2019 Subaru Impreza Review
2019 Subaru Impreza Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Cameron Rogers has worked in the automotive industry since 2013. He has tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career. Today, he leads the news team in developing cutting-edge news articles, opinion pieces and sneak peeks at upcoming vehicles. Favorite cars that he's driven during his tenure at Edmunds include the 991-era Porsche 911 Turbo S, Rolls-Royce Ghost and several generations of Honda Odyssey (really).
- Standard all-wheel drive delivers secure handling and wet-weather traction
- The cabin is quiet, comfortable and surprisingly roomy for a compact car
- A healthy selection of advanced safety features is available on most trims
- Available manual transmission for those who want to row their own gears
- Slow acceleration, even with this generation's more powerful engine
- Transmission is loud under heavy loads
- Interior materials are lower-quality compared to many rivals
- Hard to match fuel economy estimates in the real world
- Expanded availability of the EyeSight package of safety features
- Premium models now come with a CD player, HD radio and two rear USB ports
- Manual-equipped Sport models get the short-throw shifter from the Impreza WRX STI
- Part of the fifth Impreza generation introduced for 2017
On snowy and icy roads, vehicles with traction-enhancing all-wheel drive are invaluable. But what if you don't want to get an SUV? Check out the 2019 Subaru Impreza. Not only is it the least expensive all-wheel-drive vehicle on the market, but it's also the only compact sedan to offer AWD — and it's standard.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$141/mo for Impreza 2.0i
Avg. Midsize Car
Even if you don't expressly need all-wheel drive, the Impreza is still worth checking out. Redesigned just two years ago, the Impreza is one of the newer compacts and features the latest tech gadgets and driving aids that buyers have come to expect. This is especially true of this year's model since Subaru has increased the availability of its EyeSight suite of advanced safety aids. Now, any Impreza can be equipped with EyeSight, which includes traffic-adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
The Impreza has other advantages, including secure handling, an excellent infotainment system, a comfortable ride, and a cabin with room for four adults. It's not competitive in all areas, however. Acceleration is slow, and real-world fuel economy is subpar. Overall, though, we're fond of the Impreza. It's worth considering, especially if you want all-wheel drive.
What's it like to live with?
Edmunds owned a Subaru Impreza for one year and nearly 20,000 miles. To learn more about our experiences, visit the long-term page for our 2017 Subaru Impreza Limited. We cover everything from seat comfort to real-world fuel economy. All-wheel-drive performance was a staff favorite, but we were less impressed with its engine responsiveness and interior materials. If you have questions, chances are good we've answered them during our long-term test. There are no significant differences between the 2019 Subaru Impreza and our long-term car, so our observations still apply.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.4 / 10
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Subaru Impreza Limited Sedan (2.0L flat-4 | CVT automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2017, there have been no significant changes to the Subaru Impreza.
|Overall||7.4 / 10|
Aside from poor acceleration and a CVT automatic that doesn't always do as we'd expect, the Impreza performs very well. Handling is well-sorted, the brakes are responsive and confidence-inspiring, and the steering is sporty and communicative. A solid showing for the most part.
The Impreza seems peppy off the line at first, but this enthusiasm is short-lived. In Edmunds instrumented testing, it took 9.4 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph, one of the slowest times in the class. Passing maneuvers on the highway take more planning than they should.
The Impreza's brakes feel great. You get good pedal pressure immediately, which makes it easy to modulate, and the brakes inspire confidence when needing to scrub off speed quickly. The Impreza stopped from 60 mph in 121 feet in testing, an average distance for the segment.
The steering is quick, responsive and generally pretty sporty. For a car in this class, there's a lot of steering feedback, especially on the Sport and Limited trims. Most shoppers will be happy with the level of steering effort and good on-center feel.
Handling is a strong point for this Impreza, regardless of trim level. Body roll is well-controlled, and the car goes where you want and provides you with lots of confidence along the way. Standard all-wheel drive only increases its sense of stability.
