In its latest form, Subaru has thrown in a boatload of active safety gear across the range, a larger infotainment display, a revised platform and a styling refresh for its all-wheel drive hatchback range.
How well does the Subaru Impreza hold up against its rivals, then, and handle the practicality test for Australian families with the revised hatchback-only lineup? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Subaru Impreza Competition
Starting Price: $31,490
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Subaru Impreza range kicks off from $31,490 for the entry-level Impreza 2.0L, with prices rising to $34,990 for the mid-range Impreza 2.0R while the range-topping Impreza 2.0S is priced at $37,990.
Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change and do not include on-road costs.
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Subaru Impreza (2.0L (AWD)) Specifications
|VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
|6000 / 4000
|Fuel tank size
|Fuel usage specs
|7.5 / 0
|ANCAP security rating
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What Features Does the Subaru Impreza Have?
Subaru’s entry-level Impreza 2.0L comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys and receives automatic LED headlights, cloth upholstery, keyless entry & start, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, a wireless phone charger, an 11.6-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio and a 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster.
Stepping up to the Subaru Impreza 2.0R adds a set of 18-inch alloys, adaptive headlights with front cornering lights and LED fog lights, premium cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, aluminium driving pedals, heated front seats with a power-adjustable driver’s seat, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and rear USB ports.
Finally, the range-topping Impreza 2.0S comes fitted with leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, satellite navigation and an upgraded 10-speaker sound system from Harman/Kardon.
Subaru Impreza Range Features:
Automatic LED headlights
Adaptive cruise control
Rear-view camera with parking sensors
Keyless entry & start
Dual-zone climate control
18-inch alloys (2.0R)
Adaptive headlights with cornering lights and LED fog lights (2.0R)
Premium cloth upholstery with leather-wrapped steering wheel (2.0R)
Heated front seats (2.0R)
Leather upholstery (2.0S)
Panoramic sunroof (2.0S)
10-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system (2.0S)
Is the Subaru Impreza Comfortable to Drive?
The Subaru Impreza has always struck an interesting blend between a user-friendly commuter with a more versatile nature thanks to its all-wheel drive footprint.
In its latest generation, the Impreza is even more accommodating as an urban runaround while retaining the four-pawed stability that makes it more competent on a mix of Australian road conditions than a number of its key rivals.
Under the Impreza’s bonnet, you’ll find a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine kicking out 115kW of power and 196Nm of torque to all four wheels via a CVT automatic transmission.
While there’s nothing to get too excited about in terms of acceleration, the driving experience is quite smooth thanks to the CVT automatic, and while it’s not the preferred transmission of enthusiasts, on a daily hop around town the unit holds up well.
Subaru says that its revised platform is said to increase stiffness by 10 per cent.
On the road, the difference is hard to gauge over its predecessor, though there’s no denying just how planted the Impreza feels thanks to the new hardware and the company’s trusted symmetrical all-wheel drive system.
The Impreza’s handling is excellent, with Subaru ensuring its urban-friendly hatchback retains some of the dynamism that has made it an icon over the years, though this does mean it can ride firm on some rougher surfaces.
All up, though, the Impreza is remarkably well-behaved on a run around town and remains super easy to navigate traffic and squeeze into a park thanks to its compact proportions that make it a great daily driver and weekender, alike.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
Subaru’s 2.0-litre ‘boxer’ four-cylinder petrol powering the latest Impreza range is officially rated at 7.5L/100km on a combined cycle.
While Subaru has made strides to improve the Impreza’s fuel efficiency, it remains one of the thirstier members of the segment due to its non-hybridised lineup and the company's’s sticking by the boxer four-cylinder, which has never been celebrated for its fuel efficiency.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
Space and practicality inside the Subaru Impreza has been a bit of a mixed bag in previous generations, though it takes just a few minutes behind the wheel of the sixth-gen Impreza to see it’s a much more spacious affair.
Kicking off with the front of the cabin, Subaru’s redesign has brought the Impreza into line with its updated cabins for the Outback and the Crosstrek.
The dashboard is dominated by the 11.6-inch vertically-mounted infotainment display that makes it feel like a more premium, tech-savvy cabin.
Headroom in the front of the cabin is accommodating to tall drivers, and so too is the amount of visibility that adds some light and spaciousness to the cockpit.
The front of the cabin picks up a centre console with a pair of cup holders, a storage area inside the folding armrest, a wireless charging pad that doubles as a storage area sitting behind the gear lever and a pair of decent-sized door bins for drink bottles.
Move to the rear of the cabin and you’ll see the sixth-gen Impreza offers noticeably more space and practicality.
This will come as great news for family buyers looking for an affordable and much more entertaining alternative to a compact SUV package, with legroom in the rear of the Impreza jumping noticeably.
Now, adults won’t have a problem sitting in the rear of the Impreza thanks to a decent premium in terms of legroom, though headroom remains a little cramped for super tall rear passengers.
Having said that, boot space in the latest Impreza range is limited to just 291L which is lacking in terms of its major rivals, though its family-friendly nature is bolstered by its ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for child seats.
Is it Safe?
Safety is one area that the Subaru knocks it out of the park with the latest Impreza range.
Despite it being unrated by ANCAP for the time being, the Impreza comes packed with active safety equipment that makes it one of the best-equipped vehicles in the segment.
The base model, for example, is packaged with everything from autonomous emergency braking & steering, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control but also Subaru Vision Assist features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, reverse autonomous braking, lane centring and leading vehicle departure alerts.
This means that the Impreza in entry-level form represents one of the most well-equipped vehicles in its respective segment for active safety technology.
Stepping up to the Impreza 2.0R adds a surround-view monitor with front and side views, though it’s nice to see Subaru bundling in all of its safety gear in the base model to keep buyers happy.
Our Verdict: Is the Subaru Impreza Worth it?
The arrival of the sixth-generation Subaru Impreza is more than a simple makeover.
It’s proven as a substantial and very fitting upgrade for a platform that has somewhat missed the mark in previous versions that have culminated in a true rival to some of the segment’s biggest hitters.
For family buyers looking for a fun alternative to something like a compact SUV, or another option in the world of compact cars, we highly encourage adding the Subaru Impreza to your shortlist.
On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying specialists who can help find you the best possible price on your dream car.
Five Specs You Need to Know
2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with CVT automatic
Symmetrical all-wheel drive system
7.5L/100km combined cycle fuel economy
291L boot space
Get in touch with one of our Car Buying Specialists today.Request a quote