Subaru Impreza (2018) Review

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Subaru Impreza (2018) At A Glance

3/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Unless you really need the Subaru Impreza’s four-wheel drive, most buyers will be better off with a Ford Focus or a SEAT Leon.

+Lots of standard equipment provided, decent balance of ride and handling, absolutely loads of clever safety kit.

-Not as cheap to buy as it should be, standard four-wheel drive means high fuel consumption, interior not as posh as those of rivals.

New prices start from £24,000
Insurance Group 14
On average it achieves 91% of the official MPG figure

Judged in isolation, the 2018 Subaru Impreza is a decent car, with a reasonably comfortable driving experience, decent cabin space, solid build quality, lots of standard kit and an impressive safety record. However, it’s expensive, both to buy and to run, the engines are a wee bit flat and the interior doesn’t feel awfully posh, so it trails key rivals in several key areas, and in most of them, by some distance.

Looking for a Subaru Impreza (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Subaru Impreza. If you recognise those words, they probably conjure up images of blue paint, gold wheels and spectators being pelted with gravel as Colin McRae storms along another of the world’s great rally stages at breakneck speed. However, all that was back in the nineties, and things have changed a bit since then, not least the Impreza.

These days, the Impreza is no longer the turbocharged, rally-bred nutcase it once was. Like all louts eventually do, it grew up. It’s now a sensible, conservative and upstanding member of the family hatchback community, with plentiful room for four, a sizeable boot and a long warranty.

It hasn’t abandoned its roots entirely, though. In-keeping with Subaru tradition, it’s offered exclusively with four-wheel drive, giving it a very distinct USP in the family hatchback market, which might give the car an edge for those who live out in the sticks.

That said, you’d better make sure it’s a USP you really need before buying, because it makes the Impreza much, much less efficient than the vast majority of rivals, so it’s much more expensive to run. It’s really not what you’d call cheap to buy, either. What you might use the word ‘cheap’ to describe, though, is the interior.

It’s very robust and solidly made, but the hard plastics on display don’t have the tactility or the lustre of those in many rivals. 

There’s no denying the amount of standard equipment that’s provided, though. The car comes in a single fully-loaded trim, so all the luxury kit you could reasonably expect is present-and-correct. Safety is also incredibly well catered-for, with some really clever kit and some really impressive crash-test performances.

It’s not a bad car to drive, either. The ride is comfortable and reasonably well controlled, while the standard four-wheel drive helps make the handling safe and stable.

The naturally aspirated petrol engines are a wee bit flat compared with turbocharged rivals, and the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) won’t be to everyone’s taste, but this is still a civilised and secure way of getting around. 

Ultimately, the Impreza is a car that will suit a handful of people very well, and those people will probably be very happy with it. For everyone else, though - those who aren’t in such need of the all-weather ability of standard four-wheel drive, and who certainly don’t want the elevated running costs associated with it - one of the Impreza's many brilliant rivals will probably be a better fit.

Ask Honest John

Are there any long term problems with direct fuel injection engines over port injection engines?
"Are there any long term problems with direct fuel injection engines over the port injection engines type? Particularly with Subaru's Impreza?"
Yes. Because the fuel/air mix is directly injected, it does not enter the combustion chamber via the inlet valves and does not clean them. As a result, carbon can accumulate on the inlet valves. Volkswagen eventually solved this be introducing indirect as well as direct injection to its 1.8 litre and 2.0 litre TSI engines.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Subaru Impreza (2018) cost?