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The New Subaru Impreza Gets Left Behind In More Ways Than One

The all-new 2024 Impreza compact hatch is an excellent new compact hatch. So, why are new model shoppers leaving it behind? Check out the answer and a possible solution. 

Why are buyers leaving the new 2024 Subaru Impreza hot hatches sitting on Subaru of America's dealers' lots? It's been completely redesigned, received significant new upgrades, and is an excellent compact car. And there is the new hot Impreza RS. So, what's up with the Impreza?

Why Are Impreza Sales Dropping?

I would say it's because of one new model—the 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, it has more for active customers who want to use their vehicle to get away from the city for biking, camping, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, and overloading excursions.

Before I explore possible solutions to the dilemma, let's examine the current sales and see where Impreza is now.

Impreza Drop In Sales Again

Subaru of America reports 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 don't look any better, with 10,009 models sold. Last year, in the same period, Impreza had 12,398 sales, a 19.3 percent decrease over last year. Impreza is still on a downward trend.

How does Impreza compare with Crosstrek in April? 

  • Subaru Crosstrek - 12,127 models sold and is up 17.6%.
  • Subaru Impreza - 2,575 models sold and is down 27.6%. 

I would think that Subaru is disappointed with those numbers for Impreza because the redesign is excellent.

The Impreza Remodel And A Great Move By Subaru

The Impreza hatch has been completely remodeled from the ground up. Subaru's decision to drop the sedan and only offer it as a hatchback was a significant change, and it was a great move by Subaru. Then, they added the Impreza RS trim with the 2.5-liter engine upgrade, another great move. 

2024 Subaru Impreza RS side view

So What's The Problem?

The Crosstrek is just too dang good. The Impreza and Crosstrek are joined together at the hip. Impreza is a Crosstrek without the added ride height and off-road goodies that set it apart. 

There's One Thing Subaru Could Do To Level The Playing Field. 

Where Is The Impreza Manual Shifter?

Sorry, sports fans. The all-new next-generation 2024 Subaru Impreza is only available with a Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic. The 5-speed manual is gone forever from the Impreza lineup.

Even though manual transmission models didn't account for a significant number of Impreza sales, I think the new 2024 Impreza RS hatch with a 6-speed manual gearbox would have been a hot trim level for Subaru of America. It would have set itself apart from other small compact cars. 

Why Did Subaru Drop The 5-Speed Manual In The Impreza?

Dropping manual transmission cars is a trend many automakers are making. For Subaru, it's about safety. Subaru dropped all manual shifters in the 2024 Impreza to bring EyeSight driver assist technology as standard equipment to all Impreza trim levels.

Why is EyeSight important for Subaru?

Subaru wants every Impreza trim level to achieve the highest safety scores, and EyeSight upgraded Impreza's IIHS safety score to a Top Safety Pick winner.

But that's not an excuse anymore. Subaru EyeSight driver assist safety technology is not compatible with a manual gearbox. It's available on the 2024 Subaru WRX TR and the 2024 Subaru BRZ tS trim levels. 

Subaru doesn't have to offer a manual shifter in any other trim except the Impreza RS with the 2.5-liter engine. Mate the 2.5-liter Boxer with the WRX fully-synchronized 6-speed manual transmission, and driving enthusiasts have a sporty all-wheel-drive compact hatch they can't get anywhere else. 


Would you like to see Subaru bring back the Impreza manual gearbox? What about a sporty Impreza RS with a 6-speed manual shifter? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru Impreza performance story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

Before you go, check out the 2024 Subaru Impreza RS review // Hot enough hatch?

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News and Subaru reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 30 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 The Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blog, X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

I’ve got you covered! - I cover all Subaru all the time. 

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Chuck P. (not verified)    May 7, 2024 - 1:51PM

The decision to remove the sedan version was a horrible idea. I have a 2014 Impreza sedan and love it. I want to replace it with another Subaru sedan but I can't unless it's a WRX and I'm not interested in something that gets worse gas mileage than I get now. Subaru needs to offer a hybrid Impreza sedan but that's not happening. I guess I may to have to get a Corolla which I can get as a hybrid sedan with AWD.