2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Review: Quality Where It Counts

The 2021 Subaru Impreza is a far cry from its sibling, the WRX STI, but it still shares characteristics such as a boxer engine, that famous all-wheel-drive system, and entertaining handling characteristics. Unfortunately, the Subaru Impreza Sedan is let down by an underpowered 2.0-liter four-pot engine delivering only 152 horsepower and a lethargic CVT transmission. On the plus side, this car is relatively fuel efficient, it drives nicely, and the interior has a solid, quality feel. The 2021 Subaru Impreza goes up against competitors such as the Honda Civic Sedan.

Read in this review:

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Impreza Sedan?

Nothing much changes in 2021. The Subaru Impreza Sedan retains all of its features, but the Premium adds SI-Drive, an engine performance management system. Using SI-Drive, the driver can choose from two different driving modes based on their wishes or the conditions.

Pros and Cons

  • Standard AWD
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • It's rather fun to drive
  • Good value for money
  • It's not quick
  • Middling fuel economy
  • Dad-car image
  • Manual transmission isn't great

Best Deals on Impreza Sedan

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Sedan
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$18,795
Premium Sedan
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$22,195
Sport Sedan
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$23,595
Limited Sedan
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$25,895

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Exterior

The exterior styling of the Impreza won't blow you away in the same way that a hardcore WRX STI will, but it's rather handsome nonetheless. The base model features 16-inch steel wheels, which grow to 18-inch alloys on the Sport. Halogen headlights dominate the lineup but LED units with steering responsive tech become available higher up in the range. A power tilt and slide moonroof is an optional extra on most derivatives.

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Front Angle View Subaru
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Rear Angle View Subaru
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Sideward Vision Subaru
See All 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan is classified as a compact sedan and shares its dimensions with cars such as the Honda Civic Sedan. The Impreza is 182.7 inches long, its width is measured at 70 inches on the dot, and it sits 57.3 inches tall. This Japanese sedan's curb weight starts at 2,976 pounds for the base model, increasing to 3,084 for the Premium, 3,131 for the Limited, and 3,142 for the Sport.

  • Length 182.7 in
  • Wheelbase 105.1 in
  • Height 57.3 in
  • Max Width 70.0 in
  • Front Width 60.6 in
  • Rear Width 60.8 in
  • Curb Weight 2,976.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Magnetite Gray Metallic
  • Ocean Blue Pearl
  • Dark Blue Pearl
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Lithium Red Pearl

Impreza Sedan Performance

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Forward Vision Subaru
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Rearward Vision Subaru
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Gearbox Controls Subaru

Engine and Transmission

There is only one word to describe the Impreza Sedan's powertrain: disappointing. Subaru, a company that is known for its characterful turbocharged boxer engines, has saddled the Impreza Sedan with a tepid 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that coughs up 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. This power is sent to all four wheels via a five-speed manual transmission in the base model or a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission further up in the range. This powertrain offers meager performance, and one has to wring its neck to make any real progress. The CVT kills any urgency this engine has to offer, and the five-speed manual is only marginally better at hurrying the Impreza along. With the manual 'box, expect a mid-eight-second time for the 0-60 sprint, and the top speed isn't even worth a mention.

  • Engine
    2.0L Flat 4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    5-Speed Manual, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Impreza Sedan partially makes up for its lack of power with a finely balanced chassis and an entertaining drive. It manages to be a comfortable daily cruiser without feeling sloppy and will cut corners with precision just as well as it soaks up small road imperfections at low speeds. Chuck the Impreza through a set of corners, and you'll be surprised at how little body roll there is. On top of that, the standard AWD system keeps things predictable and offers lots of grip during bad weather conditions. Sport models also benefit from active torque vectoring, which applies braking power to the inside front wheel, resulting in better handling, a sharper turn-in, and overall better cornering performance. As with most cars in this class, the electrically-assisted steering system lacks feedback but is precise enough.

