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Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 review


Small SUVs might be more popular nowadays but can Subaru’s new Impreza prove that hatches are still an attractive prospect for buyers?

Good points

  • All-wheel-drive grip
  • Comfortable ride
  • Pleasant leather seats
  • Functional new 11.6-inch screen
  • Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto
  • As practical as a Crosstrek

Needs work

  • Engine and CVT let down the experience
  • Not powerful enough
  • Poor reversing camera quality
  • Some scratchy interior plastics
  • Thirstier than claim
  • No rear air vents

Try and think for a moment of an affordable all-wheel-drive hatchback that you can currently buy right here in Australia. The available options for those with tighter budgets are surprisingly small.

Yes, true, there’s the Audi A3, the new electric MG4 XPower and even the Volkswagen Golf R, but these are not budget all-wheel-drive options.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 rear 3/4

That’s where the 2024 Subaru Impreza comes into play.

Much like the recently-updated Crosstrek, the Impreza small car is back for 2024 and with a slightly new look, more safety, better technologies and a competitive price tag.

Gone is the sedan variant and pricing is up $4000 on the previous Impreza, so the updated range now starts from $31,490 before on-road costs.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 front 3/4 3

I’ve been handed the keys to the Impreza 2.0S, the flagship model, that comes with a $37,990 price tag and an array of more premium features.

Sure, SUVs and utes are all the craze in Australia, but what is it about the Impreza that makes its small-car underpinnings and all-wheel drive very appealing for everyday drivers?

It made me think: do you really need to upgrade to that Crosstrek or Forester?

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 badge

Well, in this review, I’ll explore whether or not small cars like the Impreza still work for Aussie buyers, and whether there are driving experiences you might just miss out on if you go big.

Let’s dive in!

What are the Impreza 2.0S’s features and options for the price?

As the flagship of the Impreza range, the 2.0S’s specification mirrors much of what its related Crosstrek sibling features in a similar 2.0S variant guise. Standard equipment includes:

  • Newly updated 11.6-inch portrait-style touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights and tail lights 
  • USB-A and USB-C charging ports 
  • Additional features of 2.0S include:
    • 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
    • Satellite navigation
    • Black leather seat upholstery 
    • Electric sunroof 

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 front close

For its $37,990 price tag, I feel that the Impreza 2.0S is reasonably value-packed (as you would expect from the flagship) and positively adds on what was available on the defunct 2022-2023 Subaru Impreza. 

The 2.0S we have on test is finished in bright Pure Red and has no options fitted. For the 2024 Impreza range, to choose one of seven paint choices is a no-cost option.  

How does the Impreza 2.0S drive?

I spent a lot of my week testing the new Impreza simply commuting to work and back, which is certainly where this small car really feels most comfortable.

With a significantly lower stance than its related high-riding 220mm Subaru Crosstrek, the Impreza obviously gives off more ‘driver’s car’ vibes with its low seating position. You certainly sit more ‘in’ the car, rather than on-top of it like the Crosstrek.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 driving front 7

Cruising through busy Sydney streets, the Impreza proves its been well set up for comfort, with its relatively soft suspension soaking up bumps and road irregularities with a sense of ease.

Powering the 2024 Impreza is the same engine as before – a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-four engine that produces 115kW/196Nm. These outputs also go unchanged, as was the case with the similarly-powered Crosstrek that launched in Australia during 2023.

Mated to this 2.0-litre unit is a CVT automatic transmission that Subaru calls ‘Lineartronic’. No self-shifting manual is available for 2024, however the Impreza has self-shift paddles that can be used. Just don’t expect anywhere near a Volkswagen Group DSG/PDK-like experience.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 engine

Under light throttle and while cruising through town, the Impreza’s engine is relatively quiet and surprisingly refined, but if you need to get out of a side street quickly, accelerate onto the highway to match the cruising speed of other vehicles or make a mad dash at the traffic lights, the 2.0-litre flat-four and CVT match-up simply doesn’t have the gusto to initiate these driving manoeuvres safely.

Like the Crosstrek, which I had for six months during 2023 and into the early stages of 2024, the Impreza feels much the same, and I was left with the same uninspired feeling from the powertrain.

Under heavier throttle applications, the Impreza revs and revs and eventually just holds around 5000 to 6000RPM as it struggles to get its mass up to the correct road speed.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 driving rear 2

At our Chasing Cars’ testing facility, we clocked a 0-100km/h time of 10 seconds. Its tardiness is largely down to leisurely nature off the mark, even at full throttle, followed by elastic acceleration that’s patently lacking solid shove.

