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Subaru Impreza Turns 30-Years-Old Today - It Now Has An Identity Crisis

The Subaru Impreza compact car turns 30 years old. When will the Impreza grow up? The next-generation 2024 Impreza needs significant changes.


Subaru Corporation announced the 2023 Impreza compact sedan and hatchback model turns 30 years old today. The first-generation Impreza was born to be an extension of the Legacy but was transformed into its own unique model. Similar to today’s models, it was introduced as a hardtop sedan and a sport wagon.

Thirty years later, it is struggling with an identity crisis. The Impreza is now playing second behind the hot Crosstrek subcompact SUV, a lifted version of the Impreza. The Crosstrek has developed a unique identity and is the number-one-selling vehicle in the all-wheel-drive lineup.

2023 Subaru Impreza

The Impreza should be a hot model for Subaru of America with its excellent fuel mileage, standard all-wheel-drive, and hatchback body style. Instead, the Impreza is languishing in fifth place in sales, with 22,629 models delivered to U.S. customers, and is down 0.9 percent for the year.

After 30 years, it’s time for the Impreza compact sedan and hatchback to grow up, distance itself from the Crosstrek, and develop a unique identity. Subaru should change its design and give it a new look. A fuel-efficient and more powerful 1.8-liter turbocharged engine from the Japan-spec Levorg could set it apart from Crosstrek and the competition.

2023 Subaru Impreza

Without significant changes, the Impreza will continue languishing in the fifth spot in Subaru of America’s lineup. The compact car segment is still a hot market. The first-place Toyota Corolla has sold 171,556 models this year, and in second, the Honda Civic has 96,286 sales in the first nine months of 2022.

Impreza is now living in the Crosstrek’s shadow, and it’s getting lost. The Impreza has a significant place in Subaru’s lineup and can be a top-selling vehicle if Subaru makes some changes to the 30-year-old sedan and hatchback models. Will Subaru be bold?

Subaru will likely give the next-generation 2024 Impreza the same body style as the new Crosstrek and not give it a unique identity. Impreza is 30 years old, dealing with an identity crisis, and it’s time for the compact car to grow.

When will the next-generation 2024 Subaru Impreza be introduced? Look for Subaru Corporation to announce the new model soon. Stay tuned.

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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


Guy Reynolds (not verified)    October 27, 2022 - 12:11PM

Somehow I feel that you’re on the wrong track that the Impreza needs to be separated from the Crosstrek. Right now I believe the Impreza is selling fewer units is simply because Subaru has chosen to build fewer and instead build more of the Crosstrek and that’s because they make more money on the Crosstrek and supplies are still tight. It doesn’t make much sense to me to build an Impreza that doesn’t share sheet metal and interior appointments with the Crosstrek. Why would they want to waste that engineering time and stamping capacity just to create different sheet metal. To revive Impreza sales I believe they should bring them as hybrids and a sedan sport model like the old 2.5RS that preceded the WRX in our market. This time they could build it with the same drivetrain as the Crosstrek Sport and even offer it with the 6 speed manual or even better with the BRZ/GR86 engine.