Subaru’s 2024 Impreza RS – IMPREZA IMPRESSES
Subaru’s 2024 Impreza RS
To the list of impressive but durable and affordable compact cars, add the 2024 Subaru Impreza.
Introduced in November 2022 at the Los Angeles auto show as a 2024 model, the all-new, sixth generation “Scoobie” remains true to roots first planted at the same show in 1992: 4-cylinder direct-injection BOXER® engines, all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, and a dual-pinion electronic power steering rack borrowed from its high-performance rally cousin, the WRX.
Competing with estimable foes like the Honda Civic, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla, the Impreza starts at around $24,085, delivered. That’s about par in a segment where the median price in December stood at $25,745, according to Cars.com.
A mid-level Sport package offers improved ride and handling but bumps the price to $26,085 An option package with a power moonroof, blind-spot detection with lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert adds $1,900.
The price climbs to $28,975 for an upscale and more powerful RS trim. Our tester came with a Harman Kardon® 10-speaker system with a 432-watt equivalent amplifier, power moonroof, and 10-way power front driver seat with lumbar support, pushing the sticker close to $31,000.
Also found in some Porsches, boxer engines are horizontally opposed, which means that the pistons are arranged in a flat plane, rather than in a vertical line. Advantages include:
- Lower center of gravity which helps to improve handling.
- Less vibration because the pistons move in opposite directions, which helps to improve comfort and reduce noise.
- More compact design, which can help to improve fuel economy and interior space.
Base and Sport trims come with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 152 hp and 145 lb.-ft. of torque. Reviewers are unanimous in saying that acceleration and response are tepid. Sixty mph comes in about nine seconds, which means getting onto the crash-derby death trap known as Interstate 30 takes some forethought.
The RS upgrades to a 2.5-liter engine delivering 182 hp and 178 lb.-ft. of torque. It hits 60 in about 7.5 seconds. Online publications estimate a top speed of around 127 mph, which should at least let you drive in the slow lane on I-30.
If your need for speed eclipses that, you’ll probably want to spring for another $13,000 for a turbocharged WRX, which hits 60 in less than five seconds and tops out somewhere around six months in jail. That should allow you to outrun anyone but the Arkansas Highway Patrol. (Too obscure? Check out their handiwork on YouTube. Never again will you associate pits with olives.)
A limiting factor is the transmission. The only one available is a Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). The Sport and RS trims feature an 8-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters that allow the driver to control the transmission via eight pre-set ratios, but it’s still a CVT and will drone on longer than my Aunt Gladys badmouthing her first husband.
Boxer engines are not, per se, more fuel efficient than others. Indeed, with an EPA-estimated of 26 mpg city/ 33 mpg highway, plus-1 mpg more on each for the smaller engine, the Impreza lags significantly behind competitors, many of which deliver more than 40 mpg. For 2024, Subaru improved the range by putting in a larger gas tank.
Subaru’s all-wheel drive does more than improve traction in snow, ice, mud, and sand. It also improves handling.
Torque vectoring uses sensors and a computer to distribute power to different wheels as needed.
- Improved traction: AWD with torque vectoring can provide better traction in slippery conditions, such as snow or ice. This can help to prevent wheel spin and improve handling.
- Improved stability: AWD with torque vectoring can help to improve stability in corners and on uneven surfaces. This helps prevent the vehicle from skidding or rolling over.
- Improved performance: AWD with torque vectoring can help to improve performance in all driving conditions. This makes the vehicle more agile and responsive.
- Reduced wear and tear: AWD with torque vectoring can help to reduce wear and tear on the tires and drivetrain. This saves money on repairs and maintenance.
However one cuts it, the Impreza RS is fun to drive. The car has a sporty suspension that helps to keep the car stable around corners. The car has a well-balanced chassis and a responsive steering system. It also has a refined ride.
We were impressed with the upscale finish of the cabin. High-quality materials are used throughout. Fit and finish, inside and out, are superb. The car has a spacious front seat and a comfortable rear seat.
The Impreza RS comes standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The system is easy to use and has a variety of features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The 2024 Subaru Impreza RS comes standard with a variety of safety features, including Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. It includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.
The Impreza RS also comes standard with a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
ReliabilitySubarus have a reputation for being bulletproof. We did not test that theory. The Impreza has a predicted reliability score of 3.5 out of 5 from J.D. Power, which is the average for its class. The Impreza has also been ranked as one of the most reliable cars by Consumer Reports.