While straight-line numbers aren’t everything, having extra grunt under your right foot can, in my opinion, actually be safer in several driving scenarios. And especially when exiting side streets into fast-flowing traffic.

If you’re one to go for quiet b-road drives in your spare time, the Impreza rewards to some degree with a nicer handling balance than the Crosstrek. That might seem obvious, but the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system Subaru is known and loved for and the tyre spec fitted help to offer tremendous grip at the limit.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 driving front 5

In wet weather conditions, the Impreza is neutral with its power delivery and does not once hint at the possibility of wheelspin.

The feeling that the car is solid and dependable beneath you and won’t suddenly snap or twitch on you is one of the Impreza’s greatest traits. You just don’t get that level of control and tractive drive in some front-drive rivals.

And although it has just 130mm of ground clearance, you could theoretically take the 2024 Impreza to a campground or across paddocks – to an off-street music festival, say – and it could very likely get you out of a tricky (muddy) situation.

If you love the art of driving, and you get behind the wheel for more than just A-to-B commuting, the Impreza, in my opinion, is one of the more enjoyable drives in Subaru’s current lineup.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 driving rear 4

While the 2.0-litre flat-four engine won’t knock your socks off with engagement or charisma like Subaru performance cars of old, the Impreza is still an enjoyable car to drive and wind through some back roads.

It’s got the classic feel of a hatch, it feels surprisingly dynamic and has a sense of lightness you simply won’t get in an SUV.

And even with soft-feeling and pretty compliant suspension, it still feels a touch sporty. Just don’t expect that the Impreza will feel and drive like a classic hot hatch.

Unlike some SUVs on the market, the Impreza is easy to park, is pleasant to drive through tight shopping centre car parks and is pretty nimble day to day on busy streets, just like the ones around where I live in Sydney.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 driving front 6

After all, it was surprisingly refreshing for me to be back piloting a small car after spending so much time driving SUVs here at Chasing Cars.

The Subaru Impreza ultimately proves that there are some key benefits over an SUV: small, nimble, easy to drive and easy to park.

I just wish the engine and CVT transmission could give a little more life and excitement to an otherwise pretty positive little Subaru.

What is the Impreza 2.0S’s interior and tech like?

If you’ve seen the inside of the recently updated Crosstrek small SUV, you’ll be very familiar with the interior. If you haven’t, here’s a rundown.

First impressions are very positive, with a very comfortable driver’s seat, premium-feeling leather upholstery and a nicely-appointed leather steering wheel. In terms of build quality and materials used, the interior certainly punches above the $37,990 price tag.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior 2
Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior front seats

There are the usual hard and scratchy materials, but important surfaces such as the door card trim, centre armrest and places you frequently touch are well built and pretty soft to touch.

The first thing your eyeballs will gravitate to on this interior is the sizable 11.6-inch centre portrait screen that runs almost all of the technology in the Impreza.

It’s a big update from the 8.0-inch unit of the past, and is very functional and easy to operate. Some might say it’s a little busy, but I felt that after a very short time, it was easy to navigate and find the functions I needed.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior touchscreen
Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior gauges

As with a lot of new cars, the climate menu is sort of buried within this touchscreen, however important physical climate control temperature buttons remain, so you can change your temps without touching the screen at all – a nice little feature that makes a difference.

This media system runs wireless versions of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Some of my colleagues thought that the phone mirroring systems looked a little janky on a portrait screen, however I didn’t mind it.

The portrait screen allows you to have climate, phone mirroring and even engine oil and coolant temp diagnostics all displayed at the one time.

For the driver, there is a small 4.2-inch instrument cluster screen surrounded on both sides by analogue gauges for the speedometer and engine revolutions.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior USBs

The little screen is fine to use and does display a few key features, like speed and fuel economy, but I feel Subaru could do with a larger 8.0-inch cluster in the future.

Standard features inside the cabin of the Impreza include a wireless phone charger, USB-C and USB-A ports, an auxiliary music port, two large cup holders, generous door bins for drink bottles and, in 2.0S spec, a small but nice value-add electric sunroof and satellite navigation.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Subaru’s in-built navigation, largely because I found Google Maps in Android Auto to simply be the feature I used more, but it’s good that the satellite navigation is there just in case you don’t have your phone on you or you’re in an area out of phone range.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior back seat

In the rear, Subaru says it has improved the seats to be more comfortable than before. You sit quite high in the back, but I had enough head-, toe- and knee-room. Not quite as good as what I remember from the Crosstrek, but by no means squishy.

The back seat would be perfect for a couple of kids, or two adults for shorter trips. The big downside, however, is the lack of rear air vents.