The CVT-engine combo rumbles at low speeds and whines at full-throttle acceleration; neither is ideal. But the sticking point is the occasional lack of response from the CVT. The transmission works better when you use the paddle shifters, which shouldn't be the case.
While it doesn't have big approach or departure angles like a true off-road vehicle, the Impreza is the only one in the class with standard all-wheel drive, and in that regard, it is more capable than most compact sedans and hatchbacks.
A relatively quiet and smooth ride makes the Impreza a breeze to drive on the highway. The seats are comfortable and well-bolstered, even if they are a bit on the firm side for extra-long road trips.
The Impreza's front seats are well-bolstered, providing good support and firm cushioning. If you're in the saddle for long stints, they may get a little tiring for some. The rear seats are relatively flat but comfortable enough.
Ride comfort is excellent with the 17-inch wheels on our test car, and we'd suspect the 16-inch wheels would be, too. The suspension is compliant enough to shrug off small and large bumps without drama and without being overly soft and floaty.
Noise & vibration7.0
Wind noise is practically nonexistent on the highway, even at 80 mph. Road noise is a bit more pronounced, however, and the engine and CVT whine somewhat unpleasantly under full throttle. Our tester had no rattles or squeaks.
Our test car's optional automatic climate control is easy to operate through the three centrally located dials. A couple of the main air vents are right next to the steering wheel, right where you would grip, unfortunately cooling your fingers quicker than the cabin.
Though functionality has always been a strong point, the 2017 Impreza's interior represented a big leap forward for Subaru. Thanks to a spacious cabin, large windows and thoughtfully laid out controls, the Impreza is one of the more ergonomically friendly options in the segment.
Ease of use8.0
The radio controls, touchscreen interface and climate control knobs are generally easy to read and use, and the secondary top screen is surprisingly useful. Large fonts, high-resolution screens and simple button structures ease the learning curve dramatically.
Getting in/getting out8.5
The seats are mounted high enough that sliding in and out won't be a problem for most average-height adults. The roofline, while lower than the outgoing Impreza's, is still high and provides ample head clearance. Overall, entry and exit are effortless.
The tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel allows for a lot of adjustment and the driver's seat offers six-way adjustment, so there's plenty of range for all types of drivers to find a good fit.
This Impreza is bigger than ever before, and it shows. The cabin offers plenty of headroom, with tons of legroom in the front and a decent amount of room in the back. Those over 6 feet tall may find the back seat a little cozy, but that's common for this class.
Visibility is excellent out of the front thanks to a big windshield, small front pillars, and small sectional windows near the windshield. A big rear window in both the sedan and the hatchback make for great rear visibility as well.
While the interior of this redesigned Impreza is a big improvement, it still isn't quite the class leader, especially in the lower trim levels. Our top-shelf Limited trim test car closes the gap a bit and has nice soft-touch surfaces for your elbows to rest on.
Between the two available Impreza bodies, we'd recommend the hatchback. The sedan we tested has limited trunk space but offered excellent child seat accommodation.
Small-item storage is decent but pales in comparison to class leaders such as the Honda Civic. The center storage console and door pockets aren't as deep or long as we'd like. There are several cupholders, though, all capable of accommodating a standard water bottle or soda can.
Access to the trunk is much wider this year (4 inches wider on the hatchback; 5 inches wider with the sedan) but the trunk still only offers 12.4 cubic feet of storage. That's smaller than in the Mazda 3, Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra. If you want a utilitarian Impreza, go for the hatch.
Child safety seat accommodation6.5
Car seat accommodation is as excellent as ever. There's easy access to rear seat latches behind Velcro straps, and there are three anchor points behind the rear seats. There's plenty of space for a big rear-facing seat too, especially since the interior is even roomier than the previous generation's.
Tech is much improved in the newest Impreza, with a redesigned touchscreen and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Our test car had some issues with the touchscreen, but when it is functioning correctly it provides a vastly improved experience over the old system.
Audio & navigation8.0
Laid out much like a smartphone homescreen, the Limited's 8-inch touchscreen is familiar, easy to see and understand, and responsive to touch inputs. The navigation command structure is simple, and finding points of interest is easy. But the stereo's speaker quality and max volume could be better.