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Gas Mileage

Tepid performance might be the order of the day, but along with it comes some pretty impressive gas mileage figures, especially for a car with permanent AWD. The EPA rates that the 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan will manage a best of 28/36/32 mpg city/highway/combined when fitted with the CVT transmission. This figure drops slightly to 27/36/30 mpg for the Sport model due to its larger wheels. The five-speed manual sees a significant drop in economy, though - it will manage just 23/31/26 mpg. With a 13.2-gallon gas tank, the Impreza will get you between 343 miles and 409 miles on a single fillup.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 23/31 mpg
* 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Manual

2021 Impreza Sedan Interior

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Steering Wheel Design Subaru
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Infotainment System Subaru
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Seat Details Subaru
See All 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

This car will easily accommodate five adult passengers and offers impressive head- and legroom in the front and back. The bulk of the Impreza Sedan range gets a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat and a four-way adjustable front passenger seat that's exceptionally comfy. It should keep most people comfortable on longer journeys. The top-tier Impreza Limited offers its driver the luxury of a six-way power-adjustable seat. All trims but the base model also come with heated front seats. The base variant and Premium are offered with cloth upholstery, the Sport trim with sport cloth and red contrast stitching, and the Limited gets leather seating surfaces.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 43.1 in
  • Front Head Room 39.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.2 in

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

If you're looking for the maximum amount of trunk space, we would recommend going for the hatchback version of the 2021 Subaru Impreza: while the sedan can only muster 12.3 cubic feet of space, the hatchback offers a massive 20.8 cubic feet. Those 12.3 cubes are enough for a week's worth of groceries. Thankfully, the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split for even more room. Small items can be stored in the glovebox and a good-sized cubby between the two front seats. There are door pockets and cup holders for all four passengers, as well as a seat back map pocket behind the driver's seat.

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Front Seats Subaru
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Central Console Subaru
2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Lateral View Subaru
  • Trunk Volume
    12.3 ft³

Impreza Sedan Infotainment and Features

Features

US-spec Impreza sedans come fitted with the bare essentials in entry-level form and include a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat and four-way manually-adjustable front passenger seat, keyless entry, air conditioning, electronic cruise control, and power side mirrors. Premium models add heated front seats, auto-on/off headlights, transmission paddle shifters for the CVT, an additional USB port in front, and driver assistance features such as pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, lane departure warning, and sway warning with lane keep assist. Sport models get push-button start, alloy pedal covers, a 4.2-inch color LCD display, sport cloth upholstery with red contrast stitching, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The Limited adds luxury features such as a power-adjustable driver's seat, automatic climate control, high-beam assist, blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking.

Infotainment

All models come equipped with Subaru's Starlink infotainment system. In the base model, you get a 6.5-inch high-res touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, AM/FM stereo, a single USB input port, Bluetooth, four speakers, and an auxiliary input jack. The Premium trim gets the multimedia plus package that adds SiriusXM and SiriusXM Travel Link, dual USB input ports, six speakers, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The Impreza Sport upgrades to an eight-inch screen and adds voice-activated controls, and is offered with an optional eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Finally, the Limited gets the option of navigation. This system is easy to use, and most should get the hang of it in a day or two.

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Problems and Reliability

Reliability has not been a major issue for the Subaru Impreza Sedan: the car has only been recalled once in 2021. In this case, models fitted with the CVT transmission had a problem with the select lever cable nut not being tightened properly. Subaru will cover the Impreza Sedan with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty. A Wear Item limited warranty runs for three years or 36,000 miles.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Safety

According to the NHTSA review, the Subaru Impreza Sedan received a safety rating of five out of five stars. The IIHS also tested the sedan and gave it good ratings for categories such as the driver-side front impact, moderate front overlap, side-impact, and roof strength tests, and the 2020 model scored a Top Safety Pick+ award.

