Subaru’s Sport Sedan: The 2018 Impreza
Subaru’s 2018 Impreza is a great entry-level choice for those looking to have a sporty but capable automobile. Available as either a sedan or a hatch, the 2018 Impreza has much to offer beyond Subaru’s famous AWD capabilities. Awarded the Best Resale Value for 2018 by Kelley Blue Book, Subaru’s Impreza will not only get you over the river and through the woods — but it’ll also be a comfortable, entertaining ride!
The Subaru Impreza is the sporty, compact sibling to the Subaru Legacy, which competes in the mid-size segment. While the Outback and Forester are offered in the wagon and SUV categories respectively, Subaru does offer the infamous WRX STI and BRZ for those with a hankering for a bit more speed. Overall, Subaru offers a wide range of AWD vehicles easily capable of seeing you through to hundreds of thousands of miles — with the proper care, of course.
2018 Subaru Impreza models are equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine, capable of 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. Available transmissions include a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) and a five-speed manual.
The Impreza comes in the following exterior colors:
- Crystal Black Silica
- Crimson Red Pearl
- Island Blue Pearl
- Ice Silver Metallic
- Lapis Blue Pearl
- Lithium Red Pearl
- Magnetite Gray Metallic
- Crystal White Pearl
Interior colors include black sport cloth, black cloth, black leather, ivory cloth, and ivory leather.
With 24 city and 32 highway EPA-estimated mpg, the manual Impreza sedan comes last in its class for fuel economy, according to Kelley Blue Book. The automatic sedan ranks slightly higher, coming in at 28 city and 38 highway EPA-estimated mpg.
Hatch versions of the Impreza fare little better. Manual transmissions clock in at 24 city, 31 highway, with automatic transmissions coming in at 28 city and 37 highway EPA-estimated mpg.
The Honda Civic ranks in at up to 32 city and 42 highway EPA-estimated mpg, and the Toyota Corolla is not far behind at 30 and 40 mpg respectively. Then again, neither the Civic or Corolla are AWD, so this is where the shortcomings of Subaru’s main selling point might come. Still, to be north of 20 in city and 30 in highway is leaps and bounds better than what fuel economies were only five-seven years ago.
Entertainment and Safety Features
Subaru’s EyeSight safety suite has earned the 2018 Impreza the 2018 Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS. The EyeSight Driver Assist Technology includes Blind-Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Subaru STARLINK Safety and Security, LED Steering Responsive Headlights and High Beam Assist, along with a Rear Vision Camera and Reverse Automatic Braking. J.D. Power and Associates ranks the 2018 Subaru Impreza in the 2.5-3 range, but the NHTSA rates it five-stars all around.
The 2018 Impreza is available in four different models.
The 2.0i sedan features a five-speed manual with an optional CVT. Riding on 16-inch wheels, this model has cloth seats, keyless entry, and starts at $18,495. Entertainment features include a 6.5-inch multimedia screen and four speakers. A Rear Vision Camera is standard on this model.
2.0i Premium models come standard with a Lineartronic CVT with paddle shifters. Heated side mirrors, a windshield de-icer, heated front cloth seats, and auto headlights are accompanied by a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, six speakers, and an optional moonroof.
The 2.0i Sport sedan rides on 18-inch wheels and sports a five-speed manual transmission. With a trunk spoiler, active torque vectoring, heated front seats, and a leather steering wheel, the Sport model also offers an eight-inch infotainment screen and six speakers. The Harman Kardon speaker system is optional.
Last but not least, the 2.0i Limited sedan has a CVT with paddle shifters, 17-inch wheels, and a slew of upgrades, including LED headlights, fog lights, chrome door handles, a power driver’s seat, heated front leather seats, and an eight-inch infotainment screen. A six-speaker sound system is standard, but the Harman Kardon speaker system is optional, along with navigation. Clocking in at $24,195, this well-equipped model is still relatively affordable.
Whichever option you choose, the 2018 Subaru Impreza has a wide range of safety and entertainment features to suit your needs.
How the 2018 Subaru Impreza Compares to the Competition
Subaru has greatly increased its marketing audience by offering a sedan and hatch version of the Impreza. Competitors in the market include the Volkswagen Golf — both hatch and wagon versions — the Mazda3, the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford’s C-MAX, the Kia Soul, Honda Civic, and the Toyota Corolla. Others like the Nissan Sentra, Kia Forte, Buick Verano, Toyota Prius, Hyundai Elantra, and Volkswagen Jetta compete with big names like the Mitsubishi Lancer and Subaru WRX as well. It’s a broad range of offerings that caters to almost any customer’s needs.
If you’re looking for AWD capabilities, obviously Subaru leads that department. The Buick and Hyundai offer a bit more sophistication than the others, while there are many competitors who offer an affordable-but-capable package. The Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic are leaders of that particular group. Really, it comes down to what options you’re looking for and what price range your budget will allow.
“We recommend buying Subaru’s comprehensive EyeSight suite of advanced safety gear,” states Consumer Reports, “which includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking.” Experts also praise the comfortable ride and roomy interior. Downfalls, however, include the engine noise and lack of lumbar support.
Edmunds experts like the cabin as well, and the fact that there is a manual transmission option. Although there is a “healthy selection of advanced safety features available on most trims,” the less-than-average fuel economy and low-quality interior materials left experts wanting more. For a brand that offers the ever-popular WRX STI, the Impreza’s engine does suffer from slow acceleration.
Reviewers at U.S. News said much the same thing, noting the Impreza is overall a good, “spacious, practical vehicle, but it doesn’t do enough to stand out in an extremely competitive class.” In fact, U.S. News states the Civic and Mazda 3 are close in price and offer a huge range of options that Subaru just doesn’t bring to the table.
Kelley Blue Book sums it up quite nicely: “you won’t find all-wheel drive at a lower price.” The Subaru Impreza might not be able to compete with the faster and more efficient sedans and hatches out there, but “everything about the Impreza is better than ever before.”
- Quiet and roomy cabin
- Safety features
- Only one engine available
- Fuel economy
- Interior material quality is lacking
The 2018 Subaru Impreza stays true to Subaru’s main values: reliability, affordability, and of course, AWD capabilities. While other marques may offer more gadgets and gismos or a more stylish exterior, the Subaru Impreza is great for those looking for a daily driver good for all kinds of weather — and all those crazy things life throws at us. The next time you’re considering an entry-level sedan or hatch, check out what Subaru’s got to offer.