The compact Subaru Impreza has been the basis for so many spectacular Subaru offerings over the years. From the WRX STIs to the XV Crosstreks. Indeed, it’s easy to forget just how fun and practical the standard Impreza can be. Well, an all-new 6th generation Impreza has just arrived, so let’s have some fun getting back to basics.

We may be talking back to basics here, but it’s clear that Subaru is on a mission to inject more excitement into the humble Impreza. So much so, not only is Impreza all-new for 2024, but they’ve added this sporty RS trim.

RS comes with a 2.5-liter boxer-4 engine rated at 182-horsepower and 178 lb-ft. of torque; same engine that we recently sampled in the new Crosstrek. Standard Impreza power comes from a smaller 152-horsepower 2.0-liter boxer-4. Both work with CVT only, all but base trim getting steering wheel paddles to select from 8 simulated gear ratios.

In a move not totally unexpected, no more manual transmission, and the Impreza is no longer available as a 4-door sedan; 5-door hatchback only now, with just about every dimension, including ground clearance, length, and wheelbase, exactly the same as last year, just slightly taller than before.

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Due to interior repackaging, cargo space is actually down a tiny bit, from 20.8 to 20.4 cubic-ft, but the seats folded max is up slightly to 56.0 cubic-ft; and as in the Crosstrek, they’ve integrated a handy step into the rear seat area to aid in loading things onto the roof, and provided a place for you to stash your giant water bottle.

RS trim adds dark gray 18-inch alloy wheels, black accents, and upgraded LED headlights outside…

…and for the inside, gunmetal and carbon-fiber style trim, 2-tone sport seats, alloy pedals, color stitching, and an all-weather package, plus the option to add a 10-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system.

Layout, space, and even the look of the interior is not that much different from last year; biggest departure being the center stack where you’ll find Subaru’s 11.6-inch Starlink multimedia touchscreen with wireless connectivity for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are actual volume and tuning knobs too, along with hard buttons for adjusting interior temperature; with remaining functions carried out on the touchscreen. Base Imprezas get 2 smaller 7.0-inch screens, the top one for phone and audio, with the lower screen handling climate and vehicle settings. Gauges remain refreshingly simple with analog dials and real needles, with a small 4.2-inch LCD screen for additional information in between.

But, there are bigger changes, and while you may not see them, you do feel them. The Impreza’s structure has been greatly stiffened. This is now one solid Impreza on the road, and it really boosted track handling too, as we found out in our Mason Dixon session.

Our Impreza RS behaved like it was glued to the tarmac in almost go-kart like fashion. The RS suspension tuning is very firm, with great feedback, and very little body roll. We were whipping in and out of turns at high speeds in no time, with only minor amounts of understeer at its limits.

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For acceleration, a healthy jolt of power off the line got our hopes up, but then the Impreza quickly settles down into CVT lethargy, and a leisurely 8.1-second pace to 60, and on to the end of the 1/4-mile, finishing in 16.2-seconds at 88 miles-per-hour. The brakes also were not particularly sporty, taking us a longer than expected 127-feet to stop from 60, with little pedal feel.

While Subaru certainly isn’t treading down the near luxury path of, say, Mazda, they have made the Impreza a tad quieter inside, as well as smoothed out the operation of the CVT.

The Impreza also continues to deliver lots of value and standard equipment, with all-wheel drive, steering responsive LED headlights, and even dual zone climate all standard. And of course, safety is not optional, as all Imprezas get EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, though Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Automatic Emergency Steering are exclusive to RS.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the 2.5-liter are 26-City, 33-Highway, and 29-Combined; we averaged a good 30.8 miles-per-gallon of Regular. That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score, using 10.3-barrels of oil and emitting 5.1 tons of CO2 yearly.

Base pricing starts at $24,085 with midlevel Sport starting at $26,085, and top RS at only $28,975.

The Impreza platform has indeed spawned some rather fun and exciting cars over the years, but the basic Impreza itself has always offered tremendous bang-for-the buck, not to mention being one of the least expensive gateways to all-wheel drive. And it looks like the all-new 2024 Subaru Impreza offers the best of both worlds, staying true to its value-minded roots, while offering up a splash of RS excitement that should not be overlooked.


  • Engine: 2.5-liter boxer-4
  • Horsepower: 182
  • 0-60 mph: 8.1 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 127 feet (avg.)
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Torque: 178 lb-ft
  • 1/4 Mile: 16.2 seconds at 88 mph
  • EPA: 26 City / 33 Highway / 29 Combined