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It's Time The Next-Gen Subaru WRX Gets Back To Its Impreza Roots

How does the 2023 Subaru WRX compare with the 2024 Subaru Impreza? See why the next-generation Impreza compact car is now on top of the WRX sports car and the one thing that made Impreza a game changer.

Why would anyone compare the 2023 Subaru WRX performance car with the next-generation 2024 Subaru Impreza compact car? Of course, one is a performance car, and the other is an economy compact car. But there is now a space where Impreza resides, where the all-new 2024 Impreza is far ahead of the next-generation WRX.

The one significant difference between the two Subaru models is that the WRX only has a sedan body style, and the new Impreza only comes in a hatchback. So it's a game-changer for the new Impreza.

2023 Subaru WRX

Remember when it was the Impreza WRX? Subaru dropped the Impreza name from WRX the same year (2015) they dropped the WRX hatchback. So it's time the WRX gets back to its Impreza roots and for Subaru Corporation to drop the WRX sedan and give it the hot hatchback body style.

The next-generation 2024 Subaru Impreza hatchback gets significant changes that excite compact car shoppers. The biggest difference is Subaru dropped the sedan body style, and the new Impreza will only be available in a hatchback. The hatch offers more utility, and it's sportier than the sedan. Sedans are out as more buyers choose the crossovers and hatch models. But the WRX is still in the dark ages.

2023 Subaru WRX

Impreza compact car sales were dropping like a rock, and Subaru Corporation was wise to drop the sedan. The 2024 Impreza was also missing an engine upgrade, and now the all-new 2024 Subaru Impreza RS trim level with the 2.5-liter Boxer is a good pick for driving enthusiasts. The Impreza is back in the best compact car hunt.

The Impreza RS is sportier and faster

The Impreza 2.5L RS will be a fast, fun-to-drive small hatch for driving enthusiasts. The Impreza RS with the 2.5L engine upgrade is a significant improvement over the previous-generation 5-Door hatchback. Watch sales skyrocket with the new RS in the lineup.

It's precisely what Subaru of America needs to ask Subaru Corporate for, a 2024 WRX hatchback body style, and drop the sedan. Like the Impreza, the hatch offers more utility and is sportier than the sedan. But, unfortunately, WRX sales are down without the performance-tuned Subaru WRX STI.

Subaru's game-changing move was to drop the Impreza sedan and bring a hot Impreza RS hatchback trim level. Will Subaru listen and do the same for the 2024 WRX? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru


NMK (not verified)    February 22, 2023 - 4:05AM

While I am definitely interested in the upcoming RS, I think saying it will be "fast" is a drastic overstatement. It is going to use the same 2.5L H4 and CVT that is found in the crosstrek, legacy, outback, forester. I wouldnt exactly call any of those fast. The impreza is slightly lighter than those vehicles, but unless there is some significant change made to that specific model, dont expect mich in terms of performance.

Tumugumeho Aldas (not verified)    February 22, 2023 - 6:45PM

I can't believe subaru is bragging about having a fast 2.5L 177hp imprezza when toyota is making 320hp 1.6 litre engine... RIP Impreza

ImprezaOwner (not verified)    February 27, 2023 - 10:13AM

In reply to by Tumugumeho Aldas (not verified)

Which model is this? Is this model similar in size and cost to the Impreza?

Toyota Corolla Hatchback is smaller than it's sedan counterpart, which was a big disappointment to me.

Anything smaller than an Impreza Hatchback or Toyota Corolla is just not viable if you regularly have more than two passengers.

Dave (not verified)    February 22, 2023 - 6:56PM

182 hp and a cvt with "paddles" is hardly something enthusiasts will be excited about. To take a snippet from Car and Driver "It's certainly still no thrill-seeking hot hatch..."

You can get a Mazda 3 with 250hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. This is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Leo (not verified)    February 24, 2023 - 6:55PM

In reply to by Dave (not verified)

Great artical!
Love to see the impreza keeps the hatch.
What subaru could improve is to offer an upgraded version of impreza hatch with WRX engine with 6 speed manual only.
Ditch the 2 litter engine for all impreza models as well as the crosstrek models.

So 2.5 NA or 2 4 turbo. That's it.
Manual only on the 2.4T models for better pricing and reliability. Stop making WRX sedan. (Plus it's not eye candy from the first place to be very polite.)
I think in Canada you could save over 3000 going with manual instead of CVT.

Jay (not verified)    February 26, 2023 - 3:30PM

I'm not sure I follow your logic, the first hatch was in 2009. The WRX was always sedans and wagons for over 15 years before they released the first hatchback version. IMHO that was right around the time that Subaru started going downhill.
I wish they would bring back the classic styling of the golden era WRX.
Subaru's suck nowadays because they are underpowered, and uninspired.

Will (not verified)    February 26, 2023 - 6:31PM

The new Impreza isn't available with a manual transmission anymore so it's a hard pass for me.

Chandler Braaten (not verified)    February 28, 2023 - 6:18PM

You're partly right. The Subaru enthusiast crowd wanted the RS back as a 2 door coupe. We also want a WRX hatch and a new STi

Raul (not verified)    February 28, 2023 - 8:19PM

How is a hatchback going back to the wrx's "roots?" Wrc Legacy was a sedan . First couple wrc wrx's were sedans. Then they switched to coupes untill the bugeye ditched the coupe. So this car is in NO way going back to its roots and has ZERO wrx heritage.