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Subaru’s Hidden Gem And Why Nobody Is Buying It

The Subaru Impreza is overlooked, but it's one of the best compact cars for 2022. Check out why compact car shoppers ignore it.

The 2022 Subaru Impreza is coming soon, and the current model is the most overlooked in Subaru of America's (SOA) lineup. Subaru announced Impreza sales for June. The Impreza is the worst-performing nameplate of any Subaru carline except for the BRZ, nearly sold out before the next-generation sports car arrives.

SOA reported they delivered only 1,657 new Impreza models in June compared with 3,389 for the same month last year. That's a 51.1 percent drop in June, and the Impreza sedan and hatchback are down 7.8 percent for the first six months of the year. All other models are up for 2021 except for the Ascent (-9.6 percent).

2022 Subaru Impreza pricing, features, specs, 2023 Subaru Impreza
photo credit: Budds Subaru

The 2022 Subaru Impreza arrives with very little change and is in the sixth year of its product life cycle. It's been six years since Impreza received a complete remodel. It competes against the all-new Honda Civic, which is the best-selling compact car in America. The Civic is all-new for the 2022 model year.

The current-generation Impreza is not keeping up with the competition. The Toyota Corolla is the segment leader with 155,531 sales through June 2021, while the Impreza managed only 17,165 sales to customers. The Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, Kia Forte, and Mazda3 all have more sales than Impreza.

2022 Subaru Impreza pricing, features, specs, 2023 Subaru Impreza
photo credit: Budds Subaru

In comparison, Honda sold 32,677 Civic models in June, Toyota delivered 21,356 Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra was third, selling 14,785 models to compact car customers. The Subaru Impreza is the only compact car down in sales for the year except for the Volkswagen Golf.

Why is the Impreza not selling?

Compact car shoppers looking at Subaru have another option, and they are choosing the hot Crosstrek compact SUV instead. The Crosstrek is essentially a raised version of the Impreza with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, additional body cladding, X-Mode for off-pavement adventures, and a new 2.5-liter engine option.

2022 Subaru Impreza pricing, features, specs, 2023 Subaru Impreza
photo credit: Budds Subaru

The Crosstrek is one of the hottest models in the compact SUV segment. Buyers are choosing the Crosstrek over the Impreza in large numbers. Crosstrek is up for the year 40.4 percent, and SOA delivered 64,214 models throughout the first six months of 2021.

The 2022 Subaru Impreza arrives this summer with few changes. Minor changes include a new Sapphire Blue Pearl exterior color on all trim levels, and Limited now is offered exclusively in the hatchback body style.

What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Impreza?

Subaru kept pricing the same for the 2022 model year except for a small increase in the designation and delivery fees. The 2022 Impreza comes in base sedan ($19,755), base hatchback ($20,255) Premium sedan ($23,155), Premium hatchback ($23,655), Sport sedan ($24,555), Sport hatchback ($23,955), and Limited hatchback ($27,355). Destination and delivery ($960) are included in the prices above.

What's next for the Impreza?

Buyers looking for the Impreza are 25-35 years old, and they want sporty and fun. The Impreza needs a redesign, but compact car shoppers will have to wait for the 2023 model year.

The next-generation 2023 Impreza will likely come with the new EyeSight X driver-assist safety technology. Recent reports not confirmed by Subaru say the compact car could get a new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine.

The new turbocharged engine has direct injection and will likely come with similar power but will have improved fuel mileage. The 2022 Subaru Impreza has a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine with a CVT automatic and a 6-speed manual gearbox on lower trims.

One thing still sets the Subaru Impreza apart from the rest

The 2022 Impreza is still the only compact car in North America with standard all-wheel drive, and it's the compact car's best feature. A few competitors offer it, but you'll have to pay extra to get the all-weather capability the Impreza offers standard on all trim levels.

The 2022 Subaru Impreza arrives this summer, but the 2023 Impreza will be the model to watch. The compact sedan and hatchback will get a complete redesign. 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: main image Budds Subaru


Bladeshunner (not verified)    July 6, 2021 - 6:01PM

I've pretty much decided that an Impreza will be my next car. I'm planning on buying a car in 2023 or 24, but if I don't like the new one I could buy a 22 before they sell out.

BladeShunner (not verified)    July 6, 2021 - 10:27PM

My next new car will most likely be an Impreza. I planning to buy in 2023 or 24, but if I don’t care for the new model I could end up buying a 22 before they are sold out.

Pa Frank (not verified)    July 6, 2021 - 10:28PM

On the other hand, it might be due to the fact there are no cars to buy. I was at my Subaru dealership for service today and the lot was almost empty. There were exactly four new cars and about a dozen used cars available for purchase.

Kt (not verified)    December 23, 2021 - 9:39AM

In reply to by Pa Frank (not verified)

EXACTLY. I ended up ordering mine anyways. I got to build the 22 sport sedan how I wanted, but it took 3 months to get here. Literally sitting at the dealer presently waiting to do my paperwork. I didn't like that if I wanted the added safety features and power seat, I HAD to get the moonroof. And the backseat has no fold down armrest or cup holder, but that's okay.

Thom (not verified)    July 7, 2021 - 1:20PM

I purchased a 2021 white premium hatchback Impreza with as many options I could get in April. I considered a Limited, but I did not want leather. If I could have gotten cloth seats in a Limited, I would have gotten that. I traded a 2018 premium with hardly any options. The 2018 was my 1st Subaru. I traded a Cadillac for the 2018. Did not like Cadillac. I wanted hatch versatility in a small vehicle. I considered a Crosstreck because of the increased ground clearance, but I don't and will never do any off roading. I also did not like all the black cladding and the interior color combinations. I am glad I purchased the 2021 Impreza. It is so much improved over the 2018. It fits my lifestyle perfectly, living in southeast PA. My dealer (Lancaster County Subaru) found the vehicle I wanted from Chester County. I took delivery of my Impreza within 5 days of my order. I am an active over 65 male with no need for a SUV.

Frank Martin (not verified)    July 13, 2021 - 3:50PM

I have to believe that sales of the Impreza took such a huge drop not just because they are growing less popular, but because Subaru prioritized the limited supply of chips to go into the Outback first. Cheap reliable, if unexciting, transportation always will have a place in the market.

Hal Wexler (not verified)    November 19, 2021 - 7:51PM

My 2013 Impreza limited hatch performed great for 168000 with little maintenance and saved me in a crash. Now own 2022 Impreza limited hatch. Unbelievable value for the money and improvements. Why waste money on a cross trek. I am now 71 and enjoy the handling and get so much more than just leather seats when you buy the limited. I skipped nav and moonroof. Actually it matches the extras with our c300 Benz except engine of course