While Subaru Runs In High Gear - The Aging Impreza Sedan And Hatch Run Out Of Gas
The Subaru Impreza is falling further behind the other all-wheel-drive models in the lineup. In September, when every Subaru model posted gains over last year, the Impreza compact sedan and hatchback dropped again. The Impreza was down 21.1 percent over the same month the previous year and is down -34.8 percent year-to-date, more than any model.
The Impreza sedan and hatchback were the first to be updated with the new Subaru Global Platform in 2017. In year four of its life cycle, Impreza received a minor refresh for 2020, and next year it will be the last year before a total remodel. In year five, the 2021 Impreza received minor changes and a reshuffling of standard features that were previously options. The significant changes come in 2022.
The current-generation Impreza is not keeping up with the competition. The Honda Civic is the segment leader with 73,083 sales through August 2020, while the Impreza managed only 13,535 sales to customers. The Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, Kia Forte, and Volkswagen Jetta all have more sales than Impreza.
What’s next for the 2022 Impreza?
A full redesign is coming in 2022, and the compact sedan and hatchback need something big to keep up with the competition. We know the next-generation 2022 Impreza will come with the new EyeSight X driver-assist safety technology. It could get a new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, and Subaru could drop the manual transmission.
The new turbocharged engine with have direct-injection and will likely come with similar power but will have improved fuel mileage. The 2021 Subaru Impreza has a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine with a CVT automatic and a 6-speed manual gearbox on lower trims. Subaru is fazing out the manual transmission, so all trims are equipped with standard EyeSight.
The hot Honda Civic is the model to catch, but it won’t be easy. Subaru needs something to catch the attention of a young demographic seeking sporty and fast. When the Impreza cut ties with the WRX in 2015, the compact car lost its performance car nature. It’s been in a steady decline ever since.
Subaru is not one to make radical exterior changes, but Impreza needs more than other models. The compact car looks like a lowered version of the Crosstrek now, and it needs to move away from the adventurous model with a radical new design.
The 2022 Subaru Impreza also needs a larger engine option like its stablemate Crosstrek just received. That would spark new interest in the Impreza models and give it a proper Sport trim with added power. The new 2.4-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine powering the 2022 BRZ would be a perfect choice. Stay tuned.
What would you like to see in the redesigned 2022 Impreza?
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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 USA