490
2.0-litre petrol, auto CVT, hatchback: $28,690
2.0-litre petrol, auto CVT, sedan: $28,490
2.0-litre petrol, auto CVT, hatchback: $30,690
2.0-litre petrol, auto CVT, sedan: $30,490
2.0-litre petrol, auto CVT, hatchback: $33,790
2.0-litre petrol, auto CVT, sedan: $33,590

Subaru offers an impressive paint palette at no extra cost on the Impreza.

  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Pure Red
  • Quartz Blue Pearl
  • Venetian Red pearl
  • Dark Blue Pearl
  • Dark Grey Metallic
  • Crystal Black Silica
The above prices are recommended retail driveaway price (RDP) and are inclusive of the vehicle's price, 12 months' rego, stamp, luxury car tax, CTP (based on a private buyer with a good rating) and dealer delivery fees, in postcode 2000.

Overview

Why would you buy the Impreza when there are so many enticing hatches out there? Several reasons. First, all models are AWD, meaning it will appeal to people who like to venture into the mountains or down gravel roads. Secondly, it is well assembled, with stout and long-lasting materials to a high level of fit and finish. Third, it's something that's a bit different. And finally, if you're a Subaru enthusiast, this car will be right up your street.
WebsiteProsConsNotable quote
Car Advice
  • All-wheel drive
  • Plenty of tech
  • Suspension set-up
  • Humdrum powertrain
  • Pricey
  • Vanilla styling
"Subaru has a loyal following, and the fact the Impreza is all-wheel drive makes it unique in its segment, which will be enough for some. The in-car and active safety technology is nice, too, but we're left wanting more."
CarsGuide
  • Drives well
  • Robust, comfy interior
  • Safety pack
  • Needs more oomph
  • Drinks fuel
  • Interior over-delivers
"The Impreza 2.0i-S is packed with safety and luxury features and offers fantastic value by flying under the asking price for most equivalent high-spec competitors."
WhichCar
  • AWD
  • Comfortable
  • Roomy
  • Safety tech
  • Needs an injection of turbo
  • Exclusively an automatic
"You get a lot for your money with any Impreza, but arguably the best value comes at the top of the price scale with the 2.0i-S."
Motoring
  • Four driven wheels
  • User-friendly
  • Rear cabin space
  • Powerplant and train
  • No rear blowers
  • Entry grade lacks safety swag
"The Subaru Impreza competes with cars including the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Hyundai i30 and Volkswagen Golf. But unlike those models, it distinguishes itself with all-wheel drive – helping create a competitive point of difference."

Engine and performance

Subaru is well known for its use of Boxer engines, where the pistons lay horizontally, as opposed to vertically or in a V shape, earning them the alias "flat-four". Subaru says this makes for a lightweight, low and flat engine block. In turn, that's supposed to reduce the centre of gravity, bettering the road handling.

Subaru 2.0-litre Boxer petrol

All Imprezas have a 2.0-litre Boxer engine. The powerplant outputs 115kW @ 6,000rpm and a peak torque measurement of 196Nm @ 4,000rpm.

Subaru Impreza gearboxes

Subaru developed a CVT automatic transmission for the Impreza. This gearbox is a type of automatic transmission, where a constantly adjusting mechanism replaces fixed ratio gears. Subaru presets the CVT for simulated gear shifts, meaning it has the equivalent of seven fixed ratios. Otherwise, it seamlessly accelerates from the off, without observable gear changes.

Car reviewers' impressions of the Subaru Impreza engine and transmission line-up

Reviewers described the 2.0-litre Boxer engine as about average for its class. It's a comparatively unique design compared to other manufacturers, thanks to the pistons being turned 90 degrees into a flat position. Though it may sound new, the engine configuration was actually designed before the 1900s and has been commonplace in aeroplanes, motorbikes and vehicles like VW Beetle and Porsche 911. Subaru has made use of the Boxer design since 1966.

This particular iteration apparently is a bit pedestrian. Testers longed for more spirit and more muscle. With peak-torque not kicking in until 4,000 revs, journos also yearned for the boost of a turbocharger.

CVT gearboxes almost universally attract flak for their execution. In theory, they should improve passenger comfort and fuel efficiency. In practice, they'll often sap the car's acceleration and make it feel a bit mundane. Often, they also have a reputation for being loud and whiny.

Subaru's CVT was no different. It seems that reviewers felt it created a sense of being disconnected from the engine. However, nobody complained about droning noises from the transmission and some testers actually believed it worked well, at least in the city.

Subaru Impreza engine and transmission statistics

Subaru Boxer petrol
Engine typeBoxer, direct injection, Dual Overhead Cam, Active Valve Control System
DrivetrainAWD
Engine size/displacement1,995cc
Fuel typePetrol (91 Ron)
CylindersFour, horizontally opposed
Fuel tank capacity50 litres
Max power115kW at 6,000rpm
Max torque196Nm at 4,000rpm
Fuel consumption (combined)6.6L/100km and 7.2L/100km (hatch/sedan)
Acceleration (0–100km/h)N/A
Emissions standardEuro 6
Top speed (km/h)N/A
SecurityEngine immobiliser
TransmissionCVT with manual mode (Seven preset ratios in manual mode)
Towing capacity (unbraked/braked)650kg/1,200kg (hatch only)

Subaru Impreza fuel economy

Subaru installs a flat-four, Boxer petrol engine into the Impreza.