Device integration might seem adequate on paper, but we've had some issues in testing. Bluetooth connects to a music source quickly, but the system has frozen on us more than once. When working, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are responsive and helpful in mitigating distraction.
Adaptive cruise control comes with the EyeSight package and it performs well. It doesn't slam on the brakes when you get cut off and it also doesn't follow too far behind. The underpowered engine, though, makes keeping up on hills a bit difficult. Lane keeping assist also works well.
Voice controls are simple, responsive, and easily accessed through a button on the steering wheel. You can control radio and connected phone commands via voice control, which is pretty common but effective.
Which Impreza does Edmunds recommend?
There's no doubt about it: The base 2.0i model is a killer deal if all you want is an inexpensive small car with all-wheel drive. If that's the case, you probably live in an area that gets eminently cold in the winter, and warming features could come in handy. That's why we recommend the Premium model. It's only one step above the base version, but the added heated front seats, heated mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer will be valuable once winter rolls around. Techies will also appreciate the upgraded sound system, extra USB port and satellite radio.
2019 Subaru Impreza models
Like many compacts, the 2019 Subaru Impreza is available as a sedan or a four-door hatchback. Features on the four available trims are nearly identical between the two body styles. The base 2.0i is sparsely equipped, but it does have power windows and a touchscreen with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay capability. The Premium counts alloy wheels and heated seats among its additions. Upgrade to the Sport and you get larger wheels, sporty suspension tuning, keyless entry and ignition, and a larger touchscreen. The Limited keeps some of the Sport's luxury features and adds leather and automatic climate control.
Every Impreza is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. (The related, high-performance WRX and WRX STI are reviewed separately.) A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the 2.0i and Sport models, and a continuously variable automatic is optional on those and standard on Premium and Limited trims.
The base 2.0i comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights, remote locking and unlocking, cloth upholstery, carpeted floor mats, a rearview camera, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a driver information display, a height-adjustable driver's seat, cruise control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and a four-speaker audio system with a USB port and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
The available EyeSight suite of driver aids adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, automatic reverse braking, and lane departure warning and mitigation. This option also adds an upgraded driver information display.
The Premium trim is better equipped, with alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, a sound-reducing windshield, heated front seats, Subaru Starlink services, and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and a second USB port. Models equipped with the CVT also get steering-wheel-mounted paddles with seven simulated gears, while hatchback models add roof rails and a cargo cover.
An available package combines blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, cornering lights and the EyeSight suite. This package can be ordered with or without a power sunroof.
For drivers who want a more exciting version of the Impreza, there's the Sport. It comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless entry and ignition, an 8-inch touchscreen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, unique interior and exterior trim, and active torque vectoring for improved traction.
EyeSight, the sunroof and blind-spot monitoring are bundled into a package that also includes an eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system.
At the top of the Impreza range, there's the Limited model. It builds off the Premium trim, adding 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, foglights, keyless entry and ignition, the 8-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-way power driver's seat, a rear armrest, automatic climate control, the EyeSight system and reverse automatic braking.
Blind-spot monitoring and the sunroof are bundled into a package. It can be ordered with or without the Harman Kardon system and navigation.
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Review of the 2019 Impreza Hatch Base
A A, 04/23/2019
2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
1.5-year update: I have 34,000 miles on the car now. I've noticed that the rear tires get misaligned frequently - and this isn't just mine, but other Imprezas well. Outside of that, no issues at all! Great car! 1-year update: I have 24K miles on the clock now. This car has some big flaws when compared to a Toyota, but it has upsides that no Toyota could ever have. When I take my kid to … school and back every day, the car averages 22 mpg. Don't believe the mpg calculator - if you do it yourself, you will find the mpg to be different. Regarding assembly, there are numerous panels, doors, and plastics that simply do not align with the other side, are wobbly, or are uneven. This makes me question the assembly line - who put this car together, and will it hold-up? I have 3 Toyotas parked on my driveway, and they have flawless, perfect assembly. Also, my driver-side shock blew after only 20K miles. Now, for the pros: Subaru is definitely a lifestyle car. This car has CHARACTER. Just driving it around, people notice it. The car is COMFORTABLE, and the technology interface blows-away anything Toyota has ever made. On the highway, I'm not kidding, I get 39-45 mpg. This car handles better than any other car in the rain or mountains - it has POWER, and has saved my life several times. The engine runs just like it did on day-one. Overall, I'm more than happy with this car, and easily take it over a Corolla. Love my car! 6-month update: I've put 13,000 miles on the car so far. It's been an excellent daily driver. Suspension is stiffer than a sedan, even the Toyota Corolla. Brakes could be significantly better. This car truly is a 4-seater - taking 5 people, even with the small ones in the back, is a very cramped experience. My only major qualm has to be the amount I'm paying for gas: Adjusting for distance, you pay $53 for 400 miles in an Impreza, and $33 for 400 miles in a Corolla (a difference of $20). That's at least $80 per month more that you're paying for gas in the Impreza than in a commuter car (ie: Corolla, Civic). I feel confident in the build quality and performance of the car - I've never felt unconfident in the car when in remote areas like the Redwoods. However, long-term reliability is yet to be seen. Maintenance is easy (engine oil filter gets an 11/10 for placement), and few and far between. What gives the Impreza an x-factor is how accommodating it is of larger people: I'm 6'1", and my head is far from the ceiling. The windows are large and wide; I don't feel cramped in the car, which is a godsend when compared to a Corolla. Overall, I'm in-between about the Impreza. Gets an A+ when getting me from point A to point B. Ride quality is harsher than I want it to be. Fuel cost is significantly more than a commuter car. At the end of the day, I still take the Impreza over the Corolla. I have nightmares about getting into a Corolla and my head hitting the ceiling; if you are 5'8" or shorter, the Corolla might be better for you (plus it's a true 5-seater). Hope this helps! Original review: This car is what it is, and is not what it's not. The Impreza is an AWD, wide, roomy, and comfortable car that gets decent gas mileage. Between city and highway driving, I'm averaging 29.5 MPG. Compared to a Toyota Corolla, this car is on another level - it's fun to drive, powerful, has plush seats, amazing visibility, and is much more suitable for taller drivers than the new (2015-present) Corolla sedan. The 2015-2019 Corolla wins when it comes to MPG and rear legroom (at least in my experience), but that's about it. I bought the base model, which has hub caps, the 6.5" Starlink touchscreen (with Apple carplay and Android auto - which both work amazingly!), and cruise control. That's it for features. In the higher trims levels, you get a mix of: larger touchscreen, Eyesight technology, LED headlights, alloy rims, ski racks, etc. That raises the price of the car from about $21K for the base, to $27K for loaded. Overall, I am satisfied with my base Impreza hatchback. This car is what it is and is not what it's not. If you're looking for tons of features and the most up-to-date technology, either pay more for a premium Impreza, or opt for a different car. If you're someone who wants great visibility, more power than a normal 4-cylinder car, comfortable seats, AWD, and the satisfaction of driving a Subaru, then consider the Impreza. PS: -The car has a considerable center hump on the floor of the rear seats, making it a very comfortable 4-seater car, but a tight 5-seater car. -Although the trunk is rated to have 20.8 cubic feet of space, it's wide and deep, allowing you to easily carry 4 large suitcases and then some. For comparison, the 2017 Corolla iM also has 20.8 cubic feet of trunk space, but there's no way you're going to fit 4 large suitcases in it - it's too shallow. -There's no rear cup-holders attached to the center armrest, although the rear side doors can hold 2 bottles of water each.
5 out of 5 stars
Solid highly underrated compact sedan!
2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
Ive had this car for 7 months. Theres a lot more pros than cons but ill list them anyway PROS - Boxer engine lowers car center of gravity - Easy to service esp when doing oil changes - Sport Trim makes car truly feel sporty esp if you get the sedan; it comes with a spoiler. - Phone syncs easily to bluetooth and infotainment system - Sport Trim has large easy to use radio console - … Backup camera on sport trim is easy to see since it uses the large radio console - AWD enables you to drive through rain and snow with absolute confidence - Engine not as underpowered as people claim; can merge quickly and change lanes with ease on highways - rear sears fold flat if you need more cargo room to haul things CONS - Its a compact sedan so storage space will be more limited - center console has limited storage space - No compartment space for driving glasses - Be careful raking off lugnuts. For some odd reason Subaru used fine thread on the lugnut studs (had to replace a couple of them) - If you put different rims on car the tire sensors have to be transferred to the new rims and dealership has to reprogram them to sync with the cars infotainment system. OVERALL - Fun car to drive - Small yet rugged and reliable transportation - Overall rating i give is 9.5/10
5 out of 5 stars
Subaru has stepped up its features.
Chris C, 12/11/2018
2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Limited 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
In the past I never looked at Subaru’s because they were always behind in tech and features. They have stepped up big time. The eye sight works amazing, I use the auto cruise control daily going to work and only have to push the gas or brake pedals on side streets, it does a great job of keep you behind the car in front of you. The infotainment software is amazing, as someone coming from … the constantly not working Mazda (2017) infotainment, this one works perfectly. I have not had Bluetooth or usb disconnect since I bought it. The AWD is amazing especially living in Seattle, it handles the rain like a dream. Even the eyesight has no problems on the gloomy dark rainy weather. The acceleration is perfectly fine, yea it won’t blow anyone away but did you expect that when they sell the WRX or STI? The rear cargo room is more than any other car in the class. I can fit my infant car seat in the back with adults sitting up front with no space issues, the same can’t be said for the Mazda 3, civic or corolla. I would highly recommend this car to anyone looking at a car in this size, especially as someone who owned a Mazda 3 that was traded in for this.
4 out of 5 stars
Nice car, nothing great nothing bad
Raja Chava, 09/11/2019
2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
I have had a 2007 Camry and replaced it with Impreza after 13yrs. Our primary requirement was AWD, reliability and affordability. It was easy to filter and narrow down the list of cars. We bought Impreza base model with EyeSight. We also got lifetime oil changes for $500 (2 oil changes/yr for as long I own the car) The good: Smooth ride Perfect size for our needs Lot of features in … the base model (Dual LCD displays, Bluetooth, USB, Apple/Android connectivity, good interiors, high quality cloth seats, all weather mats) Good sound quality (with just 4 speakers) Price: Paid $19,350 (2.i with EyeSight) + Tax + fee (under $300) The bad: Mileage: Pittsburgh has no flat roads and lot of stop signs. We drove around 300 miles so far and fuel average is just 19 MPG. I hope it will increase after first service. Gas tank: With 19 MPG and a 13 gallon tank, we have to make far more trips to gas station (Almost once a week with our 30 mile/day usage), which I hate to do in winter. Second row hump: I only sat in the back row for sometime but the hump in the middle made the middle seat useless. It may be good for a child but not for an adult. Manual driver seat adjustments: The driver seat adjustments are manual. My 07 Camry has power driver seat, how come a 2019 model still comes with manual adjustments? Me and wife both use the car and its always a hassle to adjust the seat. I am missing my Camry here. No DRL: No day time running lights. So we always keep the lights on. Center HVAC vents: These are in the middle vertically. If you hold your steering in the middle horizontally, your hand blocks air. I believe it will be more annoying when you turn on heat since the hot air directly hits your hand. To be honest there is no wow factor(except AWD and price) here compared to my 13 year old Camry.
2019 Impreza Highlights
|Combined MPG||26 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$144/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||all wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
Our experts like the Impreza models:
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Sounds an audible warning when vehicles are approaching from the side, such as when backing out of a parking space.
- Subaru EyeSight
- Bundles several driver aids, including adaptive cruise control, emergency braking and lane keeping assist.
- Reverse Automatic Braking
- Applies the brakes automatically if a collision is deemed imminent while reversing.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.5%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedPoor
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood