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#17

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $18,195 - $23,295
Invoice: $17,381 - $22,070
MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
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Subaru Impreza Performance

The 2015 Subaru Impreza has poised handling and a comfortable ride, according to auto journalists. It gets decent fuel economy for the class, which is something that reviewers are happy about, considering the Impreza has standard all-wheel drive. Critics caution that the Impreza doesn't have a lot of highway passing power, and that its available continuously variable transmission can be noisy at speed.

  • "Downsides include an engine that isn't particularly powerful and can be quite noisy at times." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Around turns, the Impreza won't immediately wow you with its catlike agility. But if you press on more aggressively, you'll find that it's actually blessed with secure handling, precise steering and confident braking, particularly with the 17-inch wheels and tires." -- Edmunds
  • "It's hard to find a gasoline-powered AWD car with good fuel economy, but the 2015 Subaru Impreza manages this trick quite nicely. While not a class leader, it's definitely competitive, offering up to 37 mpg on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Subaru Impreza is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available. The Impreza returns an EPA-estimated 28/37 mpg city/highway with the CVT, which is decent for the class.

Test drivers agree that the Impreza has sufficient power for city driving but feels a bit sluggish at highway speeds. Some critics comment that it can be tricky to drive models with a manual transmission smoothly at low speeds, as the clutch is a little touchy. Others note that the CVT is too aggressive and can be noisy at speed.

  • "It's a good little engine, as long as you're not in a big hurry." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2015 Subaru Impreza's four-cylinder engine provides adequate acceleration around town, but you'll need to plan ahead for highway passing maneuvers. Overall, the Impreza is one of the slower cars in the small sedan/hatchback class. Not helping matters is the CVT, which responds too eagerly to throttle inputs, increasing engine speed unnecessarily and amplifying the racket under the hood. … The manual transmission helps matters, but its abrupt clutch take-up can make it difficult to drive the Impreza smoothly in heavy traffic." -- Edmunds
  • "Once you get up to speeds over 40 miles per hour, however, there isn't a lot of reserve power for passing slower traffic. There's also a rather harsh sound at full throttle, but that's pretty standard with most CVT transmissions. …" -- AutoTrader (2014)

Handling and Braking

The Subaru Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive. Test drivers write that the Impreza has balanced handling and a comfortable ride. Some critics say the steering is responsive, but others wish it offered more feedback.

  • "In terms of driving dynamics, the car's small size and capable chassis give it relatively nimble feel, but numb steering cuts down on the fun factor. Though slightly firm, the suspension provides a comfortable ride." -- Left Lane News
  • "The Impreza also has a well-tuned suspension that nicely buffers passengers from jolts and bumps, yet also provides steady and secure handling around turns." -- Edmunds
  • "On the road, the Impreza is surprisingly responsive, with good feedback from its electric-assist power steering and a predictable, controlled feel when rounding sharp corners." -- AutoTrader (2014)
Review Last Updated: 12/19/14

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