2.0-litre Boxer petrol

Subaru lists the fuel economy for the 2.0-litre flat-four in Impreza brochure for the 2.0i, 2.0i-L and 2.0i Premium models as:

  • Combined: 6.6L/100km
  • Urban: 8.4L/100km
  • Extra-urban: 5.6L/100km

The top-of-the-range 2.0i-S uses slightly more petrol:

  • Combined: 7.2L/100km
  • Urban: 9.1L/100km
  • Extra-urban: 6.1L/100km
A word on fuel economy figures
Subaru writes in the Impreza brochure that fuel use statistics were a result of an ADR 81/02 test. As test conditions are strictly controlled, they do not completely reflect real-world fuel usage. Traffic volumes, driving style, a vehicle's mechanical state of repair, differing fuel batches and weather conditions can all influence fuel use.

On test, how much fuel did the motoring experts burn through? Actually, the majority of car reviewers were happy with the economy and found it matched the brochure claims.

Handling

When you think of the Impreza, it's hard not to envision those classic blue, yellow and gold WRC rally cars that seemed to dominate the 90s. Some buyers might expect this Impreza to be equally as fast and hardcore. But that's a bit of a stereotype. If you want a performance Impreza, you'll have to buy the WRX or WRX STI.

The standard Impreza is better suited as a daily driver. It handles nicely around town and motoring experts found nothing that the average car owner would particularly struggle with or dislike. In fact, they were surprised that even though this isn't a hot hatch, it'll still change direction with vim and vigour. The suspension is pegged roughly between bone-jarring and perfectly comfortable, according to one tester.

One overriding handling trait reviewers noticed, the AWD grip and hefty steering make the Impreza feel reassuringly secure and planted. Even a little SUV-like according to some. That'll be handy if you live down a dirt road or in the mountains. Journalists were quick to remind possible buyers that other hatches do a better job in the handling department, but the Impreza does decently well and is one of the only hatches for sale with four driven wheels.

Interior and features

The interior design of the Impreza impressed reviewers. They said it felt airy and spacious (it's supposedly larger than the previous generation model). Apparently, it is also well built to a high standard. All the driver touchpoints, like the steering wheel and pedals, are reportedly nice, beefy and feel chunky. Reviewers liked that.

Things that motoring journalists missed was the lack of a premium-branded sound system that you conventionally get on higher trim models. Another common bugbear was the level of road and wind noise inside the passenger compartment, which sounded elevated compared to some of the Impreza's rivals.

Rear passengers should have plenty of room, at least for a vehicle in this class. Another plus point was the seats, which are described as comfort-biased. Subaru is obviously aiming this at wide-reaching demographic and you could imagine small families getting on with Impreza just as well as a couple or a solitary commuter.

Impreza 2.0i AWD interior specification

Buyers who plump for this base model shouldn't be disappointed because it still it has reams of tech and equipment. You'll get AC climate control, a choice of black or ivory cloth seats (not regularly seen in the segment), 17-inch alloys, paddle shifters, smart-key and push-button start, 2 USB ports, body-coloured external fittings, halogen headlamps with automatic shut-off, a rear spoiler, a reversing camera, Bluetooth, cruise control, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Siri functionality and an electronic parking brake. The rear seats are 60/40 split folding.

Impreza 2.0i-L AWD interior specification

Stepping up to the 2.0i-L bags you lots of more stuff. The AC becomes dual-zone, the steering wheel and gear shifter are clad in leather, there's the choice of two premium cloth seat coverings, a tyre pressure monitor, power-folding mirrors, daytime running lights, front fog lights, the EyeSight safety suite, an enlarged 8-inch touchscreen and finally, a 6.3-inch LCD multi-information display.

Impreza 2.0i Premium AWD interior highlights

Why would you spend extra on this model? If you really can't do without in-car satellite navigation and an electric roof.

Impreza 2.0i-S AWD interior highlights

This model is showered with additional luxuries. Instead of cloth seats, you'll get leather ones, with heating elements for the front passengers. There are sports pedals, 18-inch alloys, heated mirrors, chrome door handles, LED fog lights, LED DRLs and LED headlamps with dusk-sensors and self-levellers. Down the side runs swept sill skirts, plus there are extra driver safety assists.

