2022 Subaru Impreza
2022 Subaru Impreza
The Impreza is Subaru’s compact hatchback and sedan, a two-car family packed with value, safety, and functionality.
For 2022, the Impreza drops its Limited sedan, but otherwise posts few changes.
The hatchback has a sweeping roofline, as well as more cabin flexibility with cargo space than the trunk of the sedan. Both versions have a no-nonsense interior, lacking flourish, keeping the cabin design clean if not spartan. The base and Premium models come with rugged cloth upholstery and a small touchscreen.
Every Subaru is all-wheel drive, and with that setup the Impreza excels at balance and composure. The base engine has 152 hp, and the 2.0-liter flat-4 still can be paired with a manual transmission. Most drivers will opt for the CVT, though, since it earns better fuel economy and comes with automatic emergency braking whereas the 5-speed does not. The Impreza may not be fast, but it is nimble, thanks somewhat to good suspension tuning that gives it a confident driving feel on a well-damped ride.
The base Impreza earns EPA ratings of 28 mpg city, 36 highway, 32 combined for the sedan, and 31 mpg combined for the hatchback. The Sport Hatchback gets a bit less, 27/35/30 mpg. The 5-speed manual transmission falls to 34/31/26 mpg for the sedan and 22/30/25 mpg for the Sport Hatchback.
The Impreza aces its crash-test scores, with five stars overall from the NHTSA, and a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. Those ratings are based on the Limited hatchback, with the best headlights, and with the CVT, because the 5-speed cars don’t come with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, or adaptive cruise control.
Made in Indiana, the Impreza comes as base, Premium, and Sport as a sedan, and all those plus a Limited in the hatchback body style.
The $19,755 Impreza sedan has a manual shifter, power features, cruise control, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But without AEB, it seems to exist only for that entry-level price.
The $23,155 Impreza Premium sedan or $23,655 Premium hatchback come with the CVT, added sound insulation, USB ports, heated front seats, satellite radio, and better shocks.
The $27,355 Limited hatchback adds leather upholstery, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and blind-spot monitors.
The 3-year/36,000-mile warranty is surprisingly slim, for Subaru.
The sedan looks dowdy compared to the hatchback, with its more adventurous five-door body having a wagon-like profile and tapered roofline. Both have a low nose and wide grille, with 18-inch wheels. The pronounced wheel arches of the hatchback are like those on the Crosstrek (basically a beefed-up Impreza), though the Crosstrek has black flares and higher stance.
Inside, the Impreza has a simple instrument panel with a small 6.5-inch touchscreen in base and Premium models while the Sport and Limited get an 8.0-inch screen. The comfortable front seats have manual adjustment, while their high position offers a wide-open view of the road ahead.
In the Limited, power adjustment and leather upholstery, plus contrast-color stitching on the instrument panel and doors, dress up the interior. The Premium and Limited have quieter cabins, with more sound-deadening material.
Two medium-size passengers fit well in the back seat, with good head and leg room, but a third is considerably squeezed.
The Impreza Hatchback offers 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and 55 cubic feet when it’s folded. Compare that to 12 cubic feet in the sedan’s trunk, and you have to wonder why anyone would choose a sedan, since the hatchback is only $500 more.
The Impreza is hardly quick, but there’s enough power for commuter duty. The 2.0-liter flat-4 is a well balanced engine, making 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. The 5-speed manual transmission shifts with a light and notchy feel, and can get the car to 60 mph in about nine seconds.
The CVT, with its pulleys and belts, is programmed with steps so it feels like an automatic, especially when using the paddles to shift.
With its standard all-wheel drive, the Impreza takes on snowy roads with complete confidence, handling them better than rivals. In places with a lot of heavy snow, winter tires are still needed, but the standard all-season work in other conditions. The Impreza will not slide around on slick roads, with sane driving.
In all but the base model, there is SI-Drive, what Subaru calls its driving modes that affect steering weight, power distribution, and shift timing. With great grip and handling that’s cool and collected, the Impreza isn’t sporty, as steering feedback is minimal. But the ride is absorbent.
The Sport goes the other direction, with stiffer shocks and tires with thinner sidewalls. The ride is harsher, but the handling is sharper. That’s mostly thanks to a mode that brakes one front wheel in corners, to pivot the car.
Many things have changed in the Impreza’s character over the years, but it remains a journeyman. The choice of a hatchback over the sedan is easy, and we would avoid the Sport because it tries unsuccessfully to make the car something it’s not; the same might be true of the Limited. That leaves the Premium, and if you can live with 152 hp you’ll be fine.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection