After 30 years on the market, the Subaru Impreza has established a reputation for reliability, value, longevity and perhaps most importantly – its ability to laugh off winter conditions. The standard, and increasingly sophisticated all-wheel-drive system sets it apart in the small car category.
Admittedly that class is shrinking. The traditional stalwarts in the class – Ford, GM and Stellantis (nee Chrysler) no longer offer a small car. They, like many other manufacturers and the majority of consumers, have switched their attention to utility vehicles.
The Impreza stands out even more.
After only a few minutes behind the wheel, I found myself thinking: “This is a great little car!”
That revelation was brought on by the fact that it had been many months since I have driven an actual car, something other than a utility vehicle.
The Impreza is light, lithe and, in light of the average cost of a new car in Canada passing the $65,000, a bargain!
At less than $34,000 the RS-trim tester boasted a power sunroof, 18-in alloy wheels, dual zone automatic climate control, 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, power folding and heated mirrors, adaptive cruise control, and a tilt & telescope steering wheel.
It also had Subaru’s vaunted all-wheel-drive system and its unique horizontally-opposed four cylinder engine.
Also included in the bargain-priced 2024 Subaru Impreza RS – the award-winning EyeSight suite of safety features
About a decade ago, I was chairman of AJAC’s Automotive Technology of the Year Jury. Following presentations by a number of engineers and scientists from a half-dozen manufacturers on a variety of new and upcoming systems, we unanimously selected EyeSight as the winner. We were impressed with the contribution it made to the whole area of helping prevent collisions.
Essentially EyeSight uses a pair of forward-facing cameras mounted behind the rear-view mirror to monitor the scene ahead. These extra ‘eyes’ provide visual images and data, that is processed and used to determine when and how much to intervene when a critical situation is identified.
Control modules for the engine, transmission and vehicle dynamics are brought into play as required to avoid or minimize the result of coming into contact with another vehicle, a fixed obstacle, pedestrian or cyclist.
Subaru has continually upgraded the system over the years. A 2015 model year change replaced black and white cameras with high-resolution, wider angle colour units. EyeSight was now able to see 40% further and detect brake lights.
For the 2021 model year, EyeSight received another significant upgrade with the addition of an advanced versions of lane-centering and adaptive cruise control.
EyeSight is standard equipment on all trim levels of the 2024 Impreza – Convenience, Touring, RS and Sport Tech.
Under Impreza’s hood
The first two get a two-litre, 152-horsepower engine, the top two a 2.5-litre unit producing 182-horsepower. Neither engine offers much excitement or performance, but obviously the higher output version is preferred. Perhaps a turbocharged version is in the wings?
Due to lack of interest, a manual transmission is no longer offered. A Continuously Variable Transmission is paired with either engine, and of course all-wheel-drive is standard across the board.
The RS trim is new for 2024. It is essentially a visual package, with lots of RS logos, red accents and black black trim. It also gets unique rocker panels, a tonneau cover, aluminum alloy pedals, sunroof, power driver’s seat, 10-speaker audio system, and 18-in black alloy wheels wrapped in unique Yokohama rubber.
The sixth-generation 2024 Impreza has new looks front, rear, and inside.
The new instrument panel and infotainment system layouts will be familiar to Crosstrek and WRX owners.
The four-door sedan has been discontinued, a five-door hatchback remains.
It offers more people and cargo room than most competitors, and better isolation from both road and wind noise. The ride is unusually pleasant for a small and light vehicle, thanks to a stiff structure and a suspension that absorbs road blemishes with aplomb.
The 2024 Subaru Impreza is an evolutionary update that feels more substantial than the outgoing model. It offers exceptional safety systems, all-season security and attractive pricing considering equipment and feature levels.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2024 Subaru Impreza RS
As tested: $33,790 including freight
Steering responsive LED headlights with automatic high beams, EyeSight driver assist technology, (wide-angle camera, pre-collision braking, rear and side vehicle detection, automatic emergency steering, lane centering assist, lane keep assist and sway warning, lead vehicle start alert)
30-cm screen, 10-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, wireless Apple CarPly and Android Auto functionality, 4 USB ports, satellite radio
Power sunroof, 18-in alloy wheels, dual zone automatic climate control, 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, power folding and heated mirrors, adaptive cruise control, tilt & telescope steering wheel, tonneau cover
2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, 182-horsepower, 178 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel. Continuously variable automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 9.0 / 7.2
Length, 4,475; mm; width, 1,780 mm; wheelbase, 2,670 mm; weight, NA