New from the ground up, the new 2018 Subaru Impreza hatchback made its official debut during the Frankfurt International Motor Show held in 2017. It is a traditional compact car aimed at people looking for an all rounded hatchback that offers plenty of standard features without costing too much.
The new Impreza built for 2018 features an impressive smorgasbord of features. To wit, it comes with a weirdly-quiet cabin, an all-wheel drive, a healthy selection of driver aids, and an available manual transmission system. Furthermore, the new model, unlike its predecessors, is vastly superior to its forefathers thanks to careful attention to details. The build quality and technology interface, too, have been revamped for the new model year.
Add the new changes to traditional Impreza features such as a spacious cabin, stellar handling, and a stylish hatchback body shell, and you’ve got yourself an excellent compact hatchback. The designing follows the brand’s unique Boxer engine and Symmetric All-Wheel Drive formula. The 2018 model comes as a fifth generation model marketed by Subaru as a go-anywhere capable vehicle meant for people who need flexibility with the reassurance of permanent all-wheel drive, but don’t want to ride in an SUV sized vehicle.
Be that as it may, there’re a few nits that Subaru failed to address. One significant drawback is the lackluster powertrain. While the power is pretty decent at 152 hp and 145 lbs. ft. of torque, it still feels slow when it comes to real-life cruising. Matters are further complicated by the not-so-quick-to-react continuously variable automatic transmission system. Again, the otherwise impressive fuel economy ratings on the spec sheet are further compromised by the need to constantly keep shoving the gas pedal especially in traffic.
2018 Subaru Impreza Interior Changes & Facelift
First off, the design of the interior is driver-centric and rides on a new modern design philosophy translated into a Bold & Refined theme. The seats have been designed to make the driver feel secure, while the dash profile is a continuous piece featuring a heavily sculptured design.
Furthermore, the quality of the hard touch plastics and finishes have drastically improved without compromising their functionality. The climate control knobs, touchscreen interface, and radio controls are generally easy to read and use. Also, the simple button structures, high resolution screens, and large fonts ease the learning curve dramatically.
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Egress and ingress is a breeze. Even for taller passengers, the high-mounted seating positions make sliding in as effortless as possible. And although the roofline might have lowered a tad bit than the model it is replacing, there’s still ample head clearance.
In terms of space, the head, shoulder, hip, and legroom – you name it, has been improved than before. Nonetheless, the rear seat might feel a bit cozy especially for passengers over six feet tall.
Interior quality sees a big leap over its predecessor. While the lower trims might not turn out to be your particular kind of favorites, the high trims feature soft-touch surfaces that make life inside their cabins utterly comfortable.
The new 2018 Subaru Impreza dimensions are as follows; length – 4.625mm, width – 1,775mm, height – 1,455mm, and wheelbase – 2,670mm.
Exterior colors include Crystal White Pearl, Crystal Black Silica, Dark Gray Metallic, Jasmine Green Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Quartz Blue Pearl, and Venetian Red Pearl.
Besides the slightly improved dimensions and updated exterior color palette, the new 2019 Impreza model’s design philosophy has been diffused into a Sporty & Advanced package. Needless to say, the design is more dynamic and tougher than before.
In similar token as other compacts, the new Impreza is also available as a four-door hatchback and sedan. Four trims are available – Impreza base 2.0i, Impreza Premium, Impreza Sport, and Impreza Limited. The high-performance WRX and WRX STI are separately reviewed.
Features available on the Impreza base model include a tilt-and telescopic steering wheel, a rearview camera, remote locking and unlocking, sixteen-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, a driver information display, and cloth upholstery. Infotainment systems include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, a four-speaker audio system, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen.
Stepping to the Impreza Premium avails automatic headlights, sound-deafening materials, heated front seats, a windshield wiper de-icer, and heated mirrors. Others include a six-speaker audio system, and Subaru Starlink services.
Upgrading to the Impreza Sport model affords features such as keyless entry and ignition, daytime running lights, a leather wrapped steering wheel, a rear spoiler, unique interior and exterior trim, and eighteen-inch alloy wheels. Others are two USB ports, a CD player, active torque vectoring, and an eight-inch touchscreen interface.
Last but not the least is the Impreza Limited model. It mixes Sport tech equipment with Premium model’s features, further adding a six-way power driver seat, adaptive LED headlights, seventeen-inch alloy wheels, and an automatic climate control.
Engine Specs & Performance
The only engine on offer is a 2.0L H4 capable of generating 152 horsepower and 142 lbs. ft. of torque. Standard systems include a five-speed manual and an all-wheel drive. A CVT is optionally offered.
2018 Subaru Impreza Release Date & Price
According to the brand, pricing figures are as follows – 2.0i 4dr Sedan – an MSRP starting from $18,495, 2.0i 4dr hatchback – an MSRP of $18,995, 2.0i Premium 4dr Sedan at $21,295, 2.0i Sport 4dr Sedan at $22,595, and 2.0i Limited 4dr Hatchback at $24,695.
On pricing and feature spec alone, the 2018 Impreza finds itself in a tight spot against other similarly equipped vehicles such as the 2018 Cruze from Chevy and the 3 Sedan from Mazda.
While the Mazda 3 might not deserve the title of being the quickest in its class, it definitely stacks well when it comes to driving manners. Priced beginning from $20K, it offers top crash test figures, quality interior, high-end features, and a sporty and confidence-inspiring performance. On the flipside however, its cargo volume isn’t as large as the class leaders, and its ride quality can seem a little stiff with the optional eighteen-inch wheels.
The Cruze on the other side is one of the brand’s most popular offerings. It has been refreshed for 2018 and scores high marks in certain areas. For instance, it feels sporty and planted around turns, is available with a diesel engine, and its touchscreen interface is intuitive to use. Nonetheless, the seats aren’t particularly comfortable especially those at the front, the engine stop-start technology may be irritating, and the acceleration and fuel economy ratings may not be as competitive as those of its competitors. It costs $21K for the barebones LT model.