When I first wrote about the new Subaru Impreza, many of you in the comments absolutely hated it. Sure, the 2.5 RS nameplate is back, but the manual gearbox is dead and many decried the car as boring. However, now that pricing for the 2024 Subaru Impreza is out, it seems like it could be a great commuter car for the money. After all, isn’t that what regular Impreza models always were?
I reckon the big draw of the new Impreza range is the $24,085 (including a $1,090 freight charge) base model, which predictably isn’t pictured in the press materials. Not only does it sneak in below the critical $25,000 mark, it includes just about everything a car of its size and price ought to come with, plus a few surprises. Adaptive LED headlights at this price point seem like a steal, while few compact cars include SiriusXM satellite radio on the base model. Other perks include dual-zone automatic climate control, dual seven-inch infotainment screens, a tire pressure monitoring system that displays the status of individual wheels, a continuously variable transmission, and a stop-start system to keep from wasting fuel at traffic lights. Sure, alloy wheels are $350 extra, but that’s a reasonable price for an option that’s very desirable but not necessary.
In the middle of the range sits the 2024 Subaru Impreza Sport which offers most of the 2.5 RS feature set without the 2.5 RS power. As I’ve previously detailed, the standard two-liter boxer four-cylinder engine puts out a reasonably 152 horsepower and is mated exclusively to a CVT. On the plus side, the Sport gets paddle shifters for selecting any of eight fake gears, sport-tuned suspension, and various drive modes, so it’s not exclusively a cosmetic package. What’s more, it bundles in several desirable features like an 11.6-inch touchscreen, push-to-start, nicer upholstery, and six speakers. Not bad for $26,085. However, if you want blind spot monitoring or a power moonroof, you have to spec a $1,900 option package on top of this trim. It is what it is, I guess.
At $28,975 including a $1,090 freight charge, the 2024 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS is $2,650 cheaper than a WRX and comes very well-equipped. From wireless phone charging to sport seats to everything available on the Impreza Sport, this is a near-loaded compact hatchback. A 182-horsepower 2.5-liter flat-four engine doesn’t sound like a bad perk either. The only option package on the Impreza 2.5 RS is a whopping $2,070 but includes a ten-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, a moonroof, and a power driver’s seat, meaning that the most expensive 2.5 RS should theoretically come out to $31,045.
It’s worth noting that the Subaru Impreza isn’t the only major small car to come with all-wheel-drive anymore. Toyota now sells an electrically-assisted all-wheel-drive Corolla and Mazda offers a traditional all-wheel-drive system in its Mazda 3. Despite competition, the Impreza should hold its own because of the way its competitors are packaged. If you want all-wheel-drive in a Mazda 3 hatchback, you’re looking at spending at least $30,665 for the Carbon Edition. That’s a lot more money than the Impreza 2.5 RS’ entry point, although the Mazda is brilliant refined.
As for the Corolla, it’s an eAWD system available on the hybrid, which means that the rear wheels aren’t connected to the combustion engine in any way. While this should be fine for snow-covered city streets, those in mountainous regions or rural areas might find solace in a purely mechanical system. In addition, the eAWD Corolla is only available as a sedan which could be a deal-breaker for hatchback enthusiasts.
What’s more, the base-model Impreza is priced well full-stop. The cheapest Mazda 3 hatchback is an extra $530, only comes in three colors, and doesn’t include automatic climate control. The Honda Civic hatchback starts at $2,860 more than a base Impreza which is a lot of money in this price bracket. The only hatchback that really seems competitive is the Toyota Corolla hatchback which starts at roughly the same price as the Impreza, offers a similar feature set, but has a surprisingly tight rear seat and cargo area.
With a reasonable price spread and loads of equipment on the base model, the 2024 Subaru Impreza should satisfy Subaru customers who don’t demand three pedals. While Subaru die-hards will kvetch about the lack of a manual gearbox, people who haven’t rebuilt an EJ25 in their garage need sensible cars, and the new Impreza looks as sensible as the best of them. Expect the first new Imprezas to complete their trip from Gunma, Japan to American showrooms early this summer, right in time for road trip season.
(Photo credits: Subaru)
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