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2024 Subaru Impreza, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car

 

The Subaru Impreza (Japanese: スバル・インプレッサ, Hepburn: Subaru Inpuressa) is a compact car that has been manufactured by the Japanese automaker Subaru since 1992. It was introduced as a replacement for the Leone, with the predecessor’s EA series engines replaced by the new EJ series. It is now in its fifth generation.

Subaru has offered 4-door sedan and 5-door body variants since 1992. The firm also offered a coupé from 1995 until 2001, and a 5-door wagon from the Impreza’s introduction – this was replaced by a hatchback with the third generation. Mainstream versions have received “boxer” flat-four engines ranging from 1.5- to 2.5-liters, with the performance-oriented Impreza WRX and WRX STI models upgraded with the addition of turbochargers.

Since the third generation series, some markets have adopted the abbreviated Subaru WRX name for these high-performance variants. The first three generations of Impreza were also available with an off-road appearance package called the Outback Sport, exclusive to the North American market. For the fourth generation, this appearance package was renamed the XV (Crosstrek in North America), and is sold internationally. Colloquially, the car is sometimes referred to as Scooby.

Subaru has offered front- and all-wheel drive layouts for the Impreza. Since the late-1990s, some markets have restricted sales to the all-wheel drive model, putting the Impreza in a unique selling proposition in the global compact class, which is usually characterized by front-wheel drive. Japanese models remain available in both configurations.

A 2019 iSeeCars study named the Impreza as the lowest-depreciating sedan in the United States after five years.

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2024 Subaru Impreza First Look: Mainstreaming Without a Manual

Subaru brings back the RS trim—but also kills the manual transmission option.

After being teased earlier this month, the 2024 Subaru Impreza is making its global debut at the 2022 Los Angeles auto show. But we actually got a sneak peek a few weeks ago. Subaru invited us to a scenic range in Malibu, California for an early, less chaotic introduction to the new Impreza Sport and RS trims. Some of the new Impreza’s details might disappoint diehard Subie fans—cough, cough, the transmission news—while other aspects may satisfy others. Let’s dive into everything we know about the 2024 Subaru Impreza so far:

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Farewell, Manual Transmission

One of the first truth bombs to drop during Subaru’s presentation on the new Impreza was revelation that there will no longer be a manual transmission option available. Every 2024 Impreza will come with Subaru’s continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). We can already hear the anguished cries of Subaru fans bellowing from the deepest pits of reddit. If you find yourself asking “why?” as you clutch your chest and some faded magazine clippings of World Rally Blue ’90s Imprezas blasting down rally stages, the answer comes down to numbers.

According to Subaru of America Car Line Planning Manager Garrick Goh, only four percent of current Impreza sales were for models equipped with the manual transmission, and Goh went on to say that number is “falling fast.” The data doesn’t lie: The vast majority of Impreza buyers simply aren’t interested in rowing their own gears. We’re sure that a loud minority will push back fiercely on the all-automatic-transmission development, but it appears that Subaru is listening to the numbers this time.

And besides, those Subaru enthusiasts still have the turbocharged, Impreza-adjacent WRX sport sedan, an altogether more interesting destination for a stick shift than, say, an entry-level, plain-ol’ Impreza.

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Hatchbacks For All, And Fewer Trims

The manual transmission isn’t the only Impreza feature to ride off into the sunset, either. Subaru will only offer the new Impreza as a four-door hatchback, ditching the four-door sedan model going forward. Subaru reckons that most Impreza buyers are weekend warriors who carry a lot of gear on their excursions, thus a four-door hatchback is much more conducive to that lifestyle.

It also doesn’t hurt that the Impreza’s very popular cousin, the Crosstrek, is only available in the same hatchback body, albeit sitting on a lifted suspension and wearing more plastic trim. By letting the sedan go, Subaru is left with essentially a single body (the hatch) covering its entire compact vehicle spread.

So, yeah, the 2024 Impreza is, basically, a lowered Crosstrek, if you want to think of it that way. Strangely, it has less cargo space than the outgoing model. However, Goh stressed that the difference is “miniscule” and equates to just “tenths of a decimal.” The cause of the marginal reduction in space is due to the 2024 Impreza’s faster roofline, apparently.

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Streamlining seems to be a theme with the ’24 Impreza lineup. The outgoing Impreza had seven different trims between the sedan and hatch. Eliminating the sedan not only allows Subaru to simplify the Impreza’s production line up by offering just one body style, it also reduces the trim walk to three: the base, Sport, and RS. Subaru didn’t bring a base trim Impreza to the reveal event but we had plenty of time to get up close and personal with the other two trims.

The Sport was sprayed in an Impreza-exclusive new “Oasis Blue” color which is one of the brighter shades of blue from the automaker of late. While the 2024 Subaru Impreza is an all-new design, some many notice similarities between it and the recently revealed 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. Subaru confirmed (as will your eyes) that the Impreza shares quite a lot of sheetmetal with the Crosstrek, along with its LED headlights (standard on all 2024 Imprezas) and taillights.

Of course, the Impreza wears a different front bumper, and a different, less-SUV-aping suspension setup. Underneath the sheet metal, the Impreza features more high-strength steel than in previous versions of the model to comply with more stringent crash tests but it also increases torsional rigidity by 10 percent.

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Engine Performance And Handling

The base and Sport trims come standard with a 2.0-liter boxer engine that’s good for 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. The Sport’s CVT includes eight simulated gear ratios in its “manual mode,” controlled via paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. Subaru says that the Sport’s wider ratio spread helps it accelerate quicker than an equivalent 2023 Impreza.

As before, every Impreza comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Subaru revised the multi-disc center coupling with standard “Active Torque Vectoring” so it does not lock as heavily as the outgoing model when shuffling power between the front and rear axles, and it’s been retuned for “faster response time, more agile handling, and better cornering.” We’ll see about that once we get behind the wheel.

Speaking of cornering, the new Impreza gets a modified version of the current WRX’s dual-pinion electric power steering rack. Subaru promises that this new steering setup provides “more direct and natural steering feel and greater responsiveness.” It certainly sounds promising, but we’ll have to wait for the first drive to see for ourselves.

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Return Of The RS

In 1998, Subaru released the Impreza 2.5 RS as a sort of preview of the forthcoming WRX’s arrival in the U.S. market. The 2.5 RS has been missing from Subaru’s lineup for a while, but it’s returning in 2024. Just like in ’98, the 2024 Subaru Impreza RS (pictured here in red) will come equipped with a 2.5-liter boxer engine. When asked by another journalist why “2.5” is missing from the badge, Goh responded that Subaru abandoned that practice because with all the different trims on their recent vehicles, keeping the displacement numbers was just “a mouthful.”

The 2.5-liter engine pumps out 182 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque and roughly matches the unit in the previous Crosstrek’s upgraded Sport trim. Torque comes 700 rpm sooner than it did in the previous 2.5-liter engine, though, which could provide that extra “kick” drivers are looking for when they opt for the RS. Like the Sport, the RS’s CVT transmission also features an eight-speed manual mode allowing the user to feel a little more involved.

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Apart from the RS badge, other visual differences include gloss black accents around the grille and fog lights, gloss black side skirts, gloss black side mirror caps, and 18-inch wheels finished in dark grey. After seeing the Sport and the RS side-by-side, the RS certainly stood out as the more visually appealing option. The RS’s gloss black side skirts go a long way in accentuating the sportier look of the new Impreza.

Since Subaru made a point to remind us that the first RS was a precursor to the WRX coming to the states, we asked Goh if the 2024 Impreza RS’s styling and equipment held any hints to the next WRX. Goh paused, taking deep consideration before slyly responding with a simple “maybe.” Beyond that, he wouldn’t budge, but then again, we won’t know what he was on about for a while—the WRX was all-new last year, so fresh changes aren’t in the cards near-term.

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Interior Upgrades And Safety Features

The biggest upgrade coming to the 2024 Subaru Impreza’s interior is the inclusion of Subaru’s “Starlink Multimedia Plus” system which is a first for this model. The Starlink system features an 11.6-inch touch screen and comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The screen also serves as an information display hub and hosts touch controls for the Impreza’s climate system, like in the WRX, Legacy, and Outback.

There is an available “Safety and Security Connected Services” package for Starlink that offers SOS emergency assistance, “enhanced” roadside assistance, stolen vehicle recovery service, vehicle health diagnostics and more. It was also noted at the preview event that the rear vision camera is a new wide-angle unit and can work with Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance features such as blind-spot detection and steering control to help the user avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph.

Gunmetal and simulated carbon fiber trim pieces dress up the Impreza RS’s cabin, which also sports black cloth seats with red bolsters. The RS steering wheel and shift lever are wrapped in leather for a hint of luxury, and there are aluminum pedals ahead of the driver.  The RS also gets heated front seats and rear USB charging ports. RS standard safety features include blind-spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.

The interior color of the Sport trim was not final at the time of the preview event so we were unable to take photos but the interior styling is virtually the same just without the extra features that come standard on the RS.

Availability And Pricing

Expect the new Subaru Impreza to hit dealerships in the second quarter of 2024. Impreza production is being moved from Indiana to Japan for the 2024 model which could have an affect on deliveries, but that remains to be seen. There was no pricing announced during the preview event but Subaru hinted that information should be revealed around the first quarter of 2024 in late February or early March.

We expect the MSRP to start somewhere in the $25,000 to $30,000 range. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we get more information. For now, we’ll just have to wait until we get to drive the Impreza to see how the once-enthusiast-focused compact has evolved.

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