2019 Impreza New Car Test Drive
Smaller than the Legacy, Subaru's long-lived compact sedan and hatchback share their basic body, and interior with the high-riding Crosstrek crossover. Last redesigned for the 2017 model year, the Impreza promises impressive fuel economy (up to 38 mpg on the highway). Drivers also get the benefit of Subaru's standard all-wheel drive.
Safety gets the nod for the 2019 model year. Subaru's “EyeSight” driver-assist package is now available for every Impreza with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), not just upper trim levels. Priced at $845, the option group is newly offered for base trim and remains optional for Premium and Sport models. It's standard on the Limited edition. A 4.2-inch LCD instrument cluster, overhead console light, and individual tire-pressure monitoring system is included with EyeSight.
Subaru offers four Impreza trim levels: base, Premium, Sport, and Limited. Each is available in both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles.
In each Impreza, a 2.0-liter flat- (horizontally-opposed) four-cylinder sends power to all four wheels, via either a 5-speed manual transmission or Subaru's CVT. Rated at a modest 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, the Impreza engine is one of the least powerful in any compact sedan.
In upper trim levels, the CVT incorporates a manual mode with seven simulated, preset ratios, selected with paddle shifters. Accelerating with the assistance of the paddles thus simulates the operation of a conventional automatic transmission.
Impressive crash-test results come from both federal and independent testers. The Impreza has earned five-star ratings in every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: overall, and for frontal and side impacts. Rollover resistance also got a five-star rating. That's a calculated figure rather than one derived from testing, but few cars manage to attain that level. Imprezas also provide great outward vision.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated Impreza 'Good'? in every test, and declared its frontal crash-avoidance technology 'Superior.'? Halogen headlights in lesser trims rated only 'Marginal,” but the Limited”s automatic high-beam LED headlights earned a “Good” score.
All Imprezas are now available with active safety technology, in the form of Subaru's “EyeSight” driver-assistance group. Standard with Limited trim, it's optional for each lower trim level equipped with a CVT. EyeSight includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control..
Prices do not include $885 destination charge.
Base 2.0i manual (sedan $18,595 hatchback $19,095) comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive, 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, carpeted mats, and 16-inch steel wheels. Substituting a CVT costs $1,000 additional.
2.0i Premium (sedan $21,595, hatchback $22,095) includes a CVT, alloy wheels, heated front seats, a CD player, and dual rear USB ports. The EyeSight safety group costs $1,395, but includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
2.0i Sport manual (sedan $22,195, hatchback $22,695) has a 5-speed manual gearbox with short-throw shifter, aluminum pedals, 18-inch alloy wheels, special suspension tuning, sport gauges, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 8.0-inch touchscreen. A CVT adds $800.
2.0i Limited (sedan $24,995, hatchback $25,495) comes with the CVT, leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, automatic climate control, keyless access, pushbutton start, 17-inch wheels, and the EyeSight safety group, including steering-responsive headlights and reverse automatic braking..