Subaru Impreza safety and driver assists

2.0i AWD2.0i-L AWD2.0i Premium AWD2.0i-s AWD
5-star ANCAP rating
Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
4-wheel disc brakes
Auto Vehicle Hold
Electronic parking brake
Rear-view reverse camera
Vehicle Dynamics Control system:
  • Active Torque Vectoring System (2.0i-s only)
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Traction Control System
Vision Assist:
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)
✖️✖️✖️
Ring-shaped passenger safety cell
SRS airbags:
  • Front
  • Front side
  • Curtain
  • Driver's knee
ISOFIX anchors (x2)
Auto Stop-Start
Cruise control✖️✖️✖️
Electronic Throttle Control system (ETC)
EyeSight Driver Assist system:
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Brake Light Recognition
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane Sway Warning
  • Lead Vehicle Start Alert
  • Pre-Collision Brake Assist
  • Pre-Collision Braking System
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management
✖️
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
DataDotDNA security system
Immobiliser security system

Subaru Impreza interior and comfort features

2.0i AWD2.0i-L AWD2.0i Premium AWD2.0i-s AWD
Blue interior illumination✖️
Cabin and cargo area lights
Anti-dust filter
Climate control✖️✖️✖️
Dual-zone climate control✖️
Floor heater ducts for rear passengers
Front and side demisters
Rear windscreen demister
Adjustable steering wheel
Instrument clusterStandardPremiumPremiumPremium
Manual mode
One-touch lane change indicator
Paddle gear shifters
Sports pedals✖️✖️✖️
Steering wheel controls
Air-conditioning display✖️
Audio display✖️
Auto stop-start info✖️✖️✖️
Electrical component operating condition display✖️
EyeSight display✖️
Fuel economy and journey information
Navigation display✖️✖️
Outside temperature and clock display
Preventative safety display✖️
4.2-inch LCD screen✖️
Digital speedometer✖️
Eco-gauge display✖️
EyeSight display✖️
Warning display✖️
Cargo hooksHatchHatchHatchHatch
Centre console box
Retractable cargo blind
2 x 12V/120W power jacks
Boot unlock on remote fob
Power windows and mirrors – front
Rain-sensing front windscreen wipers✖️✖️✖️
Rear seat centre armrest
Rearview mirror
Remote central locking fob (x2)
Smart key and push-start ignition
Sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrorsNot lit
USB charging socket (x2)
Carpet trim – black
Gear shift surroundSilverPiano BlackPiano BlackPiano Black
Leather steering wheel and gear shift✖️
Seat trim – clothPremium clothPremium cloth✖️
Seat trim colour – choice of black or ivory
Seat trim – leather✖️✖️✖️
60/40 split-folding rear seats
8-way power seat driver✖️✖️✖️
Heated seats – front✖️✖️✖️
Auxiliary jack
Bluetooth audio streaming and handsfree mobile
6.5-inch LCD infotainment touchscreen✖️✖️✖️
8-inch LCD touchscreen✖️
6 speakers
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
DAB
Satellite navigation✖️✖️
CD player
Siri compatibility
Voice command recognition

Subaru Impreza exterior highlights

2.0i AWD2.0i-L AWD2.0i Premium AWD2.0i-s AWD
17-inch alloys✖️
18-inch alloys✖️✖️✖️
Body-coloured door handles✖️
Body-coloured rear garnish (hatch)
Chrome type door handles and window sills✖️✖️✖️
Detachable module type windscreen wipers
Body-coloured door mirrors
Heated door mirrors✖️✖️✖️
Indicators in door mirror✖️
Power-folding mirrors✖️
Electric sunroof✖️✖️
Privacy glass – rear door, rear quarter on sedan, plus rear window on hatch
Rear spoiler – hatch
Rear window wiper – hatch
Shark fin antenna
Side sill skirts✖️✖️✖️
Spacesaver spare wheel
Tailpipe cover✖️✖️✖️Sedan
Daytime running lights✖️HalogenHalogenLED
Front fog lights✖️LED
Headlights – halogen with auto-off✖️
Headlights – self-levelling LED with auto-off and dusk-sensing✖️✖️✖️
Rear combination lights and rear LED stop light
Steering responsive headlights✖️✖️✖️

Verdict

The Impreza is impressively specced, has a relatively well-performing engine and gearbox, is comfortable and has the stand-out selling point of being AWD. Reviewers admired the interior design, saying it was spacious and inviting and that the car made a great all-rounder. There were a few complaints regarding the use of a doughy CVT transmission (a common complaint with any manufacturer who opts to use one) and some testers wanted a bit more power and acceleration that a turbocharger would deliver. Overall though, the Impreza seems like a genuinely unique hatch or sedan.

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Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
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Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Our best-rated Car Insurer for Customer Satisfaction in 2021/2022 and Green Insurer for the last 3 years.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those who want a trustworthy insurer and more cover than other brands, such as 3-year new car replacement (e.g. they'll give you money for a new car for up to 3 years if yours is written off).
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Kogan Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Kogan comes with all the perks that most comprehensive car insurance policies include, but you'll also be entitled to some benefits from its online store. This usually comes in the form of a gift voucher or discount if you buy online.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off first year premiums when you purchase Kogan Comprehensive Car Insurance online + $10 monthly kogan.com credit. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Kogan shoppers and those after a good range of policy options.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Car Insurance policy you take out by 22 April. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
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Pictures: Subaru

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