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- Highs All-wheel drive is standard, user-friendly infotainment system, quick steering and assured composure.
- Lows Unremarkable fuel economy, slow to accelerate, lousy manual transmission.
- Verdict Aside from having standard all-wheel drive, the Impreza fails to impress in the competitive compact-car class.
Affordably priced and equipped with standard all-wheel drive, the 2022 Subaru Impreza is a suitable albeit unimpressive compact car. Subaru offers its smallest vehicle in both sedan and hatchback shapes with either a manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The Impreza's flat-four engine provides languid acceleration regardless of the gearbox, but the stick shift is imprecise and not one we endorse. You find a practical interior and an intuitive infotainment system in both the sedan and hatch, and base models have a host of driver assists, but only with the CVT. The 2022 Impreza's playful driving character and value proposition make it a respectable choice in this class, but its middling fuel economy and lack of refinement place it near the bottom of our list.
What's New for 2022?
Subaru makes the smallest of changes to the Impreza lineup for 2022. Along with the new Sapphire Blue Pearl paint, the top-of-the-line Limited trim is now offered only in the hatchback body style.
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
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
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