2024 Subaru Impreza RS


It's been almost seven years since I reviewed a Subaru, the last one being a 2017 BRZ, so it was nice to get into the 2024 Impreza RS. But first an observation.

Subaru seems to have tamed, or hidden, their flat-four engine's thrum, something that has traditionally made a Subaru a Subie. I'd be willing to bet that this is an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. If that's what it takes to get more people into a Subaru that's a good thing.

Subaru is known for two things - long-term reliability, and All-Wheel-Drive. In my opinion Subaru is responsible for the proliferation of AWD vehicles.

The Impreza comes in three basic forms - Base, Sport, or RS. The Base and Sport have a 2-liter, Subaru Boxer® four-cylinder, while a RS like the test car has a 2.5-liter version that produces 182 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. It isn't the most powerful engine out there but it is more than adequate. According to an unnamed source (Car and Driver) it gets from zero to 60 in 7.8 seconds. More importantly for a non-performance car is the EPA fuel economy rating of 26-mpg around town and 33-mpg on the highway. Amazingly that unnamed source reported 37-mpg at 75 mph on the highway!

I like the styling of the Impreza and the black wheels on the RS look good to me. I'm not entirely taken with the Oasis Blue Pearl paint, it's a little too loud for me. There is a nice Sapphire Blue Pearl that suits me better. With seven colors to choose from you should find one you like.

The Impreza is not a huge car, for me it is a size that works. It is 176.2" long, 58.3" high, and 79.4" wide mirror to mirror. It weighs just under 3,300 pounds.

The interior, although predominantly shades of gray, has nice accents to brighten things up. The front seats were comfortable even though they look sporty. The rear seat, like so many, is fine for two but gives short shrift to the middle passenger.

When I first got in the Impreza RS and saw the center screen I thought "Oh great another touch screen my fingers won't work on!" I was wrong; it is a soft touch - a little pressure and you can feel a "click". Thank you. And there were also knobs for the sound system. 

I could tell as soon as I turned on the seat heaters that Subaru still cares about their snow-bound buyers. These seats are hot and they heat up quickly, hot enough that even when you're bundled in your parka and long underwear you will feel the warmth. 

I call the style of the Impreza a mini-station wagon, others might call it a 5-door hatchback. Whatever you call it for its size it is versatile. There is 20.4 cubic feet of storage and 32." of floor length with the rear seats up. This expands to 56 cubic feet and 63.9" of length with the seats fold down. Yeah you can stow a lot of stuff back there.

Back in the driver's seat the instrument cluster was straightforward. I never scrolled through the versions - this gave me the info I wanted. 

Although I didn't get out on the highway while I had the Impreza I did a fair amount of errand running around town. It was fun to drive, nimble, and it fit just about anywhere I wanted to put it (although parking between two huge SUVs made me feel vulnerable). 

If there was a nit to pick it was the stop/start. I know it helps increase fuel economy and lowers emissions to shut off the engine when at a stop in gear and your foot on the brake but not all stop/start systems are equal. Even with the best I worry how the increased use of the starter will affect its life. The system on the Impreza was too intrusive, too abrupt for me. It wasn't subtle and it was a little slow to restart. 

Now let's get to price. The Base Impreza starts at $22,995, the Sport at $24,995, and the RS at $27,885. The test RS upped the price by $1,080 for destination and delivery. 

You may not be the kind of person who keeps a car forever but the Subaru is that kind of car. Go check one out.


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