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CR Says The New Subaru Impreza Is A Top Pick, So Why Is It Stuck In Reverse?

The 2024 Subaru Impreza is a great new compact hatchback; Consumer Reports confirms this. So why is it not selling?

Compared with other compact hatchback models, the Impreza stacks up so well on paper that Consumer Reports (by subscription) says it's among the ten best affordable cars with the lowest transaction prices. It's also safe and reliable. 

What more could you want in a small car that offers nearly everything a buyer wants? I've documented new Impreza sales, and they keep dropping. So my question is, why is it stuck in reverse if the Impreza is so good?

Before I answer that question, I've included Consumer Reports data so you can see why it looks good on paper. 

CR says the Impreza still has one of the lowest transaction prices among the compact models they recommend for shoppers. It also meets CR's stringent standards for road-test performance, owner satisfaction, reliability, and safety. You can't ask for more than that, right?

2024 Subaru Impreza Sport AWD

  • Average transaction price: $24,568
  • Average spent under MSRP: $427
  • MSRP: $24,995

You can get the desirable Impreza Sport trim for $427 under the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). Subaru of America sets that pricing and asks its dealers not to sell above it, but now, they're selling below it. 

The average transaction price of $24,568 for Impreza makes it the ninth-best car in terms of pricing. 

Below, you'll find those models ranked based on transaction price—not MSRP—starting with the cheapest model, at $21,288.

  1. Kia Forte: $21,288
  2. Hyundai Venue: $22,176
  3. Nissan Sentra: $22,265
  4. Toyota Corolla: $22,636
  5. Buick Envista: $23,192
  6. Hyundai Elantra: $23,851
  7. Toyota Corolla Hatchback: $23,898
  8. Nissan Kicks: $24,207
  9. Subaru Impreza: $24,568
  10. Mazda3: $24,670

Why Should You Buy The Subaru Impreza?

I would say there are at least four significant reasons why the Impreza is the top pick for hatchback buyers.

  1. It comes with Subaru's excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive technology. When other small cars struggle in the snow, ice, rain, and mud, the Impreza will trudge through without a problem. 
  2. All Impreza trim levels come standard with Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology. This safety tech keeps the driver safe, especially when there are distractions. Its auto emergency braking and adaptive cruise control will save the driver from fatigue in heavy traffic.
  3. The Impreza is a Top Safety Pick winner. That means it performs well in the IIHS crash tests. The driver and passenger will be safer than other small cars.
  4. The Impreza has a lower center of gravity. Because its Boxer engine sits lower in the chassis than competitors cars, you'll have more fun driving it because of its improved stability in the corners and when making quick turns in traffic. 

Now The Bad News

Here is a quick recap of recent Impreza sales. Subaru of America retailers delivered 2,575 compact Impreza hatchback models to customers in April. The Impreza dropped 27.6 percent compared with last year, with 3.554 models in April 2023. 

Impreza sales for the first four months of 2024 are unimpressive, to say the least, with 10,009 models sold. Last year, in the same period, Impreza had 12,398 sales, a 19.3 percent decrease over last year.

So if the Impreza is so good, why doesn't it sell better?

I've said this in previous reports. It's because of one new model—the hot Crosstrek. Buyers look at the redesigned Impreza and compare it with the all-new next-generation Crosstrek. It has the same upgrades as the Impreza hatch. 

Still, the Crosstrek has more active customers who want to use their vehicle to get away from the city for biking, camping, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, and overloading excursions.

Who Should Take A Look At The Impreza?

The Impreza is a fantastic small car for urban commuters who won't use the vehicle to go off-pavement. It's more fun to drive in the city, and it still has the utility of a hatchback. And it has all-wheel-drive when the weather turns bad. 

Which Impreza Trim Level Is The Best?

I would choose the all-new Impreza RS. It has a bigger 2.5-liter engine and 30 additional horsepower without sacrificing much fuel mileage. It also has suspension upgrades over the other trims for sportier driving dynamics. 

Here is the new Impreza pricing for those wanting to look. 

The 2024  Subaru Impreza Base hatchback starts at $24,085, the Sport hatch starts at $26,085, and the all-new RS hatch with the 2.5-liter Boxer engine starts at $28,975. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,090).

I'm still trying to understand why Subaru doesn't sell more redesigned 2024 Impreza hatchbacks. They're selling for under MSRP, and Consumer Reports recommends them. Who could want more?

So, after taking a look at the Impreza, what do you think? Click the red Add New Comment link below to join the conversation.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Tucson Subaru


Jack E. (not verified)    May 17, 2024 - 1:55PM

I looked at the Impreza RS, but purchased a 2024 Hyundai Kona Limited AWD 1.6T. The Kona has so many more features than the Impreza.

Mike (not verified)    May 21, 2024 - 10:14PM

I think the Impreza has had the ugly stepchild problem since the advent of the crosstrek. The Crosstrek resolves the need for a versatile commuter week and a weekend away vehicle. Personally, the clearance concern is also a huge driver as an Impreza owner I am looking to trade it in for either outback or crosstrek.