Model year 2024 is a big one for the Subaru Impreza compact car, as significant for what’s new as for what’s gone.
A complete redesign gives the 2024 Impreza a sportier appearance, a more rigid chassis, upgraded infotainment and driver-assistance tech, and a new RS trim level.
All models are now five-door hatchbacks with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
Subaru’s signature all-wheel drive and boxer engines live on with enthusiasm.
Gone but not forgotten are the Impreza sedan and the manual transmission.
What’s left is a very appealing runabout with characteristics and pricing that can be a lodestone for compact-car buyers.
There are three trim levels of the 2024 Impreza: Base, Sport, and RS. The first two are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The RS comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder good for 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque.
Pricing starts at $24,085 for the Base model. The Sport’s sticker is $26,085 and the RS costs $28,975. These figures include a $1,090 destination and delivery charge.
I drove the RS trim, whose name isn’t new to Impreza. It marks the return of the enthusiast-oriented 2.5 RS model from the 1990s.
The 2024 Impreza RS isn’t high-performance material, but it’s more than lively enough to be fun, at a bargain price, with good fuel economy and standard all-wheel drive, no less.
EPA ratings for the RS are 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. For comparison, the Base and Sport engine’s numbers are 27/34/30 mpg.
Impreza’s new ride is settled and smooth. Even when barreling along I-5, the cabin is pleasantly muted.
Unique exterior embellishments are enjoyed by the RS trim, including RS badging, 18-inch dark gray wheels, and black finish on the grille, side spoilers and side mirrors.
Appearance upgrades carry over into the RS cabin, with gunmetal and simulated carbon fiber trim accents, aluminum alloy pedals, sport front seats in black cloth with red bolsters, and a bit more RS badging. The look is smart and sophisticated.
For the first time, Subaru’s Starlink 11.6-inch multimedia system is available for the Impreza. It is standard equipment on Sport and RS trims and includes the host of features found on high-grade automotive multimedia systems now. That would be wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, Bluetooth, HD Radio, wireless phone charger, over-the-air updates and so on.
At first, the Starlink tablet-sized display looks like overkill in the compact Impreza’s interior, but it seems heaven-sent during operation. Icons are large and crystal clear, and they respond with precision when tapped. In general, the whole system is intuitive.
I consider my test car’s only optional item, a $2,070 package, a necessity. It adds a 10-way power driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and a power moonroof.
2024 SUBARU IMPREZA RS
Base price, including destination charge: $28,975
Price as driven: $31,045
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.