There’s nothing remarkable about the 2023 Subaru Impreza, but at its price point, it’s a decent compact car. The smallest of Subaru’s lineup, the Impreza is available as both a sedan and a hatchback, and buyers can choose from a manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Standard all-wheel drive, a spunky ride, and a no-nonsense interior design are among the Impreza’s highlights, and the car also offers plenty in the way of safety features, including driver-assistance tech in CVT-equipped vehicles. While we admire that Subaru offers a manual transmission, the five-speed stick isn’t the one we’d recommend, as it lacks precision. Fuel economy, too, is worse with the stick. But even with the CVT, the car struggles to compete with its more efficient competitors. Overall, the 2023 Impreza is a suitable choice for most purposes despite these hang-ups, but rivals such as the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3 simply have more to offer.
What’s New for 2023?
The Impreza hasn’t changed for 2023, with the compact car offering the same suite of features in the same package as last year. The only update comes in the pricing department.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
For practicality reasons, we’d pick the hatch over the sedan. We also think the Premium model provides the best mix of features and value. It comes standard with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, heated front seats, a host of driver assists (adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and more), and an enhanced infotainment system that includes SiriusXM satellite radio, an extra USB port, and integrated smartphone apps. The lone option package is also worth adding, as it brings blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross-traffic alert, passive hands-free entry and push-button start, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a sunroof.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Impreza is a tortoise in a class of hares, with a four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard, of course. With little low-end punch, both the sedan and hatchback require considerable goading to keep the engine where it needs to be to make power. The five-speed manual transmission on our Impreza Sport sedan performed less lethargically than the CVT of our long-term Sport hatch, but we actually prefer the automatic, due to the manual’s notchy and imprecise nature. The Impreza strikes a near-perfect balance between ride and handling. The body doesn’t lean in turns, and the quick steering gives the compact car an additional sense of verve. We found the Impreza Sport’s relatively firm brake pedal and short stopping distance during emergency-braking situations to be exemplary for the class.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Choose any Impreza with the CVT and you’ll be pleased with its fuel economy. Opt for the manual transmission, though, and you’ll visit your local gas station more frequently. The most efficient Impreza earns 28 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, per the EPA; the least-efficient model—a hatchback with a manual transmission—is rated for 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Our manual-equipped Impreza Sport sedan managed 30 mpg in our real-world highway fuel-economy test. For context, the nonhybrid Toyota Corolla achieved an impressive 41 mpg, albeit with an automatic transmission. For more information about the Impreza’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Impreza’s interior may be short on style, but it’s tops in design. Easy-to-read gauges, simple controls, and an intuitive climate-control system make this car a breeze to operate. Additionally, the cabin benefits from soft-touch plastics, cushy armrests, and impressive fit and finish. Passenger volume is class competitive, and tall drivers will appreciate the model’s ample front-seat legroom. The cargo areas of both the Impreza sedan and hatchback are on the smaller side of the class and there aren’t a lot of places to store small personal items in the cabin, but you can fold down the 60/40 split-folding rear seat for additional cargo space when you need it.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Impreza includes key infotainment features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. While the base and Premium models feature a 6.5-inch touchscreen, the Sport and Limited trims are equipped with an 8.0-inch unit. Both systems boast logical menu structures and crisp graphics.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Subaru equips automatic-transmission models with its EyeSight suite of driver-assistance technologies. Buyers of the manual are out of luck. For more information about the Impreza’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance