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The Mediocre Subaru Impreza Doesn’t Have To Be

The next-generation Subaru Impreza is an impressive new compact hatchback. If it's so great, why are Impreza sales dropping every month? I will answer that and more. 

Impreza is not what you think. 

The all-new 2024 Subaru Impreza has received a remodel, a new sporty RS trim level, and a new engine upgrade. So, if it's such a great car, why are sales dropping every month

Before I discuss that, let's examine the June sales performance numbers. My report here on recent Impreza events provides more information.

Impreza sales drop again

Subaru of America reports its U.S. retailers delivered 2,464 compact Impreza hatchback models to customers in June. The Impreza dropped 16.6 percent compared with last June, with 2,954 models sold in June 2023. 

Impreza sales for the first six months of 2024 are no better, with 14,892 models sold. Last year, in the same period, Impreza had 19,291 sales, a 22.8 percent decrease over last year. Impreza stays on a downward trend.

I wrote recently that the hot Crosstrek is taking all the sales from the Impreza as buyers compare the two models. That has some validity. Maybe Subaru is happy to let that happen? Check my report here

The Impreza - a missed opportunity.

The highly anticipated 2024 Impreza RS trim level, boasting a 2.5-liter Boxer engine, was expected to ignite the Impreza's sales. However, it fell short of expectations, leaving many with a sense of missed opportunity. 

I thought Subaru's decision to drop the sedan and only offer the Impreza as a hatchback was a great move. And it was. Sedans are on the way out, but that hasn't been enough to light up the Impreza, either. 

I asked if Subaru should bring back the Impreza with a manual transmission in my report here.

Offering a 6-speed manual gearbox in the Impreza RS would make it a fun hatch to drive. But even that wouldn't be enough to increase sales significantly because only a few driving enthusiasts want a manual transmission as a daily driver. 

So, What's The Answer?

Subaru should consider a radical shift for the Impreza. Just as the WRX distanced itself from the Impreza and carved out a new identity, the Impreza needs a fresh start. 

I've said before that the Impreza looks like a chopped version of the Crosstrek—and it is. It sits lower and has the same footprint and body style. Why buy it when you can get into a Crosstrek for a little more money?

SUVs are all the rage now, and that trend is not likely to change. Should Subaru have a small crossover SUV hatch called the Impreza? Yes. Make it ultra-fuel-efficient and smaller than the Crosstrek. 

Go smaller, not bigger. 

Subaru should design an all-new, downsized Impreza. The "new" Impreza would be for urban commuters who still want a small hatchback with all-wheel drive. Make the Impreza smaller and drop the price. 

A new Impreza Hybrid.

It would be Subaru's hot new entry into the affordable compact hatch hybrid vehicle market. It would be one of only a few with all-wheel drive, and even better, it would come standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-weather performance. 

Further down the road, it would be Subaru's least expensive all-electric crossover hatchback. 

Subaru can watch the Impreza sales keep dropping, or they can redefine the Impreza and give it a complete makeover. It's a new world. I think Subaru is up to the challenge.  

Your opinion matters. 

Would you like to see an all-new Subaru Impreza SUV hatch? What about a fuel-efficient Impreza Hybrid or an all-electric compact hatch? Click the red Add New Comment link below to join the discussion and share your thoughts.

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: Adventure Subaru


Jon Lee (not verified)    July 8, 2024 - 11:26PM

Proud 2013 Impreza hatchback owner here. I bought an Impreza specifically because it's easy to drive, fuel-efficient, and true to the Subaru DNA.

Not replacing mine anytime soon, but I would LOVE to see a more fuel-efficient Impreza Hybrid or full-electric model offered. Even a shrunk subcompact hatchback would pique my interest a lot more than the Crosstrek. SUVs are popular, but they aren't for everyone. Subarus are already something of a niche vehicle; dare to be different.

Al (not verified)    July 9, 2024 - 8:55AM

I really wanted to consider the Impreza. It's identical to the Crosstrek under the hood. But my sole reason for not getting the Impreza: no spare tire. Plenty of small cars have spares. They could have put one in there. A flat-fix kit and jack are provided, but you'll still need to get you car towed if there's a blowout or gash. Nobody wants to be stuck on the side of the road for such a simple fix and no spare.

Chuck P. (not verified)    July 11, 2024 - 11:06AM

I might be in the minority on this but I don't like that Subaru is getting away from sedans, especially with the Impreza. I love my 2014 Impreza sedan and would immediately buy a hybrid version of it if it was offered.