The base model features seven airbags, cruise control, a rearview camera, and other basics such as ABS and traction control. All CVT-equipped models also receive standard pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, lane departure warning, and sway warning with lane keep assist. Reverse automatic braking is standard on Limited models, as is blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. All models also feature permanent AWD.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan a good car

The only area where the 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan seriously lets the driver down is under the hood: the lackluster engine and CVT transmission offer weak performance, and competitors such as the Honda Civic with its small-capacity turbocharged engine are far more desirable. Other than the powertrain, the Subaru offers a pretty decent package. It has impressive driving characteristics; its interior is well built, comfortable, and ergonomic; and there are a lot of good standard features to boot. The trunk space might not be amazing, but it is enough for the daily school and grocery run. The Impreza Sedan also comes with the acclaimed Starlink infotainment system that is easy to use, and its long list of standard driver assistance on CVT variants will please many.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan?

The cost of the Subaru Impreza starts at $18,795, with the CVT transmission costing an extra $1,300. This base price does not include tax, registration, or a destination fee of $925. The Premium sedan's price is $22,195 and the Sport goes for an MSRP of $23,595. At the top of the lineup is the Limited with an asking price of $25,895. Fully kitted, the Limited can cost you over $35k.

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Models

See All 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Trims and Specs

🚗What 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Model Should I Buy?

The Impreza Sedan is an honest and straightforward car that will spend most of its life completing the A to B commute and aims to do so affordably. Sure, the Limited model offers some premium trimmings, but there are many competitors that provide a better experience if you're after those sorts of things. If you're looking for a cheap, AWD sedan, then we would recommend going for the Impreza Premium, which includes features such as transmission paddle shifters, heated front seats, auto-on/off headlights, dual front USB input ports, and driver assistance features such as pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning pre-collision throttle management. The Premium Sedan starts at $22,195 and we think it's well-priced despite the underpowered engine.

Check out other Subaru Impreza Styles

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan Comparisons

Subaru Crosstrek CarBuzz
Subaru Legacy CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Subaru Impreza Sedan152 hp23/31 mpg$18,795
Subaru Crosstrek 152 hp22/29 mpg$22,245
Subaru Legacy 182 hp27/35 mpg$22,995

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan vs Subaru Crosstrek

Unfortunately for the Crosstrek, it shares its base engine with the Impreza sedan. Due to its slightly heavier curb weight, it performs even worse than the sedan and makes it slightly less economical too at 28/33/30 mpg city/highway/combined for CVT-equipped models. Still, at least you get the option of a six-speed manual transmission that is far superior to the five-speed in the Impreza. For an added cost, the Crosstrek can also be specified with a more powerful 2.5-liter engine. The Crosstrek has a lifted ride height, making it a more realistic off-road companion, and can tow up to 1,500 lbs. Inside, the Crosstrek also offers more passenger space. In terms of features, the Crosstrek and Impreza share all of them, making the purchasing decision a bit easier. The 2.0-liter engine was never going to win any races, so we'd take the more practical but slower Crosstrek over the Impreza Sedan any day, or spend extra on the Crosstrek 2.5-liter.

See Subaru Crosstrek Review

2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan vs Subaru Legacy

The Legacy is a significant step above the Impreza sedan in nearly every way. Starting under the hood, the Legacy gets a more powerful powerplant in base trim, namely a 2.5-liter boxer motor producing 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft. The best thing is that this engine delivers more or less the same gas mileage as the slower Impreza. The Legacy is also available with a 2.4-liter flat-four turbocharged engine producing 260 hp and 277 lb-ft for some sporty driving dynamics. On the road, the Legacy is the more enjoyable car to drive and is more refined as well. Its extended wheelbase allows for more passenger space. The Legacy is both better under the hood, on the road, and in the cabin. If you can afford the price jump, then we would recommend going for the Legacy.

See Subaru Legacy Review

Subaru Impreza Sedan Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2021 Subaru Impreza Sedan:

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