The kids will be able to plug in their iPads with both USB-C and USB-A ports available in the second row, but they’re going to get pretty hot back there on a sweltering summer’s day.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior boot
Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior spare

In the boot, the Impreza gets an identical 291-litre boot to the Crosstrek. Owners will gain a grocery/sun blind and a temporary spare wheel, but that’s about it. There is no automatic or electric tailgate, but that’s okay considering the Impreza’s price tag.

All in all, Subaru has done a good job to keep their Impreza feeling premium in 2024, and the additional value thanks to the S specification makes things just that little bit nicer for owners.

Is the Impreza 2.0S a safe car?

The 2024 Subaru Impreza is yet to be tested by ANCAP. The last Impreza was rated in 2016 and received a five-star rating at the time.

However, despite being rated, the 2024 Impreza comes standard with the following safety features as part of Subaru’s Eyesight system:

  • Nine airbags
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Autonomous emergency steering 
  • Emergency lane keep assist
  • Lane centering, departure prevention and warning
  • Lane sway warning
  • Pre-collision brake assist and braking system
  • Pre-collision throttle management 
  • Speed limiter 
  • Speed sign recognition
  • Tyre pressure monitoring 
  • 360-degree camera 
  • Blind spot monitoring 
  • Driver monitoring system
  • Front-side radar 
  • Front-view monitor
  • Lane change assist
  • Reverse automatic braking
  • Lane change assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert 
  • Rear parking sensors 

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 front

In terms of how all of these safety features actually work in the real world, for the most part it’s a successful implementation, with the only annoying features being the driver monitoring system which I found was also an issue with the related Crosstrek.

Thankfully, the monitoring can be switched off and will stay off permanently, which was appreciated.

The lane keep assist was fairly well tuned to our local roads, with only very, very occasional lane ‘freakout’ moments.

What are the Impreza 2.0S’s ownership costs?

As standard, the new Impreza comes with Subaru’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Servicing for the Subaru small car will cost owners $2373 over a five year period, which is fairly expensive when compared to some key rivals in the same segment.

In terms of fuel efficiency, Subaru claims that the Impreza will consume a claimed economy of 7.5L/100km.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 driving front 2

However, during our week-long test, we averaged 8.2L/100km with a mix of city, highway and sportier driving environments. If you drive the Impreza hard, be ready for the economy to obviously blow out to as high as 10.5L/100km or more.

Thankfully, the Impreza (and Crosstrek) only require 91 regular unleaded petrol. The Impreza has a 50 litre fuel tank.

The honest verdict on the Impreza 2.0S

What’s good and not so good about Subaru’s heavily updated Impreza for 2024?

Subaru has been able to reinvigorate the shrinking hatchback segment by continuing to offer a familiar and mostly enjoyable small car.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 interior 3

With all-wheel-drive grip, updated screen tech, extensive safety and revised new looks, I believe that Subaru has successfully kept the feeling of the solid and appealing hatchback alive.

But the Japanese small car is hampered by a 2.0-litre flat-four engine that is well and truly missing its mojo. Loud, over-revvy and underpowered are some words I can use to describe it.

While Subaru’s updated hatch has solid underpinnings and is a comfortable daily drive, the reality is that it’s crying out for more power and a better engine to suit it. A larger 2.5-litre flat-four, or a turbocharged version would work wonders in the Impreza bodystyle and could greatly improve the car for the future.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 tail-light

But I find myself coming back to my initial question: does the 2024 Subaru Impreza do enough to justify not buying an SUV?

It’s quite a hard question to answer. Although it’s got lower ground clearance than a Crosstrek, it does share identical running gear and this could certainly help get you out of a muddy campground if you found yourself in a rut.

It’s a safe car, the Impreza. It has useful new technologies and has that iconic Subaru all-wheel-drive system, and even has the same size boot as a Crosstrek for less outlay.

Subaru Impreza 2.0S 2024 front 3/4

It’s also easy to drive and live with every day in a busy city, and is not only easy to park, but easy for a beginner to drive.

So with those plus points, I’d personally recommend an Impreza hatch over the more expensive Crosstrek.

At the end of the day, and when all is said and done, for me it’s very refreshing to be back in a small car. SUVs might reign supreme here in Australia, but don’t forget, there is still a lot to love by going small.

Overall rating
Overall rating
Running costs
Overall rating
Running costs
Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

1995 cc
115kW at 6000rpm
196Nm at 4000rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
50 litres
7.5L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
666km (claimed)
All Wheel Drive
Single gear
4490 mm
1780 mm
1480 mm
Unoccupied weight
1458